Name: Ashley Clarke
Job Title: Motion Designer and Illustrator
Social Handle: @ashleyjtclarke
Hey Ashley! Tell us a bit about your background...
I’m from a working-class background; lived in Wallasey most of my life, a small town outside Liverpool.
My hobbies changed weekly from boxing to chess growing up but then the one that stuck was art and I wasn’t always on the right track… making stupid decisions and surrounding myself with not always the best choice in friends but making art kept me focused and out of trouble.
What is it that you do?
I do Motion Design and Illustration.
What skills have you found are essential for your line of work?
So, I mostly I use Adobe Illustrator and Aftereffects but potentially you can use any program with the ability to animate.
The most important skill for me has been the ability to learn from watching others, I have been learning motion design from tutorials on Youtube and Vimeo (GreyScale gorilla mostly). I have gotten quite fast at it and this has been key to progressing.
We loved having you on our first course. What made you apply?
I heard about the course through Red Ninja, a Liverpool-based technology company. The course was recommended as a way of helping me find the right career path for myself, and once I found out about it I didn’t think twice before signing up.
What were 3 key things did you learn about yourself or the industry during your time on Catalyst?
Follow up emails and applications. There were countless stories about people chasing up a company about a job, to then find out that they where simply forgot about or their contact information was misplaced.
If you’re going to apply to a place, do something different. Stand out. We have all seen a CV by now, this a creative industry, therefore do something creative.
Also, it is not what you have done, its what you want to do… don’t obsess if you haven’t got experience in something. Just be honest and say you want to gain experience.
How would you describe your experience and what benefitted you the most?
It was really amazing to work with so many talented and motivated people from all different backgrounds.
I found it inspiring to be around those on the course and I made some really good friends, and the group projects were particularly fun.
Were there any significant moments for you on the programme… if so, what were they?
I had a friend Steve on the course, great attitude and a great way of thinking.
He interviewed for a coding position with no experience, other than what he had taught himself. He got the job, I asked him how and he did it and he said he just talked about what he wanted to achieve, not what he already had on his CV. I thought that was really inspiring and it really pushed me to chase my goals.
You mentioned that your work has changed since you graduated from Catalyst, could you tell us more about that?
I was doing a mix of design and illustration on the catalyst at the time and I really enjoyed what I was doing but wasn’t sure of the direction to go in.
Since then I have spent the past year doing motion design, this is a really good fit since I get to exercise my whole skill set and also learn animation.
What advice would you give to those who are thinking about applying?
Do it! Robyn alone is reason enough, but if you need more.
I would say it will really help bridge that gap between you and employers… it definitely opens your eyes to the opportunities that are out there in Liverpool and it’s really fun.
It’s also a great way to network with people in your field.
And finally, what’s on the horizon for you?
Right now, I am living in Berlin, unsure of how long I will be here but I’m learning so much… I think its the place for me at this time in my life. Everyone here seems to be creative, whether its music, art or writing.
So much inspiration all over the city, I hope to learn as much as possible whilst I’m here and work on my freelance projects.