Mike is a Creative Artworker and has been with the team for 3 years (he’s practically part of the furniture). Sitting in the creative team, we get a glimpse into his role and how he got to where he is today, along with which skills he’s developing at the minute. Read to the bottom to find out what really tickles the studio joker.
What do you do day-to-day?
Day to day I report to Matt (Head of Artwork) and work on a variety of projects, across many brands. It mainly involves working up creative and amending artwork, which usually requires changing, updating or retouching images and logos using Adobe Illustrator or Photoshop and as of late creating animated banners using Animate CC.
How did you get into the creative industry?
I had a love for art, comics, cartoons at the age of 15 but there wasn’t many jobs or courses that supported that career at the time but eventually, I went on to do a Graphic Design course. After that the rest was history! I have a strong background in print/production and reprographics and have designed covers for the likes of Sigma Press, Student Union handbooks, Pulp Magazine and more. I’ve also been freelance, working for agencies across the North West before getting to where I am today.
If you could give advice to somebody starting out in the industry, what would it be?
The industry is constantly changing so be mindful of shifts in software and focus on working in the field that you enjoy.
What professional skills are you currently developing at the minute and what’s your favourite part?
I’m developing my animation skills using Adobe After Effects and Animate CC. I enjoy it when the project I’ve been working on actually starts to come together and the end result is a smooth flowing animation that achieves what’s on the brief.
What’s your guilty pleasure?
Sweet and sour pork and half rice, half chips from Yummy House on a Friday lunch.
Name a trend that you hope makes a comeback.
BMX. Like it was in 1983.
What’s your go-to productivity trick?
When retouching a lot of images in Photoshop, I always set up the action button, making all my adjustments, resizes and saves in one setup, saving hours of time! Some people aren’t keen on using it or not confident using it.
What’s your favourite thing about working at STM?
The people and the fact that we can learn new skills.
What do you do to relax after a busy week?
Plan an activity with the kids on a Saturday morning and watch a movie or series catch up.
When was the last time you laughed so hard that you cried?
I went to watch my daughter play piano last year and some of the performances were so bad that it became impossible not to laugh and I actually started crying with pent up laughter. Michelle (my wife) made it worse. She started laughing at me laughing – I had to nip to the toilet to control myself. I have cried laughing at films since but not to that extent!
When you visit us in Manchester
We have free parking available on site (M4 6AX) but, spaces are limited. Day parking is also available on Goulden Street just round the corner.
When you visit us in Leeds
If you’re visiting us in Leeds we’re based at Mabgate Mills (LS9 7DZ) and there are plenty of parking options nearby.
Day parking is available nearby with free on street parking available for 4 hours on Cherry Row and reasonably priced parking on Macaulay Street and Mabgate via an app called ‘Park Mobile’.