1988 – 1994
Through studying GCSE Design & Communication, Design & Technology, Art, Maths, Double Science, History, Religious Studies and French, I honed into my strengths of design and envisioned ‘Hyperspeed Industies’.
Hyperspeed Industries was the name that encapsulated my favourite tune at the time by The Prodigy called ‘Hyperspeed – G-Force Part 2’ and also the rate at which I felt my mind was alive and firing with rapid idea concept generation. At this time I was open to architecture, interior design, product design, furniture design, graphic design.
Choosing my GCSE’s was the second hardest education choice I needed to make, the first being to choose secondary school over The Royal Ballet School.
I was top of my class for Geography and loved Music in having a gift for composing piano melodies and singing in the choir. Unfortunately all the juicy creative courses conflicted and had to choose Art over Music and History over Geography given that I thought I’d learn something useful where geography came naturally to me and fancied the academic challenge.
1994 – 1996
Choosing A-Level subjects was challenging, I was open to career direction and committed to architecture as my primary pathway – and so undertook Physics, Maths, Design, Art and the compulsory General Studies.
With ‘Hyperspeed Industries’ a joyous idea, my passion became constricted as studying without home discipline became a struggle. I was studying at school sixth-form and in the evening my homework was becoming laboured, especially as the demands were tough. Physics felt like double maths, and Maths was very tough, Art was also crying out for serious attention – something just had to give. This is the point at which I evaluated my options and life outlook, deciding with a heavy mind but to liberate my spirit to focus on graphic design – thus dropping Physics A-Level
1996 – 1997
Following on from completing my A-Levels, the traditional pathway forward was to do an Art & Design Foundation further education course. The placement setting was a tough decision too, this took courage to choose Middlesex University, Cat Hill Campus where the creative courses were being run – it was well resourced and had an absolute blast, meeting & studying with world-class talent from across the globe.
It wasn’t all fun & games, the first semester seemed to go well, I felt focussed and in the right groove. However following my end-of-semester review, my work which I felt at the time was technically my best was thrown out of the window by my tutor and was absolutely dispelled.
For those first months I’d worked with creatively developing ideas and concepts, picking up, shooting with an SLR camera and processed my images in the dark room. I still worked with my school-established mindset which the art uni was set on crushing – everything we as students thought we knew was broken and a new creative development philosophy was rolled in.
Taking up masses of courage leading into the second semester was needed if I stood any chance of continuing in this career direction. I consulted with the tutors and after review (and being a week back late due to anxiety), decided I creatively stood above graphic design in 3D design, and so chose 3D as my pathway at this stage and promised myself that if I followed this through to my first degree, then I’d go on afterwards to then do a Graphic Design masters degree.
1997 – 1998
Choosing Bournemouth University to study Product Design was made on a whim. I’d initially chosen Product & Furniture Design at Nottingham Trent University, but at the eleventh hour made the passionate change, and one that didn’t fulfil.
I freelanced Graphic Design having bought my first Apple iMac, the original Bondi Blue model and formed the basis of my professional career. I was photographing at events, taking the shots and using them within the designs which then went out to print – it was a steep, but natural learning curve, one that liberated me from the constraints of what felt like Engineering Design at university. Again, don’t get me wrong, I see that I learnt more on the first year at Bournemouth Uni than the next…
1998 – 2001
Low & behold I transitioned across to the much more artistically creative course Integrated 3D Design at Arts University College Bournemouth, now called AUB. This is where my freelance continued, conceiving the company name ‘Spline Design’.
Throughout a succession of varied projects with 3D, I honed my craft and enjoyed much of the creative work. The course crashed after the first as the teaching staff either were made redundant or resigned, this left us in dire straits and down the perilous journey onwards to the end – I was very keen to get this degree finished and to get shot of education, getting some fresh breath and away from insecurities from the teaching politics at the time. I could have gone onto do my masters degree at this time, but felt getting some industry experience might fair me better for at least a year… to date I’ve not successfully completed and followed through with a masters degree or teaching PGCE application, although I’ve remained open to the idea & possibility to further develop myself in these directions.