What was the scariest thing you had to do at the start of your career?

Designers tell us the most challenging things they had to do when they were starting out.

DK

‘Well apart from having to ask a large hairy lorry driver if I could stick a photocopied Benders logo on the side of his articulated lorry to check it for size, I think it was probably photographing from above – Busby Berkeley style – children lying on their backs pretending to do athletic things for the Woolworths Ladybird ”Spring” collection catalogue. Finding a studio tall enough (a converted church) and dealing with 20-odd kids (and mothers) was challenging!’

David Kimpton, creative director, Kimpton Creative

LH

‘Dodging snakes in the Borneo jungle. The most challenging thing I have ever done – never mind at the beginning of my career – was spending a week in the Borneo jungle surrounded by snakes. My phobia of snakes is so strong I can’t even look at a picture of one without panicking. To find myself in the middle of the jungle, recording flora and fauna for a large diorama MET Studio was producing, was truly terrifying! But, what doesn’t bite us makes us stronger…’

Lloyd Hicks, managing director, MET Studio Design

DNM

‘I was lucky enough to start my career at Lewis Moberly which had an amazing creative gene pool. As a junior, the biggest challenge was being as good as everyone else – when you’re surrounded by great talent, the idea of living up to those you admire can be very daunting. Often our greatest challenges evolve into fantastic opportunities; this particular experience allowed me to learn so much from the people who inspired me.’

Daniela Nunzi-Mihranian, creative director, JKR

CW

‘This will sound really boring but the most challenging thing for me was getting to grips with the money side of things. It’s something that they don’t really prepare you for at university or college, so when you land your first gig after graduating it can be quite difficult knowing what to charge per day or how to invoice etc.’

Chris Waggott, multidisciplinary designer

DA

‘I found getting enough sleep a major challenge when I got my first job in London. I was so thrilled at moving up from sleepy Somerset that I said yes to everything. If it wasn’t a late night at the studio, it was a late night in the city. Looking back, it was all equally enlightening.’

David Azurdia, partner,  Magpie Studio

Latest articles

Remembering Jon Daniel: 1966-2017

We look back on the life and work of the Design Week columnist, independent creative director and social activist “who helped put black participation on the political map”.