How did I get here?

I left school in 1984 with a handful of average GCSE’s and, encouraged by my mum, was accepted at Doncaster Art College on their BTEC Graphic Design course. The rest, as they say, is history!

By 1987 I had met my future husband and also embarked on my Graphic Design career. Fortunately, working on the very early Apple Mac+ I garnered enough experience to secure a position at Apple Tree Print. There I met Bill Elsom, an experienced print manager and excellent mentor. By February 1991 we had launched First Class Design.

I loved my job. For 19 years we grew the business (I married in 1992 and subsequently had two children). Working with, and for, many fantastic people, we produced thousands of marketing projects. But all good things must come to an end, I suppose. The recession was tough, and by January 2010, Bill decided it was time to sell the business. (I am happy to report that FCD still exists, the chaps that took over the business are accomplished, hard-working creatives.)

So, 2010 was a tough year, both personally and professionally. But despite any misgivings or setbacks, I carried on. Working through two years of teaching qualifications (DTLLS) at Doncaster College, while lecturing, alongside my old Church View tutor, Dave Bower. It was challenging, and emotional at times, but inspired me to keep moving forward. I discussed our next steps with my friend Claire (and DTLLS cohort) and the possibility of doing a degree…

I was ridiculously excited… there was actually a chance I could go to University! At 45 years of age!! I did too… I worked really hard, loved learning new ideas, experiencing wider cultural understanding and pushing myself academically. The assignments I have completed, the education, the support, from new friends and old… have changed me (I hope, for the better!).

So, I decided to build this website, for posterity and because I am proud of my achievements. To be honest, if I can do this… Well, you get the picture! Or as the legendary Stiff Little Fingers would say… GO FOR IT!

Thank you for reading.
Sam x

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