BA Design students at the Grimsby School of Art recently welcomed Rebecca Shipham, a Freelance Designer based in Hull, who was named as the Freelancer of the Year by the Association of Independent Professional and the Self Employed (IPSE), to talk to them about her career and her working life as a Freelance Designer.
IPSE founded a competition to find fifteen of the best freelancers in the UK. From the hundreds of entries Rebecca was named as the Freelancer of the Year in London and was even invited to meet Prime Minister, David Cameron MP.
Rebecca was working as a Designer in London when she was made redundant five years ago and decided to return to her roots in Hull and set up on her own. Her company, Ships & Pigs, specialises in the design for exhibitions and events and works on global projects.
Rebecca said: “It was amazing. I had to go up and collect the award while still wondering if it had really just happened. Everyone that entered was a really strong candidate, and they were all equal in my mind, so to be crowned the winner was just an honour. I was delighted.
“I’ve been talking to the students about design in the real world and about working as a Freelancer. I’ve also shown them an example project so they can see how a professional freelancer works in industry. I’ve been giving tips on visualising skills and then I pitched to them as if it were an actual client pitch, so they could get some presentation tips to take on top their own projects. Rebecca then went on to explain her top tip for anyone considering a career in Freelance Design, Rebecca continued:
“Simply get as many contacts as possible – It’s important to find someone with more experience to guide you through the initial learning process of how to design in industry. So find a mentor or friend who can give you advice. I will always be available to help students if they want to contact me for advice in any way.
“The first and third year students have been presenting their projects to me today. It’s been really diverse and the quality has been just been great. There is a really good range of talent here.”