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Monday, 13 May 2019

Alumni - Neil Whitehead

Neil graduated back in 1999, we saw some of his recent work in Instagram and asked if he’d send us a piece about his creative journey.





‘My background’ piece on my website really shows the detail of my creative journey. I found employment in the graphic design route after graduation. A year or so after graduation I secured a junior designer role in a central London software company working on designing the first wave of
e-commerce websites, creating corporate literature, web banners and some motion graphics. I was promoted to senior designer and worked actively with a team of developers on projects across London. Leaving through redundancy I travelled the world with my camera (still old school film cartridges!). My return to the UK saw me working as a freelance designer. Having to promote myself was the big step up and my first journey into the world of creative design & marketing.



My freelance projects were hugely diverse. I spent time in a range of design agencies across London working on store merchandising graphics, technical illustrations for store displays. I hand coded a range of websites and began to grasp the world of digital marketing through the early stages of Google's dominance.

2019 sees me working in a creative marketing role, full-time. Illustration and art has stayed a driving passion and pushed me through the years - I have a drawer full of sketchbooks that are priceless to me. My visual diary for the last 20 years. Watching my 2 kids open their paint set inspired to paint, having flicked through my sketchbook is a hugely warming feeling.



I have recently taken the plunge to sell my own illustrative work which has completely changed my daily life! A recent blog of mine discusses the feeling in more detail. I now sell a range online and in local shops.
The biggest shift for me was the sudden way I felt I had found my ‘style’. The element every student craves which develops for some in 3 years has taken me 20.
I paint nearly every night, I sketch whenever I travel with my job. I meet sketchers from the Urban Sketchers UK networks


Being truly creative with commercial awareness is a rare skill that drives today's successful modern marketing and business. As online marketing, social media and ecommerce fight for space in a saturated market place, the winning campaigns are being driven by the creative mind who can make 1+1=3 and jumpstart a concept far beyond the limits of 'template' thinking.

Links:

https://www.neilwhitehead.co.uk/

https://www.facebook.com/neilwhiteheadArtist/

https://www.instagram.com/ennkaydraw/ (illustration)

https://www.instagram.com/neilkwhitehead/ (Photography)