Thinking, designing, mentoring and a sense of humour – Creative Director Ruthie Hawkesford describes her role at Us Creatives and gives us some insights into what a typical day looks like….
A love of illustration from an early age took me to art college where I fell in love with the beauty of the Apple Mac and typography… I was hooked and destined to be a graphic designer. With a BTEC and a Degree and a real passion for graphic design I started my career in London doing work experience at the best creative agencies I could and then working as an intern for an up and coming new media agency – now the world number one.
I gained lots of experience working with big and small creative teams on clients like Sainsbury’s and IBM which helped to develop my skills. However, I got tired of the big commute so decided to set up my own creative agency (with a colleague) instead!
We are fortunate to work in a beautiful studio full of plants and natural light (with lots of nice people!) so every work day is a joy even when we have tight deadlines.
De-caf coffee and a croissant are a must before 9am to get the day into gear. I also drink at least 1 litre of water a day to keep my brain fed. The start of the day involves a get together with the Studio Manager for WIP and catching up with designers reviewing work that has been created and making sure everyone knows their focus for the day ahead. Once the designers are briefed I get on with my own design projects.
“Anyone looking to get in to the creative industry really needs to have a lot of energy, enthusiasm and good communication skills – as well as the skill and desire to envisage something beautiful.”
There’s usually at least one client meeting every day, and as Creative Director I tend to be involved in a wide range of meetings and phone calls. This evolves into managing multiple projects and delegating tasks to the relevant team members with the Studio Manager. One of the favourite parts of my job are meeting with interesting people. We work with a wide range of clients, across different sectors and on projects of different sizes and I like the way that no two days are the same.
I like to get a clear run on my creative projects so I wear my noise cancelling headphones with some favourite tunes. To be interrupted would take me off my flow.
Typically a designer works long hours, I have done my spell of all-nighters and weekends. Therefore I try and be as efficient as possible with the time I have. Presently I am working half days until my son is in school. Sometimes I will pick up projects once he has gone to bed.
Anyone looking to get in to the creative industry really needs to have a lot of energy, enthusiasm and good communication skills – as well as the skill and desire to envisage something beautiful.
Ruthie Hawkesford, Creative Director and Founder of Us Creatives