Whether you have seen my work through social media or taken my Skillshare classes, you might be curious about how I actually built my creative career. No, it did not just happen overnight, but has spanned 25 years, taking may forms throughout. From an early age I struggled with traditional forms of education. At the age of 5, I immigrated from Burma (now Myanamar) to the UK. In today's English school system, I would have been class as having 'special educational needs' because my English reading, as well as writing and comprehension were poor well into secondary school. Although I was interested in leaning, I was never a confident student.
It was a sheer luck I had two immensely supportive and wise history teachers. They could see that I loved the subject and was very enthusiastic (I'm still a huge Tudor and 16th Century geek to this day) yet my grades did not reflect this at all. I can still remember their quiet gritty determination as they coached me through those two tough years. I still have a copy of my history certificate pasted to the inside of my kitchen cupboard as a reminder that my hard work and determination really does pay off.
Reconnecting With My Mentors
A few weeks ago I attended D&AD New Blood design graduate show where I bumped into my former advertising lecturer. I had originally started a degree in Advertising and Design and Bruce ( pictured above with me) was my first year tutor who taught everything from typography, art direction, copywriting and graphics. Bruce told me he knew from the first project I completed, which was a 3D pop up book of Hitchcock films, of the potential I had to succeed. Through this encounter I was able to thank him personally for the early encouragement and support I received from him.
Last month I was fortunate enough to meet up with another mentor who very shaped my early career. I had not seen Heather for 16 years since I worked as an in-house designer at TigerPrint, which is now Hallmark ( Heather and myself at New Designers, London) I always felt Heather was very trusting of my abilities to handle tight deadlines and artwork for Marks and Spencer cards, given I was a new graduate when I started in her Events Department. To this day I am thankful for the opportunities she presented mer and the experience and rewards that was offered.
Playing it Forward With Skillshare
Now that I am teacher, it feels like I've come full circle. Although I will always be a student, I am now in a position to give back. I can see a common thread that runs through all my teachers and mentors. They were very patient and encouraged to to reach further as they beloved in my capabilities. They were able to see past where I may have been at the time, to a future where I was highly creative and using my skills to carve out a good living. I'd really like to think I am supportive and trusting that all my students on my various courses can and be better in all their endeavours. It hasn't been a smooth p by any stretch of the imagination, but being able to put forward and share some of the skills and knowledge I've learnt has been hugely rewarding .