To all the jobs I’ve ever had

Like many people, my first job came after a long internship. I remember that it was St Patrick’s day when I finally got offered my first full time position and I was elated. No more sleeping on my sister’s sofa! I could finally get my first flat and be a proper Londoner.

I try to remember those days. I was so eager and energised. My first project was to work on the D&AD website. I was stoked. I was a very minor part of the team. I can’t even remember what I did – probably nothing. I just remember being happy to do anything.

Then I started doing banners. Boy do I remember banners. I remember lists of sizes, number of colours and file size limits. The sheer number of variations used to fry my brain. But I was just so stoked to have a computer, and a chair and being part of a team.

I think the free drinks was basically the whole office mindfulness scheme in one. There were no free yoga lessons, duvet days or quiet corners to fit in. ‘The card’s behind the bar’ was the phrase that lit a thousand smiles in our office and funded 98% of my nights out in London.

My first job was a lot of fun. I made friends for life. I learnt what late nights were like and I learnt on the job almost constantly. I had no new media training at college so to walk into a new media agency during the .com boom was an intense trial by fire.

My second job was at a much smaller agency run by friends I had worked with at my first job. It was directed more at branding and did both print and web.

I spent the entire day watching Scott from Level Up Tuts talk me through the basics. By lesson 23 I reckon I had grasped the basics. It’s actually much more similar to Illustrator than I had envisioned.

I started watching Sketch Together tutorials and looking at plugins I might want to use. There are some really great ones out there but I just started off with some basic ones.


  1. Craft
  2. Auto Layout
  3. Icon font
  4. Lorem ipsum generator
  5. Rename it
  6. Cover artboard
  7. Clipboard fill
  8. Artboard zoom


There are probably many more but I don’t want to slow the application down and there is a lot to learn just with the ones I have started with.

I took a document I had created in Illustrator and began recreating it in Sketch. It was surprisingly fast and easy. Everything seemed to click together pretty well. I keep trying to toggle between the V + A which are the selection tools in illustrator and I miss outline view and snap to grid, but otherwise I feel I have the basics under control. I don’t think I could draw a complex bezier shape in Sketch as the pen functions feel too basic, but it’s exceeding my expectations in every other way. Being able to generate random content so quickly is amazing. By the end of the day I had recreated 12 mobile screens and could view them on my iphone using Sketch Mirror. I feel confident I could hit the ground running now. Three days! Not bad.

Time to start looking at Prototyping tool tutorials. I just want to show basic functionality on a phone. Scrolling, sticky headers, simple click-throughs, nothing mind boggling. So I signed up for some Sketch Together lessons and looked through the tutorials on the Principle website. It all came together really quickly. There are a lot of similarities between other timeline-based animation software like Flash and After Effects so if you have an understanding of them then this is pretty similar.

I mocked up a test file in Principle and Flinto and was pretty amazed by how quickly it all came together. There are loads of things I don’t know -like how to export a better gif than the one shown below, but I know enough to get me started. Next week I will be using all these new skills on a proper project.