Multi-skilled web developer, focused
on producing beautiful, functional websites.
I have been working within the design sector for the last decade as an InDesign specialist, arranging advertising for a range of clients from independent businesses to blue chip multinationals, such as Mercure hotels, Coca Cola and John Lewis. It was a wonderful decade in which I learnt a huge amount and the printing and publishing industry, as well as developing my own skills in design, typesetting and arrangements. I do however think it is important to stimulate the mind and for me it is important to find a new challenge, learn a new skill... or even change career. I love to learn and educate myself and have previously studied Graphic Design, Audio Engineering and have now decided to study Web Development.
Web Development is an extremely exciting space and really feels like a natural progression for me to move into, in which I can hopefully bring a lot of my other skills together to deliver beautiful, functional websites. Websites converge multiple disciplines, such as commerce, audio, games and design into one accessible, functional space and now act as a shop-front for many businesses. More and more businesses are improving their online presence and this will continue to grow as more of the world gets connected to the web. The way in which a site is designed is what makes it engaging, appealing and desirable in order to increase traffic, and ultimately sales so I am hoping to move over from the printing and publishing sector to the online and digital realm, using my previous commerce, print and design skills in order to provide a comprehensive service.
Having worked in the creative industries for the past decade, I have built up a portfolio of work ranging from logos right through to commercial magazines. During this time I have learnt the ins and outs of the printing and publishing sector, and these lessons have come in all shapes and sizes. One of the key things I have learnt is never stop learning! It is important to keep up to date with developments as the industry is constantly changing with new mediums, such as digital photography, digital printing, 3d printing and new ink options constantly evolving. On top of this computers and creative software such as Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop have been through many incarnations and hardware such as graphic tablets and touch screens are being developed. I have seen this already in my early days of web development as we see Flash being phased out, HTML having multiple updates and new development tools such as bootstrap, wix and wordpress being developed and improved.
I aim to keep on top of the game and have a list of essential skills for my discipline, such as Java, PHP and Python. These skills will be developed through my degree but I have also been enhancing my learning through Udemy Academy - an online resource for developers, W3Schools and YouTube tutorials. Additionally I have been attending conferences around the city, working in the industry to support my studies, and have just secured a permanent post as a social media freelancer. Knowing that I have solid design skills, and qualities in Photoshop, Indesign and Illustrator has given me the confidence to go to market early on, and adding HTML and CSS coding has opened up the possibilities already. Going forward I am planning to improve my developer skills, digital design skills, and animation skills in order to obtain more creative and comprehensive jobs.
I have always been a lover of the work of Stefen Sagmeister who has created some iconic album covers for the likes of The Rolling Stones and Lou Reed, and whose intriguing and provocative designs redefined the status of graphic designers. Stefen has been very influential in the design world, but it was when I read an article on him in which he explained that he closes his agency for a whole year every 7 years, that I was truly inspired. This idea allows him and his colleagues the opportunity to travel and gain inspiration, whilst recharging their batteries in order to increase the agencies productivity, designs and creative edge on their return a year later. Prior to reading this I would have never imagined this could work, but upon realising that things like this are possible I set my sights on creating a similar life.
Seeing the world and other cultures can influence your life and your work hugely, and I have now been lucky enough to visit India, Nepal, Indonesia, Africa, the Middle East and of course lots of Europe. Although my inspiration started with Stefens unusual system, my aspirations are slightly different and having just started my 3rd company, Dream Frequency Ltd, I plan to take this with me on my travels as a Web Developer and encourage myself to travel in this capacity and let the world inspire my work.
The world is becoming a much smaller place with the growth of the internet, transport and crypto currencies, meaning business start-ups in far flung corners of the world are able to trade almost anywhere across the globe. One of the beauties of working from the counties I like to travel is they have a much lower cost of living, meaning you can obtain your work in the UK at UK prices, whilst benefiting from a lower cost of living, and arguably higher quality of life, on a beach, or in a jungle for example! I plan to phase this goal into action by obtaining live work for my breaks while studying at University, with an aim to continuing this on more permanently in July of 2019, when I finish my course.
I was recently introduced to some reflection methods, and using Gibbs 1988 model of reflection, and Flemming and Mills 1992 VARK system point clearly to the fact that I am a Kinaesthetic learner, which I know to be true when I think about it! Inspiration, though, must come from a different part of the brain as I have found that I am inspired by people who stimulate my brain and senses visually and sonically. What exactly stimulates me is something I am yet to categorise, but I know when I see or hear it!! I would say I am drawn to things out of the ordinary, clever, vibrant and beautiful, but beauty is in the eye of the beholder and my idea of beautiful or clever is not necessarily yours.
I was also, and still am heavily influenced by my family as Art and design runs throughout. Growing up around creative people breeds creativity and I found myself working on some live projects from as young as 15. Most notably my Uncle who is a well respected furniture designer, Fred Baier, who continues to be a huge inspiration to me and I have worked on a number of pieces with him, including a wooden bathtub! Another great influence has been my Aunt, Lucy Strachan, who is a professional sculptor that I have watched at work, and been encouraged by all my life. Other notable influences from my family have been Becky Baier who is a professional artist and Billie Baier who is now Culture Manager at RedBull. Outside of my family I have always been a lover of art and have been influenced and inspired by a number of artists including:
Surrealism | Salvador Dali, Rene Magritte
Impressionist | Monet
Contemporary | Kerry Darlington
Poster art | Mocha
Comic art | John Higgins | Lorena Alvarez | Carl Barks |Walt Disney
Installation | Damien hurst | Yayoi Kusama | Goldsworthy
Grafitti | Mr cenz | antcarver | Unify | Reko Rennie
Graphic design | Jacqueline Casey | Alan Fletcher
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