I am Jo Hamlyn, I am a freelance web designer based in London.

I grew up in Plymouth, Devon. See the lovely picture of a rainbow over the seafront…I think I took this just after a huge rainstorm on a day out for my mum’s 70th Birthday, it’s true what they say about how much it rains in the Westcountry, it’s also clearly true it’s very beautiful.

Despite its beauty, I left Plymouth on my 19th Birthday to come to London to study Business. I never really had much ambition except for wanting to move to London whilst I was growing up, potentially because when I was at school studying Computer Science wasn’t really an option, who knows!

The love for London stuck, the degree in Business didn’t.

WHAT NEXT!

On my second Saturday night in London, I started working at the glorious Electric Ballroom in Camden.

I always had, and always will have, a huge passion for music. I adore 1970’s Disco music and imagery, my favourite film is Saturday Night Fever and the first website I ever built was an homage to the film.

Contrastingly I spend most of a standard day listening to urban music station Kiss Fm, but over and above all of this, I love rock and alternative music, working in a live music venue where so many bands I idolised had played was a dream come true.

I moved swiftly from working in Camden to the London Astoria, home to many a legendary live rock concert and the incredible G-A-Y Night Club. I stayed at the Astoria until its closure in 2009.

THE THEATRE INDUSTRY AND THE JOURNEY TO NOW

From working in a live music venue, I discovered that my transferable skills were put to good use at Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts in Haringey, North London, running the academies Young Peoples and Community & Outreach Programme.

It was incredibly rewarding working with creative young people facilitating opportunities and an environment for them to follow their dreams and explore their creativity. I became a specialist in Child Protection, writing the Academies Child Protection Policy, and worked on some incredible projects including founding the Haringey Youth Festival which still runs today.

However, as I approached my 30’s I couldn’t shake the feeling that I wasn’t exploring my own creativity. I started reading lots of books, listening to hours of podcasts, using up all my internet allowance downloading TED talks and in 2015 decided that working in the tech industry would be the kind of place I would be able to be creative and truly myself. I think I felt that an industry so focused on the future and committed to lifelong learning and innovation would always be an exciting place to be.

TODAY

I studied at General Assembly in the Summer of 2016 and in early 2017 became a full-time freelance Web Designer.

I adore my job. I love the freedom it gives me to be creative, how it challenges me and brings my intelligence to its full potential and will always keep me engaged.

When I first started as a freelancer the thought of networking to sell myself was petrifying, but it turns out I really like being in a room full of strangers and when I’m in the right room they quickly turn to friends.

I enjoy talking about politics and have some clearly formed views on how the UK should be managed, I won’t bore you with them here but I do believe that period poverty is something that should have long ended in the UK and support many charities striving to do this.

I also love running and am very interested in health and nutrition. I also have a spiritual side and will often have crystals in my handbag.

Over and above everything my favourite social pastime is to attend live music concerts, usually, Doom or Heavy Blues influenced bands.