Case Study: Communication

An illustration showing machines plugged in to a man's head.
Image courtesy of UAL

Freya Morgan – feedback loops

Illustrator, Freya Morgan graduated from the BA Graphic Design at Central Saint Martins in 2016. Her talent was spotted by Creative Review, her work has been displayed publically across the UK, and she has received commissions from high profile organisations such as Condé Naste and Ecover. Here, she discusses presenting herself to the world, and the role seeking feedback plays in her success.

‘Really good work is only achieved through constant presentation of ideas and then seeking and taking on board the feedback.’

Freya Morgan

Maintaining momentum

It’s incredibly important to maintain and develop your communication skills, as you can’t just always wait for people to find you and come to you.

After my degree show, people would contact me to ask me about projects and work, so at the start, if you are lucky, people will come to you, but after a while that dies down and the offers tend to dry up, so you really need to be able to put yourself out there as well as maintain good relationships with clients. So being personable and friendly is also essential. If you’re nice to work with, people will tend to want to work with you again.

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The importance of feedback

Really good work is only achieved through constant presentation of ideas and then seeking and taking on board the feedback you get and then development and then more feedback, which goes on indefinitely until you come to a great design solution.

I don’t think I’ve ever created a piece of work which I’ve had to do no amendments on, so I would say that responding to feedback is an integral part of any good piece of work.

I didn’t realise how much I was developing my communication skills while I was at UAL, although subconsciously I’m sure I was doing that (I was so focused on getting through the year and producing work I was proud of). I do however recognise the importance of us having group crits when it came to developing confidence in explaining your ideas. You have to speak up and ask people about their ideas and in turn they will question you on your ideas and it gave a really good foundation for knowing how to convince people of your concepts.

Of course, sometimes the feedback you get is tough – everyone gets their work rejected from time to time. You have to learn to get over any shame you have about being rejected from places (I should take my own advice here!) because everybody gets rejected from stuff, even the people who you think have got it totally together and are amazing are going to get rejected from things they apply to. Be confident but humble in your work, and I think the absolute most important thing is to be a nice and charming person but also maintain a degree of professionalism and eloquence when it comes to written communication especially in the early stages of client relationships, and you probably shouldn't yawn or swear in any interviews you manage to wrangle (I’m speaking from experience here!).

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Choosing communication platforms

Since leaving, I’ve found it quite a minefield knowing what platforms to put myself out on when it comes to presenting my work and ideas.

I’m quite self-deprecating about my work so I find it really difficult to share it on social media platforms, so for me making a website was the absolute best way to ensure my work was accessible, and luckily pretty much all of the work I’ve been commissioned for since graduating has been through people accessing my website. I like to use Cargo Collective because it’s pretty easy if you know even just a tiny bit of your own code to customise it, and if you pay a really reasonable amount like £40 or something you can use your own domain name for the site for a year.

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‘Everybody gets rejected from stuff, even the people who you think have got it totally together and are amazing are going to get rejected from things they apply to.’

Freya Morgan