Creativity Found

Lauren Deakin – with a creative degree, what happens next? Working for free, feeling undervalued to starting her own creative business

July 11, 2021 Lauren Deakin Episode 27
Creativity Found
Lauren Deakin – with a creative degree, what happens next? Working for free, feeling undervalued to starting her own creative business
Show Notes Transcript

When you leave university with a creative degree, what do you do next? Trying to forge a career in creative arts can involve working for free and hopping from placement to placement. Then as you start earning money and gain more responsibility your role becomes more about managing and coordinating than actually creating. 

In this bonus episode I’m talking with Lauren Deakin, who has found her place in the creative marketplace now, but only after a good deal of exploration.

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Music: Day Trips by Ketsa https://ketsa.uk/under Creative Commons License
https://freemusicarchive.org/music/Ketsa/Raising_Frequecy/Day_Trips

Artworks: Emily Portnoi emilyportnoi.co.uk

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Claire Waite Brown:

Stay tuned to the very end to find out about a special offer from this episode's guest. When you leave University with a creative degree, what do you do next? Trying to forge a career in creative arts can involve working for free and hopping from placement to placement. Then, as you start earning money and gain more responsibility, your role becomes more about managing and coordinating than actually creating. In this bonus episode, I'm talking with Lauren Deacon, who has found her place in the creative marketplace now, but only after a good deal of exploration. Hi, Lauren. Hi, thanks for having me. You're very welcome. You have struggled over the years to fulfil and really figure out what you should be doing creatively. Tell me what you do now.

Unknown:

Okay, so now I run my own business. After working in as a creative and industry, I now run my own creative business, which is called now creative. It's branding and marketing design, using digital design an illustration. So it's bespoke to every client's needs. It's a bit of a difference. It's a bit of a change to the normal branding and marketing that you might see out there. Which is really exciting. And yeah, so I'm really excited to share that with everyone.

Claire Waite Brown:

brilliant, brilliant. We'll talk a bit more about that. But first, let's go way back. Tell me about your childhood experience of the arts and whether you felt supported by your family or your school or the world in general.

Unknown:

Yeah, I've always been creative. And it's all things i think that you know, surround you that kind of you take note of and you just kind of grow subconsciously through that. I'm always used to sit watching my mom on the phone, and she'd always doodle and my mom always like did competed more was like murals in mine and my sister's bedrooms when we were little growing up. So it's really strange how that's kind of come full circle and probably subconsciously, aided me now as a creative in my own business. I would say yeah, I was really supported. My mum and dad always pushed us to, you know, do what makes you happy, what you like what you enjoy doing. So I was very grateful for that. And I wasn't kind of pushed in a direction that I that I didn't want to go in. But at the same time had no knowledge of what the creative industry was. Probably you know, growing up at school, it was always kind of picking their creative subjects. That's okay. But it's more of a hobby type thing. You know, it's not something that you would get a career out of thinking about it. I've probably a really strong person to kind of go with something wanting to be a creative but not really know much about it, but obviously, so consumed by be wanting to do something as a creative person that that's what got me to where I am today. through school, I did all the RT subjects. I did my a levels, went to college, I did textiles, art, my Art Foundation, and then I worked up to doing my degree as a textile print designer for fashion and interiors initially and I absolutely I absolutely loved it moved away, which was really daunting, exciting. So I'm the eldest, no one in my family has ever done anything like that before. But I did have a lot of support, which was really good and really, really nice, which probably helped push me being a creative, especially at uni. You're still learning you're still experimenting direction. I knew I wanted to do something creative. I love print, you know, drawing by hand, obviously growing up, but didn't really have the likes of what we've got now technology wise, that I think experimenting with that at uni was something that was like, wow, this is really fun and exciting. And I kind of led myself from print digitally to screen print fabric learning, like all the time on the things I liked and didn't like. And I do think as a creative, you're learning all the time. Just won't mind me saying this. And I'm very proud of her. But she's a she's a nurse. So you know, academically doing something like that she's going to leave uni, she's going to go and get her job, right? Being a creative, it's not quite like that. It's a ride, and you've got to be prepared to do that ride. You know, it's been fun. It's been exciting, but it's been stressful and upsetting at times as well. There was no support when I left University. Yeah, it was quite a difficult time. I think leaving University, you know, you've got your bursary, you've got it all going on, I was working. Because that's just I think that's just the type of person that I am. It's just how I've been brought up. Having that kind of ethically behind me, I've always been really hard working. And I think that's probably helped me to get to where I am now with my own business, really.

Claire Waite Brown:

So you didn't know what to do or what you could do after uni.

Unknown:

I knew like I went to fashion and textiles and I knew straightaway fashion was just not for me. Because it was like making clothes. And you know, I just thought Oh, no, I just wasn't me. Technically, I just didn't have the patience for it. You would do embroidery, we knit print. So you try all of those things I sound like right? Yes, I'm gonna do print, I love it. Brilliant. Because I went into printing for like interiors, so wallpapers, you know, any any kind of interior product based, really, but that kind of idea of print digitally. I mean, that's such a vast thing that you can use that skill on, you know, anything. So yeah, leaving you leaving uni. I was a visual merchandiser whilst I was at university actually. And I think that skill has kind of lent itself to me, as a designer and as a person. as well. When I left uni, I did get a private placement, working with a set designer for a huge television channel, work in kind of set design, prop design buying, so that he did that really well. Again, it wasn't painful. It's almost like, right, I've got my visual merchandising, that's helping me along the way, and I'm doing placement is great. But suddenly, you know, I'm using my own money to pay for bills, pay for food, do all of these things. I don't know how to explain it. And I'm sure people have this feeling. But something just kind of clicks. There's just something that clicks new light can't live like this anymore. And it's almost like this shift. And because you shift, you think differently. And so because of that, yeah, I had opportunity working as a project coordinator, but weirdly enough for a visual merchandising prop design company. So they designed when they would have like High Street stores go to them. And they'd be like, yeah, we want this, this and this. So we would kind of go away project manage. And one of the window displays I did was Kate Moss's window. That was a catwalk that came out of top shops, High Street window in Oxford Street in London. So I project coordinated that, you know, it's still creative. But at the time, it was just like, right, I know that I'm really good at coordinating, managing type things. But it's still not creative. I'm not sitting there designing like I was at university, I've gone to university to do this. This is what I want to do in my life. It kind of got to that point as well like, Okay, well, you've got a job now that's paying you to pay your bills and things like that. But I don't want to just settle I want to do something that I actually enjoy. And again, I think that that takes guts to not follow the norm of society and to kind of do what you think you should do really. So I was there for Yeah, it was there for a while. But whilst I was working there, I got approached by another company for a kind of designer role, which I was blown away by my kind of first Junior designer job as a creative designer working in the gifting industry. So I was designing you know, your app, your tags your bag, because it was amazing, you know, going to the shop and going oh my god, that's my design. You know, how exciting that I finally felt like, yeah, that I derived, you know, it was that feeling. And I can never explain that feeling really, somebody wanted to do your whole life as kind of just is there in front of your eyes. And I was there for about probably about five years, something like that. And I got I got made redundant, which I was absolutely devastated by. It's kind of like that feeling of, I don't know, as a designer, I was starting to feel a little, not very kind of highly thought of within industry really.

Claire Waite Brown:

So it didn't didn't quite sit in a really happy place. And you now work for yourself. You've mentioned being made redundant. That might be the answer to my next question. Was there a catalyst? Or what was the catalyst for that change to break out on your own?

Unknown:

Working as a creative in industry is about experience? You know, when I left University, I'm not as experienced as where I'm at now. And I think it's about getting out there and doing it, basically. Because, as usual, people go, oh, have you got a portfolio? Can I see the work that you've done, you know, you can't really do that if you're not out and about doing what you what you need to do. As a creative It is about being out there getting the experience. And I mean, that is a bridge to cross, you know, anyway, haven't been able to get out of university and get into industry. I mean, that is, that's difficult to be to be seen, right? To put yourself out there. And even when I started in industry, I may as well have worked for free, it was that horrific. And you've really, really got to stick to what it is that you really want to do. I think it just got to a point where this sounds a bit woowoo, doesn't it? I'm not that type of person at all. But it's almost like that feeling of feeling ready, like, Okay. And I think I know that this isn't the right word to use. But I almost had, like, had the MC taken out of me, really. That's how I felt. And when you kind of punch so many times, you're like, Alright, hang on, you can't do this to me anymore. I'm not going to put up with this anymore, I'm not going to come into industry, get another job and be treated like that again. And it was just almost like one of those things where something just had to give really, and I think something just clicked, it's very easy, isn't it just to go along with what, you know, you're in industry, you've

Claire Waite Brown:

got a boss, you like, best do what they tell me to do. Because, well,

Unknown:

if I don't, I might lose my job. Or they might think of me differently. You're not giving me that promotion, you know, and you're always watching you back all the time. Even against other people that I was working with, you know, I, I kind of found my team, I you know, I felt they were my family, creative people together. You know, you're you're a small part of a huge corporate cog. And I mean, I used to be very, very quiet when you know, like a mouse. And I think I've learned that I've got to stand up for myself, because if you don't, you can be trod on all over. And that's kind of a sad way to think but you do you kind of have to just build a bit of build a better strength. I had to get a bit of a backbone, if I'm honest. And yeah, it's just given me that kind of oomph to just Just do it. Really. Yeah.

Claire Waite Brown:

Brilliant, good for you. How did you know what you were going to do or what your business was going to be and how you are going to find your customers.

Unknown:

So um, obviously my background, I knew, you know, designing something that I absolutely love. My background is as a gift designer. But also, I did do a bit of branding, marketing as well. I grew my kind of typography design, my illustration designer, if you think about designing your wrap your bags, you tags, your cards you buy in shops, people hand draw those things, you know, when you're buying something, what a wrap of paper that costs you a pound, I mean, got a design, I would spend at least a week, sometimes backwards and forwards on those prints in industry and getting them right and you're buying them for that price. So my skills that I've brought forward from the illustration, along with branding and marketing, and it's those skills that I've learned I absolutely love that I know that I am really good at and it's something that it's different that I can offer business owners in your service based businesses to help them kind of stand out. Your personality is what makes you stand out because there's so many people out there that do what you You do, right? And it's how can you leverage yourself and your business to be different stand out and to be seen. And I definitely think bespoke design. illustration is definitely the way the way forward really in helping you create more impact in your business, especially in these times, you know, in the middle of growing out of the pandemic now, and, yeah, there's lots of people that have come out of this, doing their own thing, you know, running their own business or running alongside a full time job. And, yeah, the way the world is changing, I think we're buying into people for different reasons.

Claire Waite Brown:

Yes, definitely. I definitely agree. People want to see you as an individual and your individual style, rather than, you know, going to a website and getting a faceless person from across the world to do a logo for you, we can come to you, and you can do something that's about us.

Unknown:

You know, what a great way that we live. You know, throughout this pandemic, I certainly run my business online me how amazing if we didn't have that. I've been working with people in California, Ireland, South America, UK, and Wales where I am. So I mean, amazing. And now this is completely new time for me. Well, I've only ran a business in the middle of a pandemic. Like, you know, I've been told it's no different. But I mean, yeah, it's just new and exciting for me now. So yeah, I've got other new business sectors coming on board with me, which is really, really excited.

Claire Waite Brown:

I love sharing my guests stories with you. But podcasting isn't cheap. There are hosting fees and software costs, tech to buy and time to invest in planning and editing, to make sure the guests sound great. And listeners hear the best content. If you would like to financially support creativity found, please visit kayo hyphen, f fi.com. Slash creativity found podcast. Going back to what you were saying about industry and the cogs in the wheel of big industry, how are you back now balancing your business because you have to do all of that business side. And the design and obviously you love to do the design, but you still got to do you've got to get the customers? How are those two things balancing out for you?

Unknown:

Well, I think one thing that's quite difficult is coming from a corporate background because we're taught so many things. I don't think being a business owner now. I mean, this isn't my business isn't a corporate business, and my business is run completely differently. So getting out of that mindset, you know, we must do this now you must do this bro. Must be working hard. I'm not really I don't want to run my business like that my business is to kind of serve a purpose for my for my life, you know, create more freedom, enjoy my life, I want to be home with my dog, I want to be able to go take him for nice walks, I want to be able to go work when I visit my mom and go and work from her house. And I want to be able to travel and do things and have more time. Really, I think that's what it's about, isn't it now, by creating more time, more happiness. I mean, this is a business that I want to be running for the rest of my life. And I want to have this business that I don't really want to have time away from because I love it so much. And I think that's what it's about. And I do believe that really mindset is such a big thing. You know, cuz I'm, I mean, the house. I mean, like most people probably through this pandemic, you're in the house nine times out of 10 You're on your own running a business, you're keeping myself motivated. And yeah, keeping my mindset really kind of is key really. So yeah, now running my business, I will only take so many people on a month, just from my own kind of personal space really, which I think is really important. And yeah, just being grateful for what how I am where I'm at, you know, I just kind of discussed with you from when I was really little. Now I'm here running my own business. I mean, I'm my own boss, I'm telling myself what to do. And you do. I think you do have to be a motivated person. And remember, member every day, why are you doing what you're doing? Because if you don't, you're just gonna probably go on with someone else because it's because there are difficult days there. There can be I knows. I'm not gonna sit here and say it's all roses. Yeah, it's amazing. I mean, he is amazing. I love what I do. And you've got to love what you do in and I think that's the key to running a business. Don't you run it because you enjoy it do something that you enjoy, and something will come out of that. Don't think of it from the kind of the money side of things. Yes, of course. I'm running a business where I want to earn more money. I want to have a better life. But if you think of it from the wrong angle, then Gonna approach it wrong, and then you're gonna be working all the hours and you're not gonna be enjoying what you're doing. But um, yeah, if you come from it from a different angle, you're gonna enjoy what you're doing a lot more, I think.

Claire Waite Brown:

Yes. So it's very obvious that this change has affected your overall sense of well being. You have a good, it seems a good life balance. Would you agree?

Unknown:

Yeah, yeah. Yeah, definitely. And I think being a creative, I think we are the type of people that quite sensitive, very feeling people, you know, we think probably think too much into things. And yeah, being able to be you and do you and be loved for who you are as a creative as really important. Because being a creative person, I don't care what anyone says, being a creative person is so different to not be in a creative person, you know, we think differently. And you have to kind of protect that space. Really, I think. Yeah, just be yourself.

Claire Waite Brown:

Brilliant. That's excellent. Lauren. So how can people contact you?

Unknown:

So yeah, you can find my business now creative. And you can find it on my website. I'm also on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram. And I'm also on Google My Business as well. So if you type into Google, I come up there as well.

Claire Waite Brown:

Brilliant. Thank you so much, Laura. Thank you. Thanks for having me. I've had fun. You're welcome. If you are looking for a fresh new hand drawn logo to help create your brand identity, contact Lauren with the discount code creativity found 10 to receive a 10% discount on the Nell creative logo package.