Ruthie Hawkesford

Director & Creative, Uba Studio

After cycling in, a typical day in our Burrard Street studio is very varied. I lead a small team of designers so we’ll get together over a coffee to chat through projects or to brainstorm ideas. If we have a new client I might take a brand clarity session, or otherwise you’ll find me working on a creative concept and that might be sketching, on the iPad pro or Mac. I meet a lot of clients from day to day so there’s a lot of activity going on in our little studio!

What do you think are the three most important skills to succeed in your career area?
Anyone looking to get in to the creative industry really needs to have a lot of energy, enthusiasm and good communication skills
– as well as the talent and desire to envisage something beautiful.

Was this something you planned to do or did you change direction at any point in the past? If so, what was that and was it easy to do?
A love of illustration from an early age took me to art college where I fell in love with the beauty of the Apple Mac and typography… I was hooked and destined to be a graphic designer.

What do you love most about working in your career area?
Life at Üba is always diverse and creative! We are a very conceptual studio and challenge ourselves everyday to create something different; learn a new programme, try new paper stocks or printing technique. I love my job for the people we collaborate with and the clients we meet, as well as the challenges we are given!

Are there any negative aspects of working in your career area that people considering it should be aware of?
Working as a creative is a big commitment as you really are living and breathing your career everyday. Graphic design involves a lot of deadlines, so you really have to be flexible with your time and be willing to put in the extra hours to see a project fly. The reward is a successful client launch and a happy client – it’s a real buzz to see your work out in the public domain.

What training / qualifications did you undertake for your current role or are you currently undertaking?
Qualifications are important, but a good attitude and a polished portfolio are paramount. I went to art college and university and have both a BTEC and a BA (Hons) in Graphic Design & Illustration, plus I continue to learn programmes online and go on courses. Getting as much work experience as possible will make you more geared up and desirable to employ.

Is there any other information that would be of interest to someone thinking of this career?
Working in the creative industry is fun, as long as you don’t mind the odd late night or forever working out the best way to create the next big idea! You can meet very interesting people and work anywhere in the world. I speak with friends who don’t particularly like their job and I feel very fortunate to have chosen a path that makes me happy every day.