Natalie Howard, Creative Manager
Natalie Howard took on a job just to earn some money, but when it gave her the chance to get involved with graphic design and marketing she realised she wanted to take her career in this direction. A few years later she became the Creative Manager for clothing brand Joseph Turner.
I was born in Liverpool but now I live in York and work in Thirsk at menswear brand Joseph Turner.
What job do you do?
What qualifications do you have?
Foundation Diploma in Art & Design from University of the West of England
BA Photography from Nottingham Trent University
How did you become a Creative Manager?
After travelling for a year, I took a job at an ecommerce fragrance company photographing products for their website and doing some data entry. Despite taking the job to earn some money while I decided what I wanted to do, my role quickly developed into graphic designer and marketing executive. I really enjoyed this as it covered the process from the initial marketing ideas, through art working, to recording the impact of campaigns on consumer behaviour.
My next move was to a designer menswear retailer as the in-house graphic designer where I continued to be involved on the marketing side and added to my skills with garment styling, basic email coding and copy writing for fashion. I left to relocate to York where I found my current role of creative manager at Joseph Turner.
What do you do for your job?
My current role involves creating and maintaining a strong brand identity by managing the creative output for menswear brand Joseph Turner. My role falls into three areas; managing location and studio photoshoots, catalogue production, and graphic design.
What is the best thing about your job?
The best thing about my job is the variety. A typical day could be art directing and styling photography in the studio. Another week it could be planning the next photoshoot, location finding, designing campaigns and advertising or visiting the printers to sign off copies on the press.
And the worst thing?
Staying up through the night on press pass and working around British weather on location shoots.
How can I become a Creative Manager?
Try and get some work experience early on in an agency as this will give you a strong understanding of what’s involved on a variety of shoots and help you decide what you want to specialise in, photography, styling, art direction etc. Always gather images that inspire you and can inform your work.
A qualification in a creative subject definitely helped me but it’s not essential as being self-taught with a good portfolio can work just as well. I think the best thing you can do is get as much industry experience as possible, I wish I had done more myself.