Step 3: Backed by a strong team now able to focus on big branding concepts, communication strategies and gaining a deeper understanding of client needs. 3 years remote working from London gave me a chance to get a new perspective on creativity and now I'm back in Tokyo I can put that to use here alongside our growing team.
Step 2: More direct work with clients pitching for big global sites, and designing award winning apps. Focus on UI design and strong visual concepts. Designing Toyota’s global website in 2007 was a turning point. Learnt management skills and presenting to C-level audiences.
Step 1: Three years learning the ropes of the Tokyo design industry figuring out Japanese on the go. First designer to be employed. Lots of work through the big ad agencies, late nights, tight deadlines, confusion, cursing. Learnt a load.
My gateway to Japan — 18 months teaching English to Japanese students of all abilities from 5 – 85 yrs. Taught hundreds of people from all walks of life and learned a lot about communicating across languages and cultures.
First job after graduating. Interactive design for a startup e-learning company in York, U.K., founded by ex-IBMer Rob Arntsen. Mix of HTML and Flash-based design using Macromedia Dreamweaver/Fireworks/Flash (that was before Adobe monopolised design tools — ah, happy days).
AI is the hot topic at the moment, but what does it mean for designers? How is AI going to affect the way we work, and what new skills are we going to need to design it? I shared my research findings and also demoed thegrid.io, the long awaited tool that promises “no more reliance on web designers”.
In 2011 I gave in series of lectures at the Digital Communications Artist course at Digital Hollywood in Tokyo, introducing the students to design principles and approaches using case studies from around the world.
I joined Mark Dytham and Astrid Klein to kick off the first ever Pechakucha night in Tokyo way back in 2003, talking about UK based design group Superblue. Since then Pechakucha nights have spread to over 900 cities worldwide.
I came across Crossfit in London and had two great years finding out what my body could and should do - and it's not sit at a desk 12hrs a day. Learnt a lot about mobility, and beating fear in the face of heavy things. Also found out I'm good at climbing ropes.