Creative Access alum, Charlotte Gray, is a freelance creative designer who has worked both in the UK and internationally.
Where do you currently work and how did you get this role?
I recently became a freelance designer full-time which has been the goal for quite some time. I firstly found a remote contractor position online, and I will be conducting freelance design work from connections I have made throughout my career.
Tell us about your career journey so far.
Creative Access undoubtedly helped me get my start in the working world with an internship at creative opportunities platform Talenthouse. I worked there for a year, and gained so much knowledge during that time. Next, I got the chance to move abroad to the Netherlands and work in social media for an automotive brand. After two years cycling over there, I returned to London where I became creative designer for a leading financial services platform. Alongside these positions I conducted freelance work and commissions part-time under my moniker Creator of Things. Now, after three years at that position in London, I am going completely freelance and moving abroad!
How did Creative Access help you reach where you are today?
Without Creative Access I am certain my post graduate job search would have gone on a lot longer than it already had. I feel it was definitely a tough jobs crowd when I first graduated in 2014. Though in hindsight, it probably is for every graduate!
Creative Access not only helped me get my foot in the door of the creative industries, but also provided monthly masterclasses which presented the opportunity to learn and network with other creatives and individuals in my areas of interest. I have made close friends from these opportunities that I hold dear to this day. We have been with each other throughout our careers which has been an invaluable resource!
Alongside this, Creative Access have an incredible mentorship programme in which I was able to be both a mentor and mentee in 2021. Occupying both of these positions allowed me to learn from an incredible individual in my field, and also pay it forward to an up-and-coming designer. I can’t sing loudly enough of the benefits of Creative Access!
What advice would you give to someone starting out in your industry?
I would advise someone trying to start in the industry to have an idea of what they’re working towards at an early stage. The industry is so vast that I think it can be easy to get swept into a direction that might not be for you if you do not have a clear goal of what you are working towards. Looking at my career, I think if I had had the idea to go freelance sooner, I definitely could have focused myself more towards that career path and achieved it earlier. That said, I have grown from each position I’ve held, so it’s not to say that little detours in a career can’t also be beneficial.
What do you love about your role?
I love the variety that I get in my design role. Taking a blank canvas and exploring all the different ways in which I can fill it to fit a brief. I enjoy working independently and in a place and style of my choosing. There’s nothing like getting really into the zone of what I’m creating with my chosen soundtrack to accompany me. Dare I say, I even enjoy juggling the deadlines, and sometimes crazy time-frames that a piece of work needs to be turned around in. There’s never a dull moment that’s for sure!