1988 – 1994
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 and graphic design.
Choosing my GCSEs 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 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 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 focused 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 dispelled.
For those first months, I’d worked creatively developing ideas and concepts, picking up, shooting with an SLR camera and processing my images in the darkroom. 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 this 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 Graphic Design MA.
1997 – 1998
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 learned more in the first year at Bournemouth Uni than the next three years.
1998 – 2001
Low and behold I transitioned across to the much more artistically creative course Integrated 3D Design at Arts Institute Bournemouth, now called Arts University Bournemouth (AUB). This is where my freelance continued, conceiving the company name ‘Spline Design’.
Throughout a succession of varied projects within 3D Design, 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 closure from 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.