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Stewart Linton (Iris) @ Lincoln 2012

It’s always great to hear about the success stories of students from Lincoln and hope that at the end of 3rd year, my journey into ‘the real world’/industry will be as good. Today Stewart Linton came back to Lincoln to talk to us about his experience of getting a job, his time at Iris and some advice to help us along the way!

Stewart graduated 2 years ago, so just before I came to study in Lincoln but I remember him from when I came to the open day actually. He was really enthusiastic and answered all of our pre-Uni questions, and actually helped in my decision of choosing Lincoln as my 1st choice University! Without trying to sound like a stalker, I have followed him on his website because I just like to see what happens to students after they leave Lincoln (I follow lots of graduates who have gone on to do lots of great things!). I feel like it prepares me for what is to come and I guess it’s a ‘team’ kind of thing – we are all part of the Lincoln family after all!

Anyway, enough rambling… onto the talk! Stewart won a D&AD yellow pencil for teamwork with Scott Oxley on a brief for Lloyds TSB, which is an enviable achievement! Winning a yellow pencil is a bit like winning an oscar in the design world and I definitely think that has helped Stewart’s success as it gets you a lot of recognition in industry. At the moment he is working at Iris (not to be confused with the one in Sheffield!) which sounds like an amazing place to be – brilliant work, an exciting client list and bars within the studio!?

Iris recently hosted a show case night where they exhibited a lot of their work and I have to say, the room looked amazing! Check out a video from the evening:

Looks pretty cool! They were also just named Agency of the year 2012 by MAA – sounds like Stewart has definitely landed on his feet!

Stewart explained that at the moment he designs for Sony Ericsson, Jack Daniels, Philips and Volkswagen. This included advertising for Sony’s Xperia phone in the Metro newspaper using the exciting and innovative Blippar technology:

Blippar is similar to QR codes, but instead of scanning a code you scan an item/image and 3D interative features show up on your phone’s screen e.g. Blippar a bottle of tomato ketchup and recipes for how to use tomato ketchup appear!

For me, I think the best part about Stewart’s talk was the advice and Q&A session.

It is so scary to think that this time next year I will be leaving education and so to hear from someone who has experienced it already helps put me at ease (a bit).

Stewart’s top tips:

– Make the most of being a student – you have a lot of freedom, whereas when working for a client they have the majority of control.
– Consider freelancing whilst at work placements to top up your income
– Decide where you want to live (London isn’t the be all and end all though)
– It’s not all about grades… your portfolio and attitude are your bargaining tools
– Be vocal and question everything… want to learn, be interested and remembered
– Learn from the disappointments… everyone is going to get knocked down at some point but it’s all about how you learn and pick yourself up from it
– In design, there’s no right or wrong… just opinion.
– Don’t fall in love with your first idea… you can always think of better
– Get your name & work out there… blogs, twitter, direct mail – get noticed
– Enter as many competitions as you can… it opens doors
– Go to talks and learn from the people who know best

As a 3rd year:
– Enjoy the end of year show
– Hunt for contacts and placements… network
– Keep busy to make sure your design skills don’t get rusty!
– Offer your skills to local businesses as it helps learn about dealing with clients
– Keep an archive of inspiration to help you when you need it

I asked Stewart about his opinion on ‘needing’ to go to London…
– London is considered the creative hub of England, however other cities have the same kind of things and cost a lot less in terms of living etc
– Different people take inspiration from different places so London might not be the place for you; it’s a personal choice.
– London was a good place to start because even though you are jumping in at the deep end, you feel like you are conquering the biggest mountain and so can go anywhere afterwards

A great talk from Stewart, thanks for coming back to visit and chat. Oh and for the Jack Daniels T-shirt too!

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© Natasha Nuttall | January 2022

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