Mini Life Story

Screen Shot 2014-04-07 at 12.53.12When I was 15, my family had settled in Gibraltar after a 2 year tour of European canals in a 60ft handmade catamaran. I had been back in mainstream school for 2  years, after the experience of being home schooled while traveling, the novelty of conventional education had quickly worn off. When it came time to choose what I wanted to study at A-level, the restrictions were the straw that broke the camels back. After having my passion for drawing well and truly squashed during the GCSE process, I decided I wanted to do Drums and Drama. But I was told that if I took music, I couldn’t specialise in drums, because although it was an option “Nobody has chosen to do that before and you should just take Piano” and “We don’t have a teacher qualified to teach Drama at A-Level”. So I threw my head up and moved to Iceland to live with my Grandmother and go to Kvennaskólinn í Reykjavík where I spent a wonderful 6 months dancing around doing musical theatre and attempting to catch up with the much more advanced levels of Mathematics… I aced English class though.

Unfortunately my new life in Iceland was cut short by the sudden death of my father in Spain, I rushed back to Gibraltar to my mother’s side and became a bit of a homebird, the thought of going off to University was unthinkable! This was where my career began, at the age of 16 I got a job in Image Graphics where I had been a photocopy girl in my summer holidays. I started working in the Design department under the mentorship of Angela, the best boss I’ve ever had, and the best mother too! We enjoyed working as a team, she would sketch the design and I would convert it into graphics. After a year or two of this, we decided to start our own business with my brother, Peter, who had returned from a post university sailing trip across the Atlantic. Between the 3 of us we set up EuropeAxess.

After a couple of years I got swept away to Ireland (full blame for that goes to the Blarney Stone), where I ended up working in the Pre-Press departments of first Bradbury Graphics, digital printers, and then Print Library, lithographic printers. I learned an awful lot about both printing processes and the time spent de-bugging artwork coming from design houses and designing for print still serves me well to this day.

With experience in both design for print and internet, I took the big step in 2008 to go freelance. The dawn of broadband meant that I was able to once again work with EuropeAxess, remotely from Northern Ireland. This kept me so busy that until the beginning of 2014, I worked nearly exclusively on projects coming to me from Gibraltar.

As EuropeAxess started to wind down with Angela semi-retiring, with a little more time on my hands, I started taking on local clients. This brought a whole new level of front end client liaison and a wider range of requirements, including animated graphics.

Also during this time I took a deep dive into back end coding. PHP, SQL, some JavaScript and a whole heap of CSS and UX became daily norms at the same time as proof reading and increasing layout support on the Upon This Rock monthly magazine.

In 2017 a friend recommended me as her replacement as Senior Graphic Designer for Family Media Group, located in the Titanic Quarter in Belfast. The opportunity to produce two monthly magazines was too intriguing to pass up! Working on NI4Kids and Scotland4Kids magazine was a blast, working with the editorial and sales teams to achieve a high quality product in a fast past, deadline driven industry allowed me to flex my management, communication and problem solving muscles in a fun and creative way. I was with the company for a year before a once in a lifetime opportunity presented itself, 3 months in Thailand and a move to America! I would still be working for Family Media Group if it had been at all possible to continue remotely. I assisted in hiring and training my replacement and bid fair well, heading off into the sunset of exotic far away lands.

If you have any questions or would like to explore working together, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.


Posted in Blog.

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