They say there is no conventional path into the industry. This was precisely the case of graphic designer Emma Clayton.
Emma did not exactly know what she wanted to do when she left school, but creativity was on top of her mind as a plausible option. After some time in admin jobs, Emma landed just at the right place where her creative ambitions were encouraged and nurtured.
Unfortunately, like many in the creative industry right now, Emma has lost her job due to the COVID-19 pandemic. But she still has tons of creative energy and bravery to forge ahead, even (if not especially) in these challenging times.
For this Member Spotlight, we are delving deep into the life of a self-made creative, one with great dreams for more equality in the industry and plenty of determination.
How did you get into the industry?
I didn't know what I wanted to do when I left school, I just knew I wanted to do something creative. So I did a series of short admin jobs in different interesting industries (music, publishing, advertising, TV, architecture), and when I got to architecture my role there involved working with the in-house graphic designer - and I realised I'd found the thing I wanted to do. So I sold my flat and moved 150 miles to do a degree as a mature student, and the rest is history.
Where are you based now and who do you work for?
I'm based in Brighton, but I lost my job during the coronavirus pandemic. I'm looking for my next opportunity. Before unemployment, I was working in-house for Spabreaks.com and I would dearly love to stay in the wellbeing/hospitality sector if I can.
If you weren’t in your current industry, what would you be doing?
Maybe floristry, or event management. Or rock star. One of those.
What’s your secret to staying inspired and motivated?
My secret is that I'm often neither. It's hard to stay peppy and positive constantly and that's OK. I think it can help to make time for creative projects for your own exploration and enjoyment, and these can help keep the spark alive. Recently I've been designing homewares for my own online store at www.curiositycabinet.com.
How do you recharge away from the office?
Yoga, computer games, alcohol, books.
What’s your one big hope for the future of the creative industries?
That they will recover enough after the coronavirus for us all to have jobs.
If you could change one thing about the industry, what would it be?
I think designers can often be mean spirited and snotty about each other's work. I'd like people to be kinder. And I'd like the proportion of women in the industry to continue to increase.