Two Years as a Designer in London

Bespoke Illustration of London Skyline for Twitch.

Bespoke Illustration of London Skyline for Twitch.

I didn’t really come to London with career in mind, I saw it as a working holiday, emphasis on the holiday. I wanted to see the world and saw work as a way of making this happen financially. It’s incredible how quickly that changed.

Within 1 working day of networking with recruiters, I was given my first gig, thanks to my girl Hollie I began freelancing for Twitch. I had a say yes attitude and ended up rolling with it for nearly 6 months. During my time there I worked on exciting briefs with clients such as Duracell, Xbox, EA and Paramount Pictures. Christmas came along and I freelanced for some Australian clients, designed an illustrated animated Christmas gif for Nomadic Films, explored Scotland, got engaged and travelled to the happiest place on earth - Disney World.

Whilst over there I got a call on a Friday afternoon from my other favourite Holly about a freelance role going with Newsweek, the next week. I flew into Gatwick at 7am on a foggy Monday morning and made it to Newsweek by 10am! I managed to stay awake after my red-eye flight and it was an instant connection between myself and the head of Brand and Creative Director. After two weeks I signed on the dotted line. Newsweek was nothing short of a crazy journey and I’m grateful that I met the most talented, creative and hilarious bunch, definitely some inspiring people who will be friends for life. During my time there, Newsweek covered the Prince Harry exclusive, ran global events, rebranded under a new umbrella company and in addition to supporting all of these campaigns creatively, I created co-branded content both online and offline including launching a digital hub for a Longines watch auction endorsed by Kate Winslet.

For my last year in London, I sought a new challenge. I left the client-side life for an interesting new world; an on-site agency model, Oliver Agency. I joined the Oliver Starbucks team (not to be confused with Oliver Warbucks, adoptive father of Annie). This was the beginning of my last chapter in London and although I don’t like coffee, I enjoyed designing for the My Starbucks Reward program bringing new life to their digital newsletters, gifs and assets for social. I illustrated posters that appeared in store all around London, which is a feeling that never gets old!  Soon after starting at Starbucks, an opportunity came up working for a new Oliver on-site team, U-studio based at Unilever’s head office. I moved over at the tail end of 2017. I should mention that by this time I’m well and truly making the most of having Europe on my doorstep! I saw snow for the first time and ticked off the 14th country on my list since arriving 14 months earlier! 

U-studio has been the most rewarding of my London work experiences. I’ve had the opportunity to work on conceptual work, illustrated for the likes of Lipton and The Guardian, collaborate with other agencies, attend panels and talks, grow my skills through various training sessions. Together with the amazing team I was blessed to work with, have really stretched and pushed creative boundaries for our clients. Highlights have included being shortlisted for Cannes Young Lions, designing a custom twitter emoji for one of our biggest clients and having sweeping 360 views of London every day that remind me how special this city is! 

So thanks to everyone who has been part of this incredible journey with me. I’m now about to write my next chapter in Australia and I look forward to every moment.