Say ‘hi’ to Alex, an in-house and freelance designer with a passion for branding. Discover how Alex struggled at uni (Illustrator who? I don’t know her), her approach to design five years later – the commercial/fine art sliding scale, and finding a design ‘style’ – and how she’s learning to create without inspiration. Lots of gems in this one, and a very relatable final thought. Stranger Things fans, direct all theories to us! *No spoilers!*
Alex, what’s your creative occupation?
I am a designer based in North Wales. The majority of the time you can find me working as an in-house designer, working across graphics, layout and animation!
Outside of that, I’m a freelance designer with a focus on brand identity. It’s my passion so you can also catch me dedicating a lot of time to creating personal projects based around branding too.
Where have you been?
I’ve been a bit all over the place, creatively speaking. I graduated five years ago and it’s really only been the past couple of years that I’ve begun to settle into the type of design I love creating. In uni, I definitely struggled with, well, everything. The combination of learning design concepts, learning how to use the software (I’d only heard of Illustrator the year before starting uni!) and my narrow view of what design was, meant I was creating work that was a bit all over the place. Looking back, a lot of my projects didn’t make sense, conceptually or design-wise!
After a somewhat forced break after graduating, due to moving back to my small hometown area, I landed my current job. Having a more structured environment for approaching design has helped me learn that not everything you create needs to be perfect.
Where are you now?
Creatively, I’m in a really great place! I’ve spent the last couple of years experimenting with the type of design I really enjoy creating and it’s let me hone in on the design route I want to take going forward, which is primarily branding. I definitely land more on the commercial side of design rather than the art side, but I love being as playful with projects as I can. A lot of people online talk about finding your design style, but for me, being able to work in and offer different styles is a lot more fulfilling, and better for my clients. And my it shows – all my clients trust me to take the core essence of their business and create something that truly reflects it.
Even in my current role I’m being given a lot more freedom and responsibility to do style research for our projects, to find the most appropriate aesthetic for the topics we are covering.
Where are you going?
It’s ambitious but I think one day I’d love to set up my own design studio, but that’s really far into the future. At the moment, I’m aiming for a more creative role in a design agency. I love learning and try to learn something new with every project I create, but I know I’ve got so much more to learn – about design, the industry, working with clients. So I’d love to be in an environment where I’ll be given all this knowledge.
Finally, what’s occupying your thoughts today?
I’ve just finished watching Stranger Things, so honestly I’ve mostly been thinking about potential theories for what has happened, and how occasionally the editing during tense moments was a bit off.
Otherwise, I’ve recently been taking a break from working on personal projects and I’m beginning to think about getting back into them. I’ve been lacking the motivation and inspiration, which are really important for us creatives. But equally, I know they could take weeks or months to reappear properly. And as important as they are, self-discipline and learning to create without inspiration are just as important, so I need to just push myself to start!
A helpful reminder for us all… just start! Thank you for sharing your journey, Alex. Make sure you keep up with Alex’s work on her Instagram.
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