Posted on October 15 2014
Newnham: Can you tell us about your background?
Howard: My background is graphic design. After studying for four years at Central St Martins and LCP, I did several placements and then worked as a junior in a design agency. From there I got a job as the Promotions Art Director at GQ Magazine and also worked briefly at Glamour and Vogue. I loved working at GQ as my direct team were brilliant, we traveled for shoots fairly regularly and we had good budgets so this really allowed me to commission fantastic photographers and get a great creative concept off the ground. I had an absolute blast doing it and made friends for life once I had rifled through the over inflated egos and found the genuine diamonds.
I decided to re-train a few years ago, I did a Postgraduate Diploma in Garden Design at Inchbald. I subsequently became a tutor there and started my own business designing private gardens which really gave me a way to express my love of nature and learn more about trees, you can never know enough about trees.
Newnham: What do you do now?
Howard: I still do both, I love designing gardens and I am also the Creative Director of Matchbox Publishing. We are an inbound marketing and design agency, we launched Corner magazine this year, it is a magazine that covers everything West London and what I love about it the most is that we really champion the local people, the small businesses and the creative talents that live in this area. We started it as an iPad and online magazine, and then followed on with an iPhone version.
The iPad version was our first baby and it took months to get it off the ground, we have a really strong team who put the mag together and the experience on the iPad is so wonderful. It is definitely the future of magazines. Now, the newspaper is about to launch so we are really busy an excited and all the feedback from the local community has been great. Getting the balance right between both jobs isn’t easy but they are both design and I guess that is my passion in life.
Newnham: What would your advice to a younger Cat be?
Howard: I would say trust in yourself and relax ~ you will always come across points or people in your career that challenge you so you need to trust that you can get through it. This is also crucial if you start a new job - if you don’t feel scared, then you haven’t reached high enough.