Creative Designer / Art Director
Creative Designer/Art Director
What do you do?
I'm a Freelance Creative Designer and a Media and Communications student in London. I have over 3 years of design experience and learning hands on has always been my goal, so I started interning way before I needed to, to get ahead of the game.
What steps did you take to get where you are now?
I was actually the kind of person who didn't know where I wanted to specialize in, but I've always known it'd be within the creative industry. Something has always drawn me into doing Art and Information Technology, and later on realized that it wouldn't be a bad idea to merge them together.
When I was at college doing IT, I was the only girl in my class. They were so competitive! But in a good way. This pushed me to find where I know I'd excel at, so I began to look for internships whilst everyone in my class was just enjoying their free time mostly hanging around with friends and playing games.
I landed an internship somewhere locally, and I started to put my work on the internet and this enabled me to be discovered from people from abroad. This was the start of my collaborations with people from LA, Ontario and Sydney. This pushed me to strive for more!
My confidence was unlocked when my photographic work was featured in the National Geographic Traveller UK magazine as the winning photo for their 'Your Pictures' competition. I couldn't believe it! Since then, I realized that if people from NatGeo noticed my work, I could do more great work and get out there more.
I began collaborating with more people like fashion stylists, writers, bloggers, emerging singers and even dating experts! I also landed a paid internship where I had the chance to flesh out more of my skills and talents. There, I also took advantage of their offer to train me in any area that I'd like to explore, so I chose to study Art Direction at the University of the Arts London as a short course.
So now I'm looking to grow more as a creative even though I'm only in the second year of my studies in university. Already, people from my university are noticing my hard work, which feels really nice!
For other people in your field, what do they usually lack?
Less admiration, more competition.
I often notice that people are so competitive when it comes to talking about what they do, or what they've done. When I attended the short course, I was highly discouraged by one of my then classmates, because I was the youngest and still attending university.
She said that I can't be an Art Director yet because I don't have enough experience (even though she hasn't seen my CV yet) and that I shouldn't be reaching that high yet because there are already so many people who want to get to the top. This is not at all my goal. My goal is to aim higher but learn as much as I can and still be humble.
If there was much more admiration than competition, people would flourish faster.
Sharing your talents is also nice, because a lot of people hide what they know from people who look up to them perhaps because they're scared with again, competition.
What are you working on right now?
I'm currently working on a project for a dating expert, Hayley Quinn. It's related to her rebranding her website and feel.
I'm also working on fleshing out more of my work on my portfolio.
We are all Slashies with multiple skills, which one do you wish you could do more often?
At this moment, I wish I could focus on Art/Creative Direction more.
What is frustrating you right now?
Honestly, it's this month. Every year this month, I always have to move houses because that's what life is when you're a student here in England! Everything starts to pile up on top of each other, and then there's attending university and starting all over again. As a growing creative, it takes a lot out of me to balance everything and do well at the same time.
What task keeps landing at the bottom of the To Do list?
Reading for university! I have the tendency to put my creative work first.
If you could hire someone for $20/hour, what would you have them do to make your day easier?
I would hire an ambitious person like myself and allow them to show me what they can do to help me run my future business. It would be nice to work with someone who has got big dreams and not afraid to step up and make that happen.
Let's bring out the time machine. What do you wish you could have told yourself, when, and why?
If I had a time machine, I'd go back to the 16/17 year old me and tell her that people who would try to bring her down don't actually matter. That she shouldn't let people affect her just because they don't agree with her choice of career. That everything will be according to plan because she dreamt wildly enough!
If you could talk to an expert to gain more insight on something, what would it be about?
Anyway, I would ask Jennifer, how did you start your business? Did you one day just decided, okay I have an idea I'll make it happen from here on? What was it like to work on Call of Duty? (I LOVE this game). How did you impress recruiters when you had an interview for that job? How do you win their hearts? and more importantly, how do you stay sane when juggling multiple projects at once?
Answer from Puno:
Holy cow! I love this internet rabbit hole and so glad you're here on ilovecreatives all the way from London! I love your energy and your photos are amazing. Seriously great stuff. I would love to answer your questions!
How did I start my business? It started with Daniel and I wanting to building something from beginning to end. We had a big list of ideas, prototyped the one that had the most features, and then when we went to Thailand, ended up deciding on building Map. I wouldn't say it's a business yet, as it's not really generating revenue, but we're still working on it.
With ilovecreatives, that was Eva and I having a conversation about all the silo conversations people have trying to help other get the word out about creative happenings. Building a newsletter was actually less time consuming than being a glorified operator. :P
Working on Call of Duty was amazing. This was my first real job as a UX Designer and Director. I ended up building a team of 10 super rad people. Seriously, our company culture was AWESOME. Working closely with the game developers was super fun too. They are incredibly passionate and are diehard about the game. They understand the economy of their fans, it really opened my eyes to community building, but I didn't know it yet.
Unfortunately, I didn't see eye to eye with a new manager they brought in and I felt like it was a good time for a life transition. That happens like every 3 years right?
How did you impress recruiters when you had an interview for that job? How do you win their hearts? I bring on the energy and enthusiasm in the interview. I think 50% of the job can be given to you by just being really fun to work with, hard-working, and passionate about the product. After interviewing so many people, those are the people that stick out.
This was my first UX job and I didn't have a portfolio, but I talked about past work and experiences that showed I was smart, resourceful, and creative.
How do you stay sane when juggling multiple projects at once? Figure out how to make enough to start hiring people to help you out. Honestly, without all the people that have worked with Map and ilovecreatives, I would probably have to drop one. People are shortcuts and there are so many awesome people to work with!
What kind of opportunities/projects are you looking for?
I'm looking for an opportunity to train as an Art Director. I want to experience it first hand! And I'd also like to do more branding projects and editorial design.
What is your ideal client?
My ideal client would be someone who would trust my creative judgement. I've worked with many people with this approach and that has unleashed more of my creativity, which was a great feeling.
What is your rate?
Please email me to find out more. :)
How should someone approach you about working together?
Just drop me an email (email@example.com)! Tell me about yourself, how you envision your project and show me your Pinterest board for some inspiration. A meeting over a good cup of coffee in Central London would also be lovely!
This member profile was originally published in October 2015.