I know as Brits we don’t celebrate Thanksgiving, but it seems as good an opportunity as any to send out some THANKS of my own.
I’ve been running my own business for several years now (after a career change brought on by redundancy from my job in commercial radio) and I still have to pinch myself today when I think about all i have achieved. Yes, I work hard, yes I’ve been savvy, but I could not have achieved what I have without the support and kindness of the people I’ve met along the way. The people named below have gone above and beyond in supporting and promoting my business in their respective worlds and in some cases, teaching me invaluable skills.
Thank you to each and every one of you.
Paul Bradshaw (Twitter)
When I left my radio gig in 2009, I immediately signed up as one of the first students at Birmingham City University‘s MA in Online Journalism. I was looking to shore up my online skills, social media, blogging etc and planned emerge the other end most likely “doing web stuff” for a radio station or newspaper.
Little did I know that I was about to be pulled into the world of data journalism – an area that would shape the job I do today.
Course leader Paul Bradshaw was (and still is) incredibly influential. Not only did he teach me some seriously handy skills and introduce me to a whole new area of journalism, he continues to recommend me for work today. Paul and I still work together today on data projects and the occasional training session. I must also give mention to the “Bradshaw Effect’ -when Paul retweets something of yours, you know about it!!!
Andy Mabbett (website)
￼It was Andy’s invitation to speak at Brewcamp back in 2000-and-something, that threw me headlong into the world of local government comms. I gave a brief talk about my infographics and data work, and was introduced to a handful of people who would go on to be some of my biggest clients and recommend my work to their colleagues. For the last few years local government has been one of my biggest client sectors.
Andy is always supportive and friendly, as continues to share my name throughout his network, leading to a host of new work even today. It is much appreciated!
Dan Slee and Darren Caveney (website)
Dan and Darren were two of my first clients during their time at Walsall Council. I met them at the Brewcamp event I mentioned above and immediately they approached me about some work. Both Dan and Darren have not only hired me directly, but they have pushed me in front of their significant networks and directly led to a massive amount of work.
Both Dan and Darren have been incredibly supportive, and I thank them no end of their ongoing kind words and mentions.
Pete Jackson (IEWM)
I enjoy working with Pete Jackson. His constant enthusiasm about the design work I do for IEWM is motivating and his willingness to experiment and tackle new approaches is wonderful for a designer. He’s one of life’s genuine ‘good guys’ and is always approaching me with new opportunities and ideas, which have allowed me to expand my skill set and explore new areas.
Lara Ratnaraja (Twitter)
Lara is one of those people who seems to know everyone. Incredibly well connected, and liked, Lara is a force to be reckoned with. Lara’s links with the arts /culture world, and invitations to speak at various events, has really helped me move into this area. Lara has celebrated my work and helped me forge some fantastic links in this sector. I’ve worked on several of Lara’s own projects,and her introduction to the guys at Sampad has led to a fruitful and ongoing relationship.
Which brings me to …
What can I say about Sampad? I’ve provided graphics for their annual reports for several years, but it was my work with them on the My Route project that I am the most proud. From my first conversation with Clayton Shaw, he was keen to bring me in to help develop an interactive touch table – and 2 years later, we did it!. As the largest piece of work I have ever worked on, and a totally new area for me, My Route was a dream project, and Sampad were a dream client. They were open minded, creative and willing to experiment with new technologies. Their enthusiasm for my work is always encouraging and the opportunities they have given me have been second to done.
I could go on – there are more people who have hired, praised, supported, recommended, celebrated and promoted my work. There are also people in my personal life (my smarter and weirder other-half Danny Smith and my family) who have been unerringly supportive along the way – I cannot thank you all enough.