Job Title: Owner and designer
Company: Flying Hamilton Graphic Art & Web Design
What does your job involve?
For me, creativity is all about play, having fun with images, words and symbols. I go through this process with each of my clients' projects, whether it's a start-up business or a medium-sized company, talking to them about the possibilities and ways to develop their brand.
We create and mould their image in a way that suits them. Not only developing an online presence , but also through eye-catching advertising, signage and promotional materials.
What's the most challenging aspect of your role?
The end of a project. It's like you've been given a puppy to play with, you feed it, you nurture it, you potty train it, then at the end of the day you hand it back.
It's always nice to be able to hand a project back to a client and see how excited they are with their new improved "baby'', and feel that my hard work has paid off.
What's your proudest work moment?
Being asked to do this editorial was pretty exciting. I thought, how can this Northern lass from Durham (UK) end up on the other side of the world being asked to talk about Me and My Job?
Since moving to New Zealand in 2005 I've worked with some fantastic companies, one of my favourites being Mount Maunganui based Hotmilk (a global maternity lingerie brand). I worked in Hotmilk's design department for six years, creating beautiful lingerie designs as well as being involved in their high-profile pro-breastfeeding campaigns over the years.
More recently, I was stoked when Becks Chambers approached me, asking if I would produce the graphics and marketing materials for the National Jazz Festival Tauranga 2014.
I jumped at the chance. I was able to give something back to the community that had adopted me, and get involved with the actual management of the Jazz Village, meeting the people attending and performing, as well as working alongside the wonderful volunteers who helped make the festival happen.
What training/experience have you had to prepare for your role?
The Northern ethos of "no matter what you do, work hard at it'' runs deep in my bones. I did all the necessary study; putting myself though art school then university until I achieved a Bachelor of Arts degree.
It was hard work, completing a full-time course and working a full-time job, but I graduated in 2000 with Honours and started "real life'' as an illustrator; drawing Christmas scenes for cards and wrapping paper for several years, before accepting a role within the fashion sector designing characters for children's clothing and accessories.
I gradually acquired on-the-job skills within production, overseeing the garment manufacturing off-shore of over half a dozen factories.
After a few personally tough years, I felt I needed to upskill so I threw myself back into studying until I was ready to leave the safety of my role at Hotmilk to pursue a new adventure of self-employment as a web designer and graphic artist.
What's the best piece of career advice you've received?
When I was a kid I mentioned to our neighbour that he was lucky to have such a fancy new car. He told me "it takes a lot of hard work to get this lucky''. His reply stuck with me, and I often think of it when people comment on how lucky I am to live in such a beautiful place.
What's the most important thing your current role has taught you?
I love the creative side of my job. Designing, helping and working with people on their websites and branding gives me variety and satisfaction, all the while learning new skills as technology changes.
How would you describe your work wardrobe?
I was told that the first rule when working from home is "get dressed for work everyday''.
It sounds daft, but it can be tempting to stay in your comfortable trackie bottoms and hoodie . But to dress for work is a massive motivator when self-employed.
I love bright colours, bold prints, feminine cuts and have a healthy addiction to watches and accessories. I can't resist something quirky; some earrings shaped like mini paper aeroplanes, a bold floral dress, or another pair of shoes that I can't walk in.
I can also be spotted in my superhero T-shirts walking Busta in his Superman collar, I don't see why I should have all the fun.