We gratefully introduce our 3rd Artist in Residence, Designer, Hannah Catmur, who profiles her work below and also gives us a rundown on her inspirations, achievements & plans for the future.
Tell us a bit about your design / art background so far…
I have always had a strong interest in the visual communication field. I studied A-Level Fine Art and Product Design at school then went on to do a four-year degree in Graphic Design and Communications. I spent one of these years in Canada studying Industrial Design at university in Ottawa. Since graduating last year (2011) I have worked at a graphics agency for six months and currently I am working at a web design agency, producing for screen. I have always wanted to learn as much as possible and get lots of experience early on to benefit me later in my career.
What inspires you and your work?
Everything from websites and books, social media and online content, photographs to everyday surroundings, I obtain visual information from everything. I am inspired by the latest trends in the industry and regularly follow design, art and technology feeds online to keep up to date with the latest movements in the industry. Often I am inspired from several different sources that will lead to new ideas or creative solutions for current projects. As a designer I believe it is crucial to beopen to our environment and exposed to many streams of inspiration. My bestpiece of advice is to always record what inspires you.
What is your greatest achievement to date?
A personal project that I am developing involving a website and mobile app has been sponsored and funded by O2 and UnLtd. Most recently I received a grant for the project to study at an entrepreneur academy for technology start-ups; during this time I have been assessed weekly, attended numerous meetings with CEOs and given presentations to a room full of investors. This has notonly been a huge challenge with a demanding weekly work schedule, but also it has been a great learning curve. I have put in a lot of hours for the project- designing every element of the platform, obtaining all relevant content and forming the foundations of the business.
How tough is the job market right now for aspiring Designers and Artists to find creative work?
The job market is tough in these creative industries, however design skills are still very much in demand for all types of businesses. It is essential to stay on top of the latest trends and movements in the industry; moving a portfolio to be digital online for example. The biggest shift I have noticed over the last few years is that rather than clients sourcing designers, designers must now source clients. Designers and artists will need to work harder to get exposure and get their name heard in this competitive market.
What can anyone do to help you further your career?
In terms of support, there could be more information for students in the creative sector looking for jobs. There is a limited amount of support available and students could really benefit from online sites connecting them to agencies. Experience within the industry is also vitally important for junior designers beginning their careers; there is a big difference between learning about it and applying it to the real world.
Support Hannah and check out her contact details above if you are interested in Hannah’s work and want to discuss further. Cheers Hannah and good luck!