From the very early days of my career I have fortunately been in positions where I have been involved in companies at the beginning. Therefore I have little experience in having a boss looking down on me.
It did however start after leaving Art School and struggling to find money to make short animated films. This led the government to insist that I do a back-to-work scheme. Coincidentally, it was the beginning of the internet age and I chose a course in HTML which then lead to learning Lingo (Macromedia Director). Suddenly, the world opened up and I realised I could make money and be creative.
1). 4MAT - Web Designer
To show how young the industry was my method for finding my first Web developer job was to look in the Yellow Pages (The big Yellow book). I chose the first company in the Web section (which was only about 20 companies at the time) they were called 4MAT a standard web company in East London. The team there taught me all the basics that I needed and very soon I was free to design and build full sites on my own.
Creative frustration leaked in and I went Freelance, working for many of the young agencies in London, Sunbather, Online Magic etc. I also spent a lot of time at the BBC and the BBC News sites, this was a fascinating time in the early days, a 24hr department of Developers, Designers and Journalists all working together in the same space.
4). Digit – Head of Interaction
A company that I kept returning to when freelancing, was Digit (next on the list in the Yellow Pages), a small team of 3 in Soho who paid a third of what I was getting elsewhere, but they had a vision and creative passion that was in tune with my own desires. I soon became the 4th member and spent an amazing 7 years experimenting and forging the path for genuine creative and user centred design.
5). AllofUs – Co-founder & Creative Partner
Forging a harmonious relationship with 3 of my partners at Digit, we set up AllofUs in 2003. We were ready to build a company that could design digital experiences that transcended the computer screen and leap back into the physical world, helping humans interact in intuitive and exciting ways. My coding days are long gone now, but I do work across all departments leading projects that either require integration into physical spaces or products that require a digital interaction with the real world.
We’ve asked professionals in creative industries what jobs they have had in the past to get their foot through the door (or at least pay the rent). For more in the “My First 5 Jobs” series look here.