My career path
I would say, for the majority of my career to date, I have gained a broad range of opportunities and experiences that have developed my identity as both a creative professional and educator. Pursuing a portfolio career in this manner has proved challenging to manage at times but the payback makes it worthwhile.
My craft-based activities over the years have led to commissions and work being exhibited in a wide range of touring exhibitions, galleries and events around the UK and Europe including The Goldsmiths Hall, Maison et Objet, International Spring Fair and Pulse/Top Drawer.
Freelance design work and consultancy is equally far-reaching supporting development of extended skills whilst building strong networks not simply just for commercial means but in recent years also towards research and advocacy. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting and working with an extensive range of private clients, designers, makers, event organisers and networks from The Vintage Clothing Company and Re-Think things to Liverpool Music Festival, 5ml, North-West Craft Network, Great Northern Events and Craft UK.
These experiences shape my knowledge and understanding as a professional that is continually directed towards education whilst also informing ongoing research.
At the time of graduating from my undergraduate degree I took the decision not to pursue my post-graduate studies. I had a year’s worth of exhibitions booked, in addition to securing part-time teaching at two colleges and the university I had just graduated from. This was a difficult decision which I would continue to question for years to come but, I decided that gaining experience in the field would be more beneficial in the short term.
Nine years later having found myself managing two programs of study full-time at the college I was employed, whilst still running my design business alongside, I took the decision to leave my full-time teaching job and focus on my professional practice as a designer and maker. This penultimately prevented me from pursuing a Masters degree yet again and years later, when directing my career towards teaching in H.E. full-time, I would find myself pursuing my Doctorate studies via a Masters in Philosophy as a result of these decisions.
In summary we all make decisions, and not necessarily always the right ones, although important at the time. But time has a way of working things out so, don’t get too caught up on them. Use your best judgement and work with outcomes of the decision you make to best advantage.