First Hand — Bath School of Art and Design graduate Charlie Newhouse on his first 12 months out of uni
Welcome to First Hand, a series of articles chronicling creatives’ experiences of the working world. Here we meet Charlie Newhouse, who shares what he’s learnt in the past year since completing a BA at Bath School of Art and Design, from moving home to his first jobs.
I graduated from the Graphic Communication BA at Bath School of Art and Design in June of 2016. It’s been a really unexpected year, and in some ways a massive anticlimax; my expectations were nowhere near as accurate as I thought they would be. I was a little naive in thinking that everything would play out easily once you had a degree, but that’s really not the case.
Working Is a Mixed Bag
My experience has been seriously varied, from internships, freelance work and self-initiated work to a café job and even some painting and decorating – along with a little bit of travelling. Fortunately I live at home in London, but doing these extra bits of part time work really helps generally with trying to save and survive! Something I hadn’t expected is that all of the work I’ve done so far has been paid, and I’ve been super grateful for this.
Internships Need Time
I’ve interned at some great places (A Practice For Everyday Life and Stefi Orazi) but as they were short-term, I didn’t feel as though I got to have a real go at stuff or settle properly. In many ways that kept me on my toes, and allowed me to do some really interesting freelance projects. I’m currently doing a three-month internship at Studio Frith, so I’m really excited to be settled and working on some great things.
“I was a little naive in thinking that everything would play out easily once you had a degree, but that’s really not the case.”
Network Is Everything
The people I’ve met since leaving uni has been one of the most insightful bits of the past year. A single meeting can snowball and lead to talking to someone new. Through my tutor I’ve met some amazing people and studios, such as BAM, Wayne Daly, Mathias Clottu, Carter Studio, Represent and Fuel among others who have guided me and inspired me to keep going. They have all given me different bits of wisdom and an insight into what goes on in this world, which has been really refreshing. Social media has played quite a big role in meeting people too, whether that be people who have also just graduated, share similar interests or just admire each other’s work. I’ve found that platforms like Instagram give you a quick look into what someone can do, and make it easy to connect with someone on that level.
Take a Break
My advice is to just relax and enjoy yourself. I wish I took the time to enjoy what I was doing a little more – especially in my final year. I spent so much time stressing, that it ended up being time wasted. When you leave uni there’s this big hype of trying to get a job and wondering why you haven’t got one yet. But really, you just need to have a recovery period after it all. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with having a little break. If you’re passionate about what you do, that momentum will always be there. It’s so easy to get worked up and anxious about not having a job or something to look forward to. It’s a cliché, but if you work hard and trust your work, stuff will work out! I still have an unbelievable amount to learn, but I’m looking forward to doing so.
From internships to launching startups and everything in between, we’re looking to showcase a variety of experiences across the creative industries. So whether you’re a recent graduate or creative with a lesson learned or story to share from your first 12 months, get in touch at [email protected]