MINSU meets... Liam Jackson 018
Where are you from and when did you start working in the creative industries?
I’m originally from Southport in Merseyside and now based down south just outside of London in Epsom, Surrey. After graduating from university in 2012 with a graphic design degree I did an internship at the advertising agency M&C Saatchi. Since then I’ve worked in-house and agency roles and took the leap to freelancing full-time mid 2017.
What projects are you currently working on?
As a freelancer I’m lucky to work on a mix of projects for a variety of clients and sectors. I’m currently working on branding and cover art for a new German record label, print, video and web promotions for a club promotion team in Melbourne, a website for a land surveying company and have recently been brought in ad-hoc by various design agencies to help on branding, print and web projects for their clients.
What is the creative scene like where you are?
It’s up and down really - the University for the Creative Arts is round the corner from where I live so there are lots of creatives in the area but most move away after graduating. We’re lucky to be 30/40 minutes away from London though so the best exhibitions, talks, gigs and networking events are only a train ride away.
What would you say have been your career highlights so far?
I’m lucky to have a few so far:
During my degree we had a work experience module - at the time I didn't want to settle for any old place and pushed to work somewhere great. One of my main targets was to design for Fabric the nightclub and record label. I’ve always been a fan of their amazing posters and cd covers, plus they’re well respected within the music and design scene for their artwork. I’d dreamt of working for them since I was in college where I’d use their work as research and inspiration in my sketchbooks. It was like a dream come true when I heard the news that they’d take me on, the experience I had was great and really enjoyed my time there. I was able to learn a lot working with Roberto Rosolin their art director and designer who’s still one of my favourite designers to this day.
After leaving university I was very hopeful of getting a job straight away but as the days turned to weeks and months you start to realise it might be harder than you’d imagined especially in London with there being such big competition. Then suddenly one day after months of searching and applying I came across an advert for an internship at M&C Saatchi, which is an international advertising agency formed in 1995 by the brothers Maurice Saatchi and Charles Saatchi and another place I’d dreamt about working at. I was told that I’d been picked from over 200 applicants to do the internship and was so excited when they told me the news. The experience there was awesome and I was able to help work on pitches for the likes of Peroni, NatWest, Vertu, Morrisons and more as well as meet lots of cool outside creatives and agencies.
Since those early days another highlight has been working on projects for national and international brands such as Canon, Sainsbury’s, Tu Clothing, as well as those mentioned above and more along with seeing campaigns you’ve worked on in newspapers and magazines, on the side of double decker buses and at train stations, is such a great feeling when you walk on to a platform or see a bus passing by on a busy street with your work on it!
We are all about collaboration - do you think this is an important part of creating and if so then how has it changed the way you work?
Yes, you can learn so much this way. I’ve always said two (or more) brains are better than one and have tried to push collaboration in the places I’ve worked. Now that I’m freelance it’s obviously harder to do so but sometimes get the chance to collaborate with other creatives which is always nice. In terms of how it’s changed the way I work, I now have a decent process in place that helps me collaborate with clients to achieve their goals and needs of their business.
Who was/is your main influence?
My Dad's a retired graphic designer, he has inspired and influenced me a lot, especially when growing up. He would always push me (in a good way) to be creative and to better my skills whether it be drawing or making things. Now that I’m freelance and running my own business he’s my go to guy for advice and guidance so definitely a big influence on me and my career.
3 creators we should be checking out?
Ian Paget - is a great designer with an inspirational story. He has built up a big following and community on social media via his ‘Logo Geek’ brand which is definitely worth checking out for anyone interested in discussing and learning logo design or design in general, he also produces one of my favourite podcasts.
Chris Do - has a wealth of knowledge within design & the business of design and shares awesome content through his brand ‘The Futur’. Chris and The Futur team are shaking up design education and helping creatives grow their businesses through their expertise and guidance. I recommend any designer looking to learn, develop and gain confidence to check out their content as they can certainly help up your game.
Michael Beirut - is famous within the design world and is a partner of one of my favourite design agencies ‘Pentagram’. He creates intelligent design with great thinking and consideration behind everything he does. His projects at Pentagram include identity and branding for Benetton, the New York Jets, Walt Disney, MIT Media Lab, design work on Billboard magazine and more, he’s definitely someone I aspire to be like.
Further comments …
You can check out a small selection of my work and follow me at:
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