The standing desk if you’re ever doing this kind of job, look I’ve got like a crank, it takes a good 20 minutes of winding but it goes all the way up so you can stand up and work at it, it’s absolutely brilliant, its changed my life.
I mean I’ve realised I’m just going off on one now, but no one ever listens to me so it’s quite exciting.
How long have you worked in Bristol?
“Ahh, about two years and I worked at home for a little bit to start with when I first went free-lance, at first I thought it would be really good, you know getting up late, not getting dressed and just sit about, but it just meant I couldn’t get anything done, felt really like, unproductive and was just stuck inside on my own, so there’s quite a waiting list to get a place in here but I knew a friend so you get in, but it’s been way better since I’ve had an office to come too because it’s like a different mind space, a different head space you know? Right I’m here right I’m doing work, yeah it’s been good.”
“So I studied computer animation is Bournemouth, which was really cool, that was kind of like what I always wanted to do and I’ve always liked the combination between creative and technical stuff so, on the course we would do computer programming in the morning and then like life drawing in the afternoon which was my kind of thing, then I went and worked in London for a couple of years in the film industry in visual effects which was really cool, and got to go on set with loads of films like Skyfall and Le Mis and Thor and stuff like that which was pretty fun, and got to like bump into too Daniel Craig and stuff and I was like erg and he was like hey, which wasn’t very suave, and just do fun stuff like that which was kind of exciting because I was in the photography like camera department. So, I did that for a couple of years and then came back to Bristol which is where I am from originally, as much as I like visual effects, it’s not something I could see much of a future in because it was very London based. So I came back to Bristol and was then working at Bath College for a couple of years which is where in my spare time I started picking up more freelance stuff and started doing more web stuff and a few logos you know like bits for mates to start with and stuff and then you think I’m alright at this and you keep going you know and then I went part time freelance to start with which was really useful because it meant I could do two or three days in college and couple of days freelancing a week that was kind of good, and then once work picked up enough went full time freelance probably about two years ago.”
What’s it like working in Hamilton House?
It’s got a really good community atmosphere especially here in this building, so its ran by an organisation called Co-Exist who have always tried to run the building as a community and liked that we are kind of like shared tenants of this space, and they try and help out freelancers and that kind of stuff and rents really cheap so you can do it if you’re like a painter or something like that that just needs the space, like when I first started going self-employed was kind of a bit terrifying but soon as you meet other people your like, ah this is okay, this is a life style that people can kind of follow you know?
What is your typical design process?
“Yeah so the logo development when I do that, which I do a bit of now and then, so usually I asked lots of questions like about the organisation, I try and put some fun ones in like if your company was a celebrity who would they be and stuff like that, because I worked with a luxury handbag start up and straight away they were like Rhianna and it’s like okay well I’ve got an idea of the sort of style and sort of visual thing you’re looking for because straight away your answer is Rhianna, but like if somebody says like the XX that’s a very different kind of idea, then I go away and usually put away a few different ideas and these can be like really loose sketches or throw together some stuff get some inspiration from the internet and then go back to them as early as I can with like an array of ideas and try to talk them through with them to see which ones they like to pursue, once they find one they prefer we start going ahead with that a little bit and then like over time you kind of get to the final thing. Website design is quite a bit of a larger thing as you can imagine because most of that is getting what functionalities they want on the side and also getting some of the content they want on the side because the content is going to make a difference to the design so trying to get content of people as soon as possible is good, and terms of usually like the process I normally tend to work on the home page first because that usually defines a visual style, because If you go back to the home page and say okay this is what a button is going to look like, this is what a blog thumbnail is going to look like, this is what an X Y and Z is going to look like, they can visualise that on a homepage and once you’ve confirmed that you can go away and appeal that style to all the different pages knowing you’ve got a kind of agreed look and feel, again it’s just useful to get that kind of direction nailed down before you go off and create 20 other pages because if you do that, first of all if they don’t like where you’re going with it it’s a waste of time, but yeah then just basically improve on them but getting that homepage pinned down works well for me anyway, you know?”
Simeon Rowsell is a freelance web designer from Bristol. He has a studio at Hamilton House where he works.
‘While having enough in the bank is required for me to eat good food and keep my Netflix subscription active, money isn’t my sole purpose or my aim. I’ll always be fair, open and honest with you for the good of your day-to-day: and mine too.’
He prides him self on working ethically and environmentally friendly wherever possible. Simeon is always on the lookout for new and improved ways to make sure his business has as minimal an impact on the environment as possible.
Simeon believes the arts are crucial. He is a regular at gigs, theatres and cinemas which allows him to draw inspiration from an array of creative arts and seeking out the new and alternative of these enables him, to tackle projects with fresh ideas.