Turn On, Tune In, Drop Out
I’ve always had an interest in computers and getting them to work for me rather than against. When I was 12 a friend at school gave me some advice on how to hack into a bank – needless to say the hack failed and I managed to fill my Dad’s PC with viruses and pornographic pop ups.
With my hacking days long behind me I discovered Adobe and found I was far better at manipulating and creating images. Mostly self taught with the help of some tutorials I only really fine tuned my skill when I got to college. Although I studied copywriting, graphic design played a major role across the board. It was also here that I was introduced to the wonderful world of web design! Having almost failed Afrikaans class in school, HTML & CSS was a language I picked up quite quickly.
Following my studies I tried my hand at Copywriting, interning at a social media agency and then marketing strategy giant Brand Union. Alas, It wasn’t for me.
Afrikaburn was a turning point, and after spending some time in the desert I returned to civilisation with a new skip in my step. I was introduced to Dane Spear, the founder of Brandability – now the biggest corporate gifting company in South Africa. Having moved on from his gifting platform he was now exploring application development and lead generation, and was looking for a versatile designer. Needless to say I jumped at the opportunity, lending a hand where I could and learning in the shadow of a maestro.
Working on so many different projects tested me in so many different ways. I had to adapt to situations way out of my comfort zone. Of course this is something every young professional says when starting out, but they’ve never worked with Dane Spear. I found myself learning about things you usually pay good money for; tricks of the trade, Online marketing, SEO, analytics, lead generation, the art of the deal and of course, web design and management. Although all of the above were very interesting and I feel I have a good understanding of it, I was very happy working in my design bubble and bouncing UX design ideas across the table whenever I could. I learnt a lot whilst working with Dane but web design was always the avenue I felt I wanted to go in depth with and really refine.
So here I am, a freelance web designer. With nothing but my trusty mac chasing down internet connections far and wide. In May I’m moving to the Netherlands to explore their pastures and fro there who knows. One thing is for certain, I will still be doing what I am doing and that is web design.