Who says that those teen years of mastering Photoshop were a waste of time? Not Heather Paxton — the next digital creative to take the reins of our #wheredidyoustart campaign. Read on to find out more about Heather, and how she’s taken her first steps into the digital industry, fresh out of uni.
I got into digital through my love of making holiday videos and Photoshopping in my teens! This led to me circling graphic and media subjects at school when those option papers came around, and then my degree followed. This combined all of my creative interests — graphics, motion, video, web and some 3D. From uni, these skills brought me to Leeds — a place where I feel there is a strong sense of digital, and great options in terms of agencies.
While at uni, I did all sorts of part-time and freelancing work, from editing, graphic assisting, social content creator (a definite favourite), creating HTML5 banners and more. These opportunities allowed me to meet and create my own network, which in turn helped me move between jobs.
Currently I work in Hebden Bridge at a small agency (an ideal option if you’re trying to learn as much as you can). I started here straight from uni, and I think the future for me is in graphic artwork and 2D motion design.
My advice to my younger self is to experiment, practice skills more, and don’t worry about being in competition. Lately I’ve found myself becoming more at peace with what I do. I strive for good work, but I know that I have to fail or support others first.
Digital is an evolving industry, and I see awesome and magical things all around me every day because of it. It’s a place for opportunity to help the world, and also make it attractive and functional.
In short, find what you love and do it. Time isn’t a problem, developing, both ideas and yourself, is the exciting part — take advantage of being a student while you can. This can only help you in terms of getting experience. Talent is important — but some things can be taught — if you are willing to learn.