Read about Lulu’s
journey into design
When I was 10, I moved from my hometown, Chester, to Lanzarote. The whole experience of moving to a foreign country and starting over in a different language was a real challenge and, unfortunately, I was set up for failure. I didn’t really understand what was going on in school which resulted in me having to resit a couple of years and leaving at 16 with no qualifications. I found a passion for hairdressing, so I spent a year in college learning all about it whilst working in a hair salon as a junior. I was always a creative person; I always enjoyed arts and crafts and remember making clothes for my teddies with my mum when I was very young. As a teenager, I wanted to be a photographer so I spent weeks teaching myself how to use Photoshop.
I moved back to the UK on my own when I was 19 so I could build a future for myself. Unfortunately, without any GCSEs or A-Levels, I quite literally had to start from scratch. I went to college to get my English and Maths qualifications so I could go on to do a fashion retail course. One of the modules of this course was graphic design and it really sparked something in me as I had wanted to work in the creative industry since my early teens but didn’t really know it was an option. Whilst in college, I was working in retail and would often design promotional banners for the social accounts and online store.
When I was 23, I finally decided to go to university. It was a real struggle as nowhere would even consider taking me on without the right qualifications but, after meeting some of the lecturers at Glyndwr University, I was finally given the opportunity I needed. University was good fun but, as I had bills to pay, I worked a full-time job alongside studying. I certainly feel like I could have learnt a lot more than I did at uni but it really did give me the confidence I needed to take that first step into the industry. But saying that, a lot of what I learnt was self-taught so, if anyone is considering becoming a designer but doesn’t want to go down the uni path, don’t let this put you off. I know many self-taught designers who are doing incredibly well and have saved themselves thousands of pounds in student loans!
My first proper design job was at a publishing company as a Junior Designer. We designed coffee table books but there was no career progression within the company so, after being there for just over a year, my only option was to search for a position where I could really grow and push myself as a designer. I had my heart set on being part of a creative agency and I really couldn’t believe my luck when I was offered the position as a Junior Designer at Silver. I’ve had so many opportunities to really push my own boundaries and doing things I didn’t think I’d be capable of doing. I look back to when I first joined the team and the progress I’ve made since then is incredible. I have an amazing team around me who have been so supportive and I’m so grateful to have a job I genuinely adore. I was promoted to Midweight Designer at the beginning of 2023 and, although I’m still only at the beginning of my career, the journey has been so exciting so far and I cannot wait to see what the future holds for me.
I have ADHD which I think helps when it comes to creativity but makes picking up on smaller details and focussing on tasks a little challenging at times. I’m also mildly dyslexic so I’m pretty terrible with words, but luckily we have a great team here at Silver so there’s always someone to help me when I need it.
I’ve also always struggled terribly with imposter syndrome. It’s something we don’t talk about enough in the creative industry. When I was in uni, I was worried I wasn’t good enough or creative enough to be a designer. When I was a junior, I was worried I wasn’t good enough to be a designer. Now I’m a designer, I’m worried I’m not good enough to be a designer. Thinking about it, it’s quite ridiculous. I don’t know if it’s something I’ll ever get past and, admittedly, it does knock my confidence and holds me back a little. I put all of my achievements (in work and in life in general) down to pure luck but I need to learn to take a step back and realise just how hard I’ve worked to get to where I am today. 10 years ago I had nothing but a suitcase of clothes and enough money to pay my rent for a few months. Today I have an amazing and comfortable life, beautiful friends and the most fantastic career I could have ever hoped for.
Some tips from Lulu…
Embrace challenges as opportunities to grow.
Acknowledge your achievements.