My Journey To Spark: Ryan Spence
How did you get into this industry?
I’ve always been interested in art and design, especially doodling – one of my earliest memories is memorising how to perfectly draw Bart Simpson and Marvin the Martian. I’ve not yet found a use for that knowledge in my career but it did give me bonus cool points in school.
I studied illustration in University, and switched half-way through my course to graphic design after working on a few freelance design projects – I found that whilst I loved illustration, graphic design was where I felt more passionate and at home problem-solving.
What’s the best thing about being in this industry?
I have the opportunity to be creative everyday. With it, I enjoy being part of a progressive industry which understands the ethical responsibility we have to educate and contextualise our work with cultures, society and the zeitgeist – it gives me an overwhelming sense of relevance and perspective.
Tell us a bit about life before Spark.
I cut my teeth at Magpie in Leeds learning the art of designing for public sector clients (University of Leeds, NHS), before moving over to ilk (FKA Manifest) where I worked in a bigger design studio as Art Director across a variety of B2B & B2C clients (Brewdog, Wienerberger, ABP UK).
My previous role before joining Spark was Head of Design at food and drink social agency Brilliant, where I headed up a creative team, introduced branding as a new service, and had the pleasure of working across most of the brands that landed in my shopping basket.
What has been your career highlight to date?
This is a hard one! There are a few that stand out, but it would have to be designing for the United Nations. Seeing my illustrations on their homepage was a great moment, not just for global reach but also knowing it was for a great cause – I get a different buzz when working on projects that do good for the world, and this one was probably the biggest. Plus it’s always nicer to work on names that my Mum would actually recognise for once!
What’s your party trick?
I wouldn’t call it a party trick as it would probably get me kicked out of parties, but it’s definitely a fun(ish) fact: I can consecutively name every US president since the start of the 20th century…
We’re still waiting for proof on the last one…
If you’re interested in finding out more about Ryan, would like to work with him, or you just want to argue with him that the camp Batman & Robin film with George Clooney is not better than the Christopher Nolan trilogy, just get in touch.