My professional experience began when I was still in university, and at the age of 20 I set up a design business with two other student colleagues.From August of 2000 to June of 2002 we dealt primarily with our patron client, Green Inc. Television Productions, making graphics and advertising material for digital T.V. programmes. In addition we worked with clubs and bars on promotional material, for indoor and outdoor use. I was responsible for many aspects of running the business, and not just providing inspiring work for clients. Self-promotion, studio management, client account managing, accounts and contractual agreements were all my charge. As a result this time immediately after graduating university proved very useful and formed a cornerstone of my professional design practice.As our business proved less to do with producing great work and more to do with the administration behind it, I decided to pursue other creative challenges. This exposure to the inner workings of a start up business at this early stage in my career was a bounty of worthwhile and useful life skills that I’ve since relied on time and again.The idea of working in a creative capacity in cities such as Tokyo inspired me to take action and develop the means to come out to Japan. To this end I applied to the Japan Exchange and Teaching Programme, a Japanese government scheme to introduce native English speakers into the national education system. The application process was a lengthy one and so I continued working in a freelance capacity.Later I was invited by two established designers to join in a new business venture in Belfast, Northern Ireland. As a graphic designer working for two partners the experience here was vastly different to that of my own first steps in business. Working without the worries of running the business was liberating but at the same time the pressure at this position was intense. I adjusted and quickly came to thrive under the constant scrutiny and watchful guidance of my two creative directors.Under the tight deadlines and high pressure of making a new business work I refined my own time-keeping and resource management skills to allow what I worked on to flourish. I was also often available to work late and put the effort in when required, as I was a valued and important member of the team with my own responsibilities at this stage, mostly in web and information design.In June 2004 I independently completed a comprehensive identity and web package for a bespoke financial firm in Dublin, Republic of Ireland, before moving to Japan, as a participant on the JET Programme.In Miyazaki, Kyushu, I taught English as an Assistant Language Teacher. For three years I worked in an entirely different industry, an entirely different country and in one of the most remote areas of Japan. However as a designer my primary function is to communicate fluently and this fuels my desire to learn. I was dedicated to acquiring the most basic and necessary tool, the language, during this period and by the time I completed my tenure I had achieved Level 2 in the JLPT. At times I had been asked to give seminars on how to learn Japanese to new JET participants.Spending up to three years learning Japanese in a secluded area of the country while at times was hard and often challenging, was one of the most enriching experiences I had ever encountered, and I learnt more about myself than Japan in many regards.I am now open to public speaking in international settings, working with children and adults alike with different conceptions and cultural influences, both in their language and my own. I am also adept at efficient and timely resource management and goal driven agendas.From August 2007 I came back to the creative industry as Team Leader for Nichiai KK’s creative department, Nichiai Creative. In this role got to see first hand the ways in which the Japanese industry worked and it was here that I was able to cut my teeth on the local creative circuit. I was recognized for my work, commitment and attention to detail both internally and externally, with clients and vendors alike, and was promoted to Creative Manager, at which point I began department-wide and company-wide improvement initiatives.
As Creative Manager/Art Director for Nichiai Creative I’ve been able to implement major structural changes to the way we operate. By allowing for more qualified and talented individuals to fill the ranks of our team our output has immediately improved. In the last number of months the company brand revision has seen the IT department move into more higher profile markets. and with the recently completed rebrand of the Creative department I provided much needed impact and increased exposure for us with a new website and portfolio. Please view the following link to see for yourself. (http://www.nichiai.com/creative/)