(The Who's, What's, Whys, Where's & Whens)
My name is Tom; I’m a designer from Southampton.
I work with organisations, companies, individuals and start-ups to help them with their creative materials.
Whether it’s carving a unique Identity to give you the competitive edge, producing publications and printed pieces to effectively communicate your message to the masses or working on marketing materials and events to drum up interest; whatever you need for your business to grow.
"There is a solution to almost every problem; it’s just a matter of thinking around the issue."
I grew up on a farm on the Isle of Wight, growing up I learned to work with my head and my hands, to think things through and that there is a solution to almost every problem; it’s just a matter of thinking around the issue.
When I wasn’t at school my mum kept me entertained with crafty things; usually making a mess in the kitchen. At school I always had a good handle on science and maths, mostly because they made sense.
With that in mind I worked steadily to be an engineer (or mad scientist – yep, I thought that was an actual profession), until I took short course graphic products at GCSE and realised that as a designer I could match my creativity with my knack for problem solving.
Initially my plan for being a designer was to make badass graphics for bands and awesome tee-shirts. As I got older I began to see there was more scope for being a designer than just making graphics, and that I could ‘use my powers for good’.
I now see my role as a mediator of sorts between people’s companies and the goals they have set for themselves. Using the skills in my toolbox to create solutions for their problems and help them find the success they are working towards.
I can safely say that I have worked in a few odd places (notably as a model train operator).
Having worked in kitchens for 11 years and eventually running my own, I learned how to consistently keep multiple plates spinning *see what I did there* and project manage in a high pressure environment.
In 2005 I went to Swindon School of Art initially to study packaging design, but ended up on the graphic design course.
In my third year I left and became a chef. This was going well for 3 years until I broke my knee.
With my free time mounting and the drop in pay I turned back to my design work to start getting money coming in.
With freelance work coming in I fell back in love with design and decided to go back to university and get my degree.
Whilst at Uni I worked as a designer for a few print shops and part time in a kitchen again.
When I broke my other knee playing Frisbee with my dog (yeah, I didn’t think it was that kind of sport either) just before my final hand-ins I found myself housebound with a design degree.
It was time to freelance again.
After my last surgery I was able to return to work, and I have been working for Hampshire County Council in their joint working print department. Hants Print.
My role there is preprint technician (designer/artwork/project leader) and print finisher.
Having experience of working within various roles has given me a potent skill set that I can bring to bear on any situation.
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