Melissa Gates

I have a diverse range of experience – and my role at Livework is a great opportunity to capitalise and build on all of it.

When I was doing A levels I found it extremely hard to choose between studying English and Art at University. So I ended up studying both.

I went to UCL to study English literature and went on to turn my love of writing and music into a career in PR – running the press departments at Too Pure then Domino records.

I loved my work but my drawing habit continued in my spare time and eventually, I decided to turn it into a career – studying character animation at Central Saint Martins in 1999. I spent 13 years working as a freelance animator and illustrator through my company Welikenicethings. We had clients in broadcasting, advertising, education and corporate communications and produced our own short films. I also taught at various art colleges and schools, and continue to mentor MA students at Saint Martin’s.

It was during this period that I got my first experience working in service design, firstly with Engine, who commissioned me to create prototypes for a large project with BAA. I also ran a project working with residents of Mencap accommodation on ways of improving their experiences as users of the charity’s services. I was immediately attracted by the way that this way of working places the needs of real human beings at the heart of the work.

My role at Livework uses all of the various skills from my past lives as well as developing my service design skills. I love working with my colleagues in London and Rotterdam, both working with our clients to create better services, and communicating what we do to the outside world too.

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