Work/life balance as a creative director (and dad!)

Work/life balance as a creative director (and dad!)

How do I achieve a work life balance as a creative director?

I head to the beach…

What’s my schedule like as a creative director?

Well, it’s Wednesday tomorrow, which means my daughter Emilia has been racing around the house trying to find her sun hat and sunglasses.

Beach school tomorrow!” she reminds me. But she doesn’t need to – I look forward to taking her each week and it’s firmly in my diary. When her school asked parents to volunteer for a six week block of beach school, I signed up without hesitation.

Things weren’t always like this. When Emilia was born and I returned to work after paternity leave (a meagre two weeks) I’d leave the house at 5am every day to commute to the office.

In the evening, I’d often get home after 8pm, usually missing her bedtime so I’d only get quality time with her at weekends. Meanwhile, my wife was doing the lion’s share of childcare on maternity leave, which as any parents know, is a full-time job!

At the time, this was the norm…but big changes were afoot.

Changing places

When Covid-19 hit and we were all told to work from home and avoid social contact, I was working at Dext, formerly Receipt Bank.

I’d become accustomed to a long, daily commute to my job as a creative director. Suddenly, I became a home worker, childcarer and part-time teacher for my 5 year old daughter. My son, Sonny, had been born the previous year, so we muddled our way through looking after him, home schooling Emilia, staying up to date with work…and keeping sane.

Then, the worst happened – I was made redundant…

Rock bottom

Being made redundant was one of the most difficult experiences of my life. Although I was one of a huge group of employees who were made redundant, I felt completely alone.

It affected my self confidence, created a great deal of anxiety and caused my mental health to plummet.

Luckily, with the support of my family and friends I was able to work through these feelings. And I was fortunate to have a redundancy payout, which meant I didn’t need to rush into another job straight away. This gave me the headspace to consider my next move.

Finding balance

Although life was challenging during the lockdown, something positive emerged for me too. I found that I relished the time spent at home with my family.

I got to witness key milestones for my son that I’d missed with my daughter because I’d been at work. My wife and I spent more time together, we enjoyed family walks during my lunch breaks and shared dinners each evening.

It was wonderful to reconnect with my family, and I didn’t want to go back to working long hours and getting limited time at home.

Going freelance

Being made redundant during lockdown proved to be the catalyst I needed – I was ready to take the plunge and start my own business. I already had over twenty years’ experience as a creative leader and graphic designer for a host of well known brands. So, all I needed was the courage to take a risk, start my own agency and see where it would take me.

I set up Brand Nest, based in a garden office at my home in West Sussex – and have never looked back.

I’m passionate about blending the creative and the commercial to build engaging brands that attract new customers and increase revenue growth.

Now, I want to bring all of that experience to local businesses to help them realise their commercial potential.

Brand Nest

In the past year, since I started Brand Nest, I’ve been lucky to work on some unique and exciting projects.

With extensive experience across a number of industries, like automotive, fintech and cybersecurity, I’ve done a bit of everything – from launching award-winning brands through to managing complete logo and website redesigns.

But being at the helm of my own company, applying a personal approach to new projects, feels fantastic!

A few recent highlights;

  • I created a series of TikTok ads for on-demand insurance company Cuvva
  • Delivered a brand new logo and working on a new website for the super team at Lion Civils
  • Helped Legatics produce a series of videos in support of sustainability


Back to school

I love working on interesting projects for clients, across a range of industries.

But, on Wednesdays, it’s back to school!

Every week, I take my daughter to Beach School for the day, to learn about the coastal environment and conservation.

It’s a chance to connect with nature, switch off my mind and fully focus on spending quality time with my daughter. I can also drop my kids off at school most days, have a walk in my lunch breaks and work around my family, whilst growing a thriving creative agency.

This balance has changed my life. And it’s made me a more focused, creative and adaptable creative director.

Want to work together?

At Brandnest, we can help you and your business flourish with any or all of the following services:

  • Logo design
  • Website development
  • Video creation
  • Social media management
  • Flyers and posters
  • Promotional merchandise


Get in touch for a chat!

All the best,


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