Welcome to my informal yet informative BIO/CV, designed to provide you with a brief overview of who I am and what I do, accompanied with some basic history. I am a self-employed graphic designer, specialising in large format digital imaging for both private and business clients. Corporate identity, branding, wrapping, interior and exterior decoration, printing, marketing, social media management, web design and more. With a passion for what I do, and focussed enthusiasm, artistic creativity has blessed me with a mind that never rests.
Born and bred in pubs, clubs, hotels and restaurants, I always knew that the catering industry was not for me, despite it being second nature. And though not particularly good with freehand art through my schooling years, I did excel at technical design and always had a critical eye for art and aesthetics. Combined with my inquisitive desire for continual learning, all aspects of my creativity, production and implementation is self taught over the years, including the forever changing world of technologies, hardware, software and developments thereof. By the age 16 (when I left home) I had moved home more than ten times, in various areas of London, Kent and Shropshire.
After nearly passing away at the age of 18 and subsequently being forced to abandon my diploma course for architecture, time was the one thing I had plenty of for several months of recuperation. Every hour was spent drawing personal contemporary art pieces in inks. These art drawings got me my first job in commercial art and design for a printing company. From then on my learning and appreciation for art in general grew into an obsessive passion. Over the years, shear experience and self tuition has attributed to where I am today... providing artwork related services for all manner of applications! And in 1996 founded my own sign making company.
Well... nobody is 100% perfect.
From original conceptual ideas through to implementation. For all medias and applications.
Vehicle wraps, boats, interior decoration, furniture wraps, and wrap training courses.
Website design, hosting, cloud storage, live spokesperson, HTML5, PHP, ASP, Flash and more.
Large format printing, canvases, wall coverings, flags, banners and general signs.
SignLab CAD - Photoshop - WP - Web Coding, Audio/Video, adaptability with logic to all software.
I am critical with success and learn from defeat. I am happy to teach though we are all students.
I have many stories and experiences to share, some of which some will shock you and others will amaze. In 2015 I created this speeded up video to accompany my book and set it to a David Bowie track which means a great deal me personally and by whose lyrics I live by:
"I'm not a prophet or a stone age man, just a mortal with potential of a superman... I'm living on". David Bowie
As part of my ongoing passion and appreciation, I intent to create an event displaying the largest collection of fan based Bowie art tributes ever seen in one place. Accompanied by live Bowie Tribute Bands and the legendary rock photographer John Rowlands.
"Every time I've made a radical change it's helped me feel buoyant as an artist.". David Bowie
The blackstar.STUDIO joined forces with the Ji-ai Fashion House of Uganda and devised it's first project dedicated to assisting the creative talents of Uganda in Art, Fashion, Crafts and Jewellery, in order to provide marketing, exhibitions and sales throughout Europe. A modest concept to prevent some of the exploitation of African art and to help realise the potential of creative artists and designers, offering genuine opportunities where Ugandans can truly earn what they deserve and progress successfully.
Developed the concept of an art studio/gallery in 2015 and launched in 2016 with the aim of assisting undiscovered artists of all media types to display their work, both in a studio environment and with full online exposure and marketing. A project dear to my heart and a life's ambition, inspired by my life long following of the late David Bowie to whom I owe so much. The blackstar.STUDIO also serves as a fitting memorial to David Bowie, as well as a testament of friendship to Robin Nixon and Jason Miller. One thing for sure is that Art and Music brings people together and will always have longevity.
After much freelance wrap fitting work within the yachting industry, I was appalled at the lack of professionalism so I decided to compete. With sole concentration and continuation of high end professional wrapping for Yachts and related products, whilst still playing a role in the high end vehicle wrap services of ProWraps. Innovation and integrity is the driving force to maintaining wrapping excellence.
Taking specialised wrapping to an even higher level by founding ProWraps with working associates in specialist fields. Offering high end wrapping, detailing and tinting services primarily for yachts and vehicles. Excellence and professionalism in a somewhat more exclusive manner with the unique approach of a personalised global service.
Formed JFK247 company brand to encompass all our artwork based services. Specialising in wrapping products (vehicles, boats, furniture and interior decoration) and providing wrap training courses. Large format digital imaging, web design, graphic design, printing and all related services. Based in Valencia Spain with a UK office in Canterbury Kent, but working in various worldwide locations on a per job basis.
Founded a family run business for all general signs, banners, printed work wear, promotional gifts, printing and vinyl graphics. Based in Newtown Powys Wales.
I later developed our sign company to incorporate vehicle wrapping and other wrap products whilst continuing with all our general signs and graphic related products and services.
In addition, we offered business start-up solutions for new graphics companies with full training (software, design, wrapping and hands on) as well as machine sales and installations.
Surface mount technician, shift supervisor and process department procurement advisor, involved in the production of electronic drives for controlled server motors. Based in Newtown Powys Wales.
Retained full time as a freelance studio designer within a printing company for all types of business stationery and monthly magazine publications. Based in Newtown Powys Wales.
Working in various printing companies, primarily design and layout of print media publications. Based in Kent England.
Running an entertainment suite and restaurant. Catering for up to 150 covers for events, weddings, hen nights and private functions. With all staff, ordering and financial responsibilities. Based in Rochester Kent England.
Layout and design for weekly and monthly high street publications, and creating artwork for high school examination papers. Four colour film separation work and print machine plate making within a busy unionised print company. Based in Ashford Kent England.
Working in an engineering company, creating precision templates and cutting sheet metal for vehicle nudge bars. Plus powder coating and shot blasting. Based in Ashford Kent England.
Catering for up to 90 residents at a private convalescent nursing home. Working as a waiter and kitchen assistant. A live in position on 24hr call. Based in Hythe Kent England.
Like most people, I have also had other types of work not listed above.
I have performed vehicle wrapping demonstration days for both vinyl manufacturers and distributors alike, for launches of new wrap media products. Various locations.
To help ease the transition from employment to setting up my own business JFK Signs & Designs, I worked part time, for one year, for an office supplies company as a delivery driver at Office Express Newtown Powys.
Whilst working full time (12hr shifts, four days on - four days off) at Control Techniques electronics company, I also run an indoor market stall selling concrete garden ornaments.
I also perform minor tree surgery, not necessarily to earn money, just something that I like doing and it provides a welcome break from my computer work. No ladders, no lifts, just a harness, ropes and spikes for climbing.
On a regular freelance basis I still produce graphics for all applications, digital imaging, vehicle and yacht wrapping, training services and more, for a variety of clients.
Written by Adam Cornford (the great, great, grandson of Charles Darwin) the story of how the studio evolved is a testament to my focus and determination once I set my mind to a project. With accompanying videos and images, this is a "must read" story. Click the web link below to read or visit www.blackstar.studio
Displaying a mix of vehicle and yacht wrapping work, my processes, integrity and commitment to professionalism. Click the web link below to visit www.yachtwraps.net
I am a great believer that "the proof is in the pudding" and I am not one for gathering references in a self important way, though they can certainly be obtained including a personal reference from award winning billionaire Vikas Goel as well as clients from all walks of life.
I can honestly say that I loved every day of my whole schooling life. However, maybe a little too much, as I always had the capabilities but did not apply myself fully to my studies. Probably quite a common scenario. Nonetheless, I do have Oxford and Cambridge O'Levels.
An all boys grammar school where I was always mid average higher stream achiever. Most bizarrely, I was expelled in the third year for virtually no reason and the expulsion was overturned some twelve months later, though a little late for me, as I had naturally already changed schools. No hard feelings though as it was a great school.
I literally only spent one term at this school, but was blessed that the headmaster recognised that I should be attending a grammar school rather than a the secondary school which I was due to attend upon leaving. Some strings were pulled and arrangements made for me to re-sit my eleven plus (SATs) which I had previously failed.
What can I say? A middle of the road student having lots of fun as a kid. Fantastic school and great memories.
I have three adult children, one boy and two girls who were raised in a very secure, tight, open and supportive family environment, with emphasis on family values, morals and ethics.
I have held a full European driving licence since 1989 and it is currently free of endorsements. I also ride motorbikes and love off-roading.
My upbringing was a chequered affair to say the least, with life experiences that no one should have to bear and stories that will amaze you. All shall be revealed in my forthcoming autobiography.
With a passion for mobster movies I am an avid follower of Robert De Niro, Al Pacino and Martin Scorsese. Musically, David Bowie does it for me every time. I get a lot of pleasure out of the simple things in life.
I always enjoy visiting new places and take a great interest in local cultures, history, traditions and architecture. Being a hopeless romantic, I also love the feeling of nostalgia when revisiting places of importance from my own life.
No longer very active in sport, though given the chance a good round of golf suits me. I follow F1 and enjoy watching rugby, snooker and world events. Long country walks, mountain walks and walking the dog provides me with enough outdoor exercise.
This subject has always fascinated me and I believe that there is a difference between a belief in God and religion. Whoever your God may be I trust that he keeps you safe and pure to who you are. Religion should not be used to control societies, be a guise for war or abused for pure monetary gain. Be sure of your belief and don't let others take advantage.
Sadly, political debates and events tend to cycle and repeat themselves throughout history, and will no doubt continue in the same patterns. Positive change needs to happen on a global level and that is some task.
It may sound bizarre, but the world can benefit much better without a monetary system. It is mathematically impossible for the monetary system to continue indefinitely and it is yet another concept designed to enslave and control societies. World scientists and theologists explain this very well via The Zeitgeist Movement and The Venus Project, and they also demonstrate how to implement solutions.
My primary aims are simple: to continually learn and improve upon the things that I already do well. And to diversify down related routes with the endeavour of opening new opportunities.
Ultimately, to open a chain of art gallery cafes and a charitable foundation in order to assist others with the recognition of new creative talent. In conjunction with this, the idea is to involve schools and colleges in art projects, and give back to local communities. Resulting in leaving some kind of legacy for when I am gone.
If you have taken the time to read this brief, informal bio, then I thank you for your interest. If you are an old friend or past associate who has lost contact with me, please get back in touch.
I owe a great deal to just a few people in life for their influence, support and friendship, and I would just like to note heartfelt dedications to Robin Nixon, Andy Mitchell and Jason Miller. There has only ever been three people who have truly impacted my life with extraordinary, profound significance and to whom I owe so much for shaping the very person that I am today: Helen Steaden, David Bowie and Charity Priscilla Namiyonga.
I trust that you will draw from this bio, that I am an open minded and focussed person with traditional values and morals. I pride myself in what I do and get great satisfaction out of helping others. However, probably my worst personal downfalls are that I have a tendency of being too good for my own good and I am very critical of my own work. I have experiences which have provided me with both great success and dramatic losses - but "hey, that's life".
I have many social links but only Facebook is constantly updated.
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