A design empire run with passion and creativity
This week Vicky met Director at Strohacker Design School, Bill Strohacker
What inspired you to follow a career in design – is your talent inherited?
No, not really. I grew up with 5 brothers who are all in building and manual type jobs. From an early age I was very creative; drawing, painting and making things and into David Bowie! Fortunately, on my first day at Worthing Art College I was sat next to a guy called Jamie Hewlett (Tank Girl/Gorillaz), who became a big influence and a great friend. Also in the class were several other influential designers including Glen Dillon (Lucas Films/Star Wars), Nick Williams (Levis/Puma) and Ian Edwards (Saatchi& Saatchi, JWT) to name a few. They are now working on modules for Strohacker Design School.
Tell me a little about your career path?
After college I went to Kingston University. My first job in industry was as designer for the iconic teen magazine Smash Hits. I freelanced for record and fashion companies and then worked for Richard Branson’s Virgin Group. Being at Virgin Vie in Tangmere decided me to move to Chichester and set up the Strohacker design studio.
Why set up a design school?
For 10 years I was also working part-time as a teacher/lecturer in design. I started to form the idea of an independent design school and how I thought design could be taught as a fast-track option without compromising the quality of teaching. The Strohacker Design School was born in 2016.
What students can expect?
We have created a course that identifies the practical and creative needs of a constantly changing industry. Our courses are aimed at people looking for a fast-track into the creative industry, those seeking an alternative to university, creatives returning to the workplace after a break and also graduates seeking increased confidence. Classes are small and our tutors are both outstanding creative educators and practicing industry experts. We teach the equivalent of a one-year degree course in three months, so students must be dedicated. You don’t need to have previous design experience, but we do look for passion, drive and creative potential. We support students in achieving their dreams and, on completion; we help them to find jobs via our industry contacts.
What skills are essential to be a successful designer?
Being able to communicate your ideas, a continued willingness to learn, the ability to listen, passion, attention to detail and a working knowledge of Adobe CC
You are taking part in the West Sussex Expo for a second year, What advantages are there in being there for businesses like yours?
I’m not a great one for networking but this is a great platform for building business connections and developing relationships with potential clients, all achieved in a very relaxed and informal atmosphere.
Where can people find out more?
Strohacker Design School is based at the University of Chichester’s Bognor Regis Campus.
For more visit www.strohackerdesignschool.co.uk or Telephone 0843 289 2961.