We spoke on 31st August 2021
Hey Sarah, first of all, how are you?
If I’m honest, I’m currently quite hectic and all over the place! I’ve been super busy the past month, I’ve probably not had enough time to actually think about how I am – which I think everybody should be doing given the situation of the past year. But in all honestly, I’ve got a lot of good things going for me at the moment so I’m certainly feeling very fortunate.
Give us five fun facts about yourself!
1. I have a collection (growing and probably never-ending) of ceramic pots. They range from pots made by ceramicists in Derbyshire to my Malaysian teapot. My shelves can’t take much more!
2. I do a sport called CrossFit which involves a mixture of Olympic weight lifting and cardio-based workouts that incorporate everyday movements into them such as lifting, pulling, pushing etc – it really brings out my competitive side!!!
3. My surname is certainly a fun fact, and quite strange, it gets a lot of recognition and questions.
4. I took part in a student exchange in Malaysia in 2019. It was the trip of a lifetime and an amazing opportunity I’ll forever be grateful for.
5. I love to travel. I’ve interrailed around Italy, sailed around the Croatian islands, trekked across Iceland's glaciers, visited flea markets in Brooklyn NYC and so much more! Covid has ruined a lot of potential travel plans for the foreseeable, unfortunately!
For those that do not know who is Sarah Twelves?
Well, I’m from Derbyshire in a very small village, but I have a lot of big ideas! I started uni as a mature student in 2017 and have been graduated for just over a year now and have since gained experience in an in-house design team for an education academy trust as well as freelancing for a local Sheffield cancer charity who I previously interned for during university. I’ve started picking a few other freelance jobs up here and there which is exciting! As well as this I’m usually spending my time doing personal projects, competition briefs, travelling, appreciating the little things in life, enjoying the outdoors with my dog and throwing some weights around at the gym – take a look at my blog on my website to see a little more of what I’m up to if you have time, http://www.sarahtwelves.com/blog.
I have a growing interest in typography, branding and creating concepts from playful, in-depth and thoughtful experimentation and ideas generation. I take absolute pride in my practice and this clearly shines through in all that I do – from the development stages of a project to the beautifully crafted details of an outcome. I love the individuality that comes with every single project and being able to have that one idea that enables it to stand out from its competitors.
So what made you choose a design degree?
I have always been a creative person and although I worked in a creative job for 3–4 years, I knew university was the right next step for me if I wanted to pursue a career in Graphic Design. It isn’t for everyone and I don’t always think it’s essential, but it certainly was for me. It’s the best decision I think I’ve ever made.
You graduated in the first year of the pandemic, how was this?
Different. Unexpected. Daunting. Frustrating. Odd. I spent the last few months of my degree within the four walls of my bedroom at home. The worst thing for me was missing the university studio space with my coursemates and tutors who helped me daily, but I made sure to join as many online classes and Zoom calls as I possibly could, to keep my sanity!
Was there anything you learnt that you could pass on to the new grads?
Throw yourself into every opportunity. You’ve got nothing to lose from doing this – apart from a little time if it isn’t for you, but if you don’t try something you’ll never know. Also, make the most of the amazing tutors who have had years of experience in industry, their knowledge and expertise are so so valuable – I pestered my tutors and course lecturers far too much!
So tell me about designing for Cavendish Cancer Care.
I interned with them after finishing my degree through a scheme with Sheffield Hallam University. It was great to keep myself busy after handing all of my work in. After my internship, they approached me and asked if I’d like to help them out on some larger fundraising campaigns on a freelance basis as a Graphic Designer. As I had a lot of free time due to lockdown, it was great to be able to give my time to such an amazing local charity and create some really strong design assets for them to use to bring recognition to them as a charity. The people there are all so lovely, I’ve never met them in person as I’ve always worked remotely but I do feel like I have built real relationships with them, more so than with some people I’ve worked face to face with in the past – how the world is changing around Covid right?!
Now for the penultimate (and most important) question, what's your dog's name?
Oscar! I won’t tell you all of his nicknames, you’d think I was crazy. I”m not, I promise…
For my final question, what's next for Sarah Twelves?
One great thing that has just happened is that I have been made a ‘woman to watch’ in the design industry in 2021 by the platform Design by Women, which I am chuffed about. I’ll be featured on their Instagram and blog between September–December so keep your eyes peeled! Otherwise, I’m such a proactive person and I always find something to do. I’ve worked a lot on my portfolio recently but I always love to make tweaks and see what I can change and improve. I’d love to see if there are some exciting competition briefs coming up over the next few months.