This week's guest is Katie Jones, a graphic designer from Manchester. We met Katie at the Manchester School of Art, where she is currently an associate lecturer. It's a role she adores, as she spends a lot of time doing something she loves while helping the next generation of designers. She enjoys it so much that in 2019, she scooped an MMU Teaching Award for 'Outstanding Feedback', the first teaching award the Art School has ever won.
The School is where Katie studied her own art foundation and a degree in Graphic Design. During her course, she looked around at the other students and teachers and found a calling to create a magazine called Fresh – one that would shine a spotlight on diverse creatives. It's a side project that has since opened many doors, built skills and confidence, and introduced Katie to the wider creative industry.
In fact, Fresh made Katie realise just how important it is to build her own community. And so, she's since become part of SLAN Collective, a global network of artists and designers who all support one another. She's also become one of the people behind Ladies, Wine & Design in Manchester – the networking group for women. Aside from these valuable hustles, Katie also runs a vegan food truck with her family.
In this episode, we talk about the values and life lessons Katie inherited from her parents and two brothers. It's the way she holds herself, not conforming to any gender roles and why she has the strength and courage to pave her way – despite having that conversation with her mother, the one some of you know only too well.
We also hear about side projects and why they can be so fruitful. About rebellion and artistic freedom. Of listening to your gut and not being afraid to change or quit something if it isn't working. Katie also shares why she will not accept the status quo and doesn't want to be pigeonholed into one field or merely picked out for the colour of her skin. It's a warm and honest conversation with someone who reminds us to count our blessings and counter these difficult times through the currency of kindness.