An interview with our new designer Kayleigh, on 6 months working for Nicepond:

kayleighprofilepicDescribe yourself in 5 words?

Creative, outdoorsy, calm, wanderlusty, experience-seeking.

What is the most exciting brief you’ve worked on recently?

I was recently part of the team that worked on the design of a new range of packaging for stationary company Blue Acorn. I got to collaborate with artist Kate Morrison on the range, which ended up encompassing over 70 products, all carefully categorised using a minimal, colourful system of artworks and icons. I’m really proud of what we’ve achieved and can’t wait to see the products on shop shelves. One of our goals was to elevate the range so that it can be stocked in high end art supply stores, so if we can achieve that I will be pleased to say the least!

Describe your ideal day out in the Lake District?

After moving back to my hometown of Windermere from a particularly flat and arid part of Australia earlier this year I’m fully embracing the lush, mountainous scenery of the Lakes. I’ve taken up rock climbing, so my ideal day would consist of climbing with friends in one of the quarries like Tilberthwaite Gill near Coniston, followed by a swim in the river if it’s warm enough and a well earned meal and drink in one of the nice new eateries that have opened in Windermere.

What is your favourite aspect of our industry?

The fact that there is always something new to learn. I’m the sort of person that likes to be stimulated and challenged, and there’s no danger of stagnating in the creative industry as there are so many aspects to it and new avenues to explore.

Any advice for people interested in a career in design?

Don’t be nervous about pursuing a career in the creative industries. Some people can be discouraging when you say you want to study art and design; I remember wanting to go to college to study a diploma in design at 16, but ended up studying A levels instead as I had always done fairly well academically and my teachers really pushed me to stay on at school. In hindsight it was a bit of a waste of time for me, and I wish I’d had the confidence to really stand up for what I wanted to do.

What would your dream project consist of?

I would love to work with an outdoors brand; there would be plenty of inspiration here in the Lakes! Or packaging a craft beer brand. There is so much beautiful, inspiring work around at the moment in that area.

What originally made you want to become a designer? Describe the journey so far…

I always loved art growing up, and used to keep myself occupied on rainy days by drawing pictures to accompany little stories I’d written. I also remember coming up with ideas for clothing brands as a young teen, drawing out logos and t-shirt designs. It just grew from there really, with art being my favourite subject and me looking for ways that I could be creative for a living. I studied a foundation in art and design at Lancaster and Morecambe College, then went to the Arts University in Bournemouth to study Visual Communication. After graduation I moved back to the Lakes and worked for local skincare company Bath House as in-house graphic designer, which was a lovely brand to work for. 18 months later I decided I needed to see more of the world while I had chance, and left to travel South East Asia and Australia. I planned to be gone a year, but it ended being over four years before I moved back to England. Along the way I visited 12 countries, lived in lots of different places, and worked on various freelance design projects on the road. I stayed with family upon my return in January this year while I was figuring out where I wanted to live and work, and luckily for me Nicepond were hiring. It was the ideal scenario, getting to live and work on exciting design briefs in my hometown, which I have absolutely fallen in love with again. It’s been fantastic working for Nicepond in a studio full of creatives, being able to collaborate with and get advice from a wealth of industry talent and experience.

What are you passionate about besides your work?

Lots of things! I’m great at starting new hobbies, not so much at mastering them. Creativity-wise I enjoy drawing, painting, mosaic and crafts. I love anything to do with being outdoors; walking in the fells, rock climbing, camping. Whilst living in Australia I got in to a type of circus skills known as flow arts; which include hoop dance and fire poi. Travel is my biggest passion in life, I intend to experience as much of the world as I possibly can. And dancing (badly) to live music is definitely something I try to do as often as possible.

What are your career goals?

At the moment my goal is just to broaden my experience as much as possible so I can work on as many different kinds of design project as I can. Living and working as a full-time designer in the Lake District is a bit of a dream really… sometimes it takes going away to appreciate where you come from. I’m looking forward to studying photography part-time later this year, and being able to take advantage of the top of the range photography studios and equipment here at Nicepond. I’d also like to expand more in to web design in the future, as the breadth of my experience so far is print based, but I’ve really enjoyed the bits of web design work I’ve done in the past.