Today, we’re hearing from Artist, Designer & Maker, Abigail. Losing her job in 2020 was the catalyst for a burst of creative energy that resulted in the birth of her freelance business, which she runs alongside her full-time Graphic Design role. Read on as this talented Founding Member shares her journey; from struggling at Uni, to loving her 9-5. Plus, her favourite projects (hats off!) and her career goals.
Abigail, what’s your creative occupation?
I’m an artist/designer/maker, living and working in South East London.
Where have you been?
My journey started when moving to London in 2013 to study Illustration at the University of the Arts. I wasn’t entirely sure what I wanted to do, but I couldn’t imagine a life doing anything but a creative job!
I struggled at Uni; not only was the cost of living more than my part-time job could cover, but I didn’t feel like I had my own *style* in the way that others on my course did.
After graduating, I got sucked into full-time work at a job I didn’t care about, just to pay the rent. It wasn’t until losing my job in early 2020 that I stopped feeling sorry for myself and reignited my creative flame!
I was able to take a step back and think about what really excites me and why I moved to London in the first place. I began working non-stop to build my portfolio and it wasn’t long until I was being contacted for commissioned work.
Where are you now?
Currently I work full-time as a Graphic Designer, which I’m extremely grateful for as I’m mostly self-taught. It’s the first time that I’ve had a Monday-Friday job that I really enjoy, and feel I’m actually learning from. My work/life balance has also massively improved, so I’m able to spend my mornings, evenings and weekends working on my own thing.
I’ve always had a love for drawing and printmaking, but have more recently been experimenting with digital art and how it can be translated to other forms. An example of this is my recent collaboration with hat brand Camilla Ashley – we worked together on a range of bucket hats, using 6 unique prints by myself. I’m super proud of them and really enjoyed learning more about textiles and repeat patterns.
Where are you going?
I think the end-goal for me is to be freelance. I know it won’t be an easy jump to make, but nothing good ever comes without risk!
At the moment I’m really enjoying learning more about design and feel I’m only scratching the surface of what is possible. I also have a couple of exciting collaborations in the pipeline so will be busy over the next few months working on those.
Finally, what’s occupying your thoughts today?
This quote from Bruno Munari: “The greatest freedom comes from the greatest strictness.”, which I’m taking as “Soak up as much as you can now, to secure the future you want later.”
Thanks for sharing your journey, Abigail! Got any questions for Abigail, or just want to say ‘hi’? Reach out to her via our ‘Members’ page. Not a member yet? Join us today for networking, mentoring, resources & more!