Creative Futures, Glyndwr University 2013


*** What an amazing day! ***

The first day of Creative Futures proved to be a worth while event for me,

and so I looked forward to discover what the rest of the week had in store.


Stuart Cunningham, Head of Creative Industries at Glyndwr University, opened up the start of the day by explaining the weeks events and why they are so important to students who will at some point leave the University and enter the big, wide world. Stuart discussed the importance of making yourself employable when you leave and gave a brief insight of what you might expect for your future as Artists and Designers. I found his talk very useful for the fact that as I study from day to day I sometimes forget, that some point I will no longer be studying and so planning for the future now is an important point to think about. He also touched upon other key points such as setting yourself out from the crown, be unique so to speak and don’t just aim for one skill as we are in a recession opportunities will be made more available if we apply yourself in many skilled areas.


Sarah Mair Gates followed Stuart, introducing herself as Manager of Creative and Cultural skills, Wales. Creative & Cultural Skills works with partners across Wales to support the sector with skills and training.

Creative & Cultural Skills is the licensed Sector Skills Council for the UK’s creative and cultural industries, including craft, cultural heritage, design, literature, music, performing arts and visual arts.

Founded in 2004, they were granted a new license from Government to operate in January 2010. Their goal is to enable the creative and cultural industries to reach their economic potential through relevant skills and training, working in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales and with international partners.

They deliver through the National Skills Academy for Creative & Cultural, a network of education and industry partners working together to improve the provision of skills and training for the creative and cultural industries.

Their work includes:

  • Supporting the creative sector to take on apprentices through our Creative Apprenticeships programme
  • Providing information, advice and guidance for creative careers through our Creative Choices programme
  • Providing research and analysis in to the skills needs of the industry through our Creative Blueprint programme
  • Supporting the creative sector to set the standards for high-quality work in the industry through our Professional Standards programme

It is refreshing to know that support is out therefor fellow artists and I find comfort in knowing that when students, such as myself, finish their studies, there is still support and guidance available.


Professor Paul Haywood


Paul Haywood is recognized nationally and internationally as a leading figure within the field of fine art in the area of community engagement, and the practice of fine art within a social context for the greater benefit of communities, as well as individuals. His internationally influential bodies of work relating to the development of community identity (RedGeneration, Guns to Goods and Salford Reds) have redefined a best practice of self-determined community engagement. He has successfully secured funding in an extremely competitive field from the EU, Arts Council, HEFCE and AHRC and the renowned partnership brokered by Paul between the Greater Manchester Police and the charity CARISMA is the innovative, multi-disciplinary example cited as a model partnership that extends beyond narrow definitions of practice and discipline, addressing systemic and entrenched exponential disadvantage within a creative partnership framework.

Before I sat in the room where Professor Paul Haywood spoke, my future with Art and Design, if I am honest was very limited. I had pictures in my mind of small projects that I would like to attempt at no particular time in my life, but that has changed. My whole mindset is facing a completely different perspective outlook on art and design and what I may get from it or more importantly, what I could give to other people by using it. I found Prof. Haywood a truly inspiring peer who made a whole lecture theater laugh while making crucial points regarding Art and Design.

I find it fascinating how he uses his education and talents to help communities at desperate times, rather than illustrating a pretty picture to sell, he is placing his qualities into the lives of others to improve their quality of life. Why should we use our skills to make money? why shouldn’t we apply those skills to people who need it? Our communities, it would be like putting something back into society. It is definitely a point worth thinking about.

For more interesting projects click the following links:

Robert Ball

Rob joined The Partners in 2000 and became Creative Director in 2009.

He has a passion for words and is a gifted copywriter, working with many of our clients on communications and advertising campaigns. These include writing for The National Gallery, Deloitte and the Post Office. This talent earned him a judging spot at the Writing for Design Awards at D&AD. He is also an exceptional illustrator and spends the majority of his spare time drawing.

Rob’s work has been widely awarded including Golds at both D&AD and the New York Art Directors Club for branding and campaign work for The National Gallery and The Grand Tour.

I found Robert’s work inspiring and fun, mostly the idea he used to promote The National Gallery, London. If he couldn’t get the public into the Gallery? Yes, I think you know where I am going with this one, he took the work from the gallery and placed it on to the streets of London for the public to see!! I really admire the way he has thought outside of the box and not only used his creativity in a practical way but also portrayed brilliant creative thinking strategies.

The above painting is actually placed outside an adult shop, but as Robert pointed out, you can’t be to choosy as to where very big paintings can hang around London town!

Find out more about Robert on Twitter!

Yasia Williams-Leedham, Octopus Publishing

Based in London, Yasia is the deputy Art Director at Octopus Publishing. From the moment Yasia began to speak I felt that she was somebody who is passionate about her work, she was very enthusiastic and I had the impression that she could have talked for hours, she knows her job inside out so to speak and i thoroughly enjoyed listening to life withing the publishing industry. I felt some what inspired by Yasia, as she told her story of how she started out, to sum things up, she knew what she wanted and headed straight for it by making direct contact with who she wished to work with. Not only is she very aware of the industry but she also keeps track of the competition and therfor is able to create fresh, new and unique ideas as the technical world merges with books and publishing, for example ebooks and scanable barcodes that we all often use these days on our smart phones.

Yasia brought along with her some recently published books and the one that stood out the most to me was ‘The Vintage Tea Party‘. It was the cover that I found the most interesting, The windows are actually cut out showing some illustrations but when you open the cover, the small illustrations are part of one illustration. Something unique like that is very eye catching and so is a great idea for a book cover.

Andy Gardner HMRC

Andy Gardner described himself as an expert within his field of work and also someone who is keen to provide the necessary help to students who plan on developing their own business’ in the future. B.E.S.T is the department that Andy specializes in which stands for Business, education, support, team. I found this lecture very educational and I am now more aware of the different types of business ownership available and even as Andy pointed out, HMRC can seem very boring but is a vital step that business owners should be aware of. He also gave descriptions explaining key points such as Tax and National Insurance, and details on where to get the help when required. If the HMRC is not something you have knowledge of I do recommend you make contact with Andy Gardner on the details below or make use of the website where lots of help is available.



MOB: 07713883239

HMRC Webinars


Although I am studying illustration, I do apply myself to a wide range of Art and Design so when I come to learn that Tim Makin was due to appear for one of the lectures held at Creative Futures for Glyndwr, I was excited to learn briefly about ‘design for mobiles & selling Apps.’

Tim studied at Deeside College, From there he went on to Glyndwr University at Wrexham and also applied himself as

It would have been impossible for Tim to explain everything in just one hour but I think he made a good coverage on what time he had, specifying relevant key points to portray an insight of the Apps that we all know of today. I had been expecting something like this to be relatively difficult to produce and yet surprised by the process that can be achieved just in Photoshop.

Wink Nudge is where most of the work happens for Tim, co-founder of the mobile web development agency in Manchester. Wink Nudge provides design, build and support services for web and native mobile apps on all major platforms. Including Apple’s iOS, Android, Blackberry and Microsofts Windows. Mobile.

Further more, Tim offered some valuable key points to remember when designing for the public, such as considering the needs of the user(s), taking into consideration how they want the apps to work and what works best for them, making yourself aware of the market and trying them out for yourself.

Tim Makin can be found in the following places:




Daydream Designs provide bespoke solutions…
“we can undertake your project from concept to completion or simply one aspect! First and foremost, we are a local company so we pride ourselves on being there when you need is for whatever you need us for! All at the right price!!”

The list of what Daydream Designs actually covers is endless but some of their specialties are:

branding development
print work
signage & wayfaring
graphic interiors

cms websites
ecommerce websites
search engine optimisation
email marketing

and so much more…….

Sian Saunders, Holywell, delivered her lecture accordingly with great insight to the design world giving lots of inspirational tips and a brief encounter of how she made it as a designer.

One particualer website that Sian described she had worked on was for Real Ale Trail, can be viewed on the following link:

What facinates me about the site is there is a glass of beer on the main page and as you scroll down, the beer moves down the glass as though it has been drank bit by bit. I thought it was quite a unique idea, fun and interesting and would like to see more sites like that with some kind of interaction.

I think Daydream Designs have the right idea by offering multiple services within the design spectrum. For a business, being able to offer a multitude of design ideas and possibilities will boost the work load and open doors to many more opportunities.


Day Dream Designs can be found in the following places:






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