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Welcome Gill Williamson – Our First Guest Blogger

As a regular feature the team at Creative Nottingham will be inviting a Guest Blogger to join us for two weeks. Our guests will represent the diversity of Nottingham’s creative and digital industries and through blogging will have the chance to voice their opinions and give us all a taste of their unique viewpoint

We’re very pleased to introduce our very first guest blogger, Gill Williamson, who will be blazing the trail for all future guest bloggers! As the first step to getting to know Gill we asked her to answer 10 questions about herself :-

1. Who are you ?
My name is Gill Williamson. I’m a part-time postgraduate research student at Nottingham Trent University studying for a Masters in Graphic Design – Branding and Identity. I also work in the ‘great city’ of Nottingham, as a graphic designer. I also have an art studio at The Art Organisation.

2. What brought you to Nottingham?
My job brought me back to the city. I was previously employed over in the ‘dark-side’ in Derby (only joking!) I am from the Nottingham area originally and now live just outside the city centre.

3. What keeps you in Nottingham?
Nottingham is a fab place to be. It has pretty much everything you could possibly need in a city. Good jobs, great shops, thriving arts and creative industries, a diverse social and entertainments scene and last but not least, as I discovered through my research project, the people are really friendly, if highly opinionated. My fiancé Martin, is a life-long Forest fan too, so there is no way we’re leaving this city. It is true to say, ‘I believe’ in this place – it has great prospects.

4. What makes you different to other creative people in Nottingham?
I’m studying to be a ‘Master’ in Branding and Identity, so that is my specialism. In particular, the area of place branding – I think this possibly makes me different to many other creative people in the Nottingham area. I’ve also single-handedly developed a research project and brand for the ‘Republic of Nottingham’. This has been a huge, yet extraordinarily interesting project to tackle. More of this will be described through my blog work.

What makes me unique as a person? That’s a tricky one – I asked my fiancé and he says it is ‘that you’re truly wonderful’ – so who am I to argue with that!
Uniqueness is an interesting concept – especially as I have been studying place branding for my MA. On a personal level, it’s interesting because I’m a twin. This in itself isn’t unique, but as most twins will tell you, there is a tendency for people to assume that because you look like someone else, that you also think the same. The concept of identity and difference is fascinating – I love meeting and finding out about people.

On the flip side, I can be quite opinionated (I was known as ‘Wolfie-Williamson’ by some of my friends).

5. Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?
My ultimate aim is to be creative director of my own business or of a well-known Agency. It’s very much something I am striving towards.

6. What do you wish you had more time for?

My friends and family. My research project is very time intensive, and has made me a bit of a party-pooper of late. I couldn’t have done the research as effectively without the support of my friends and particularly my fiancé, Martin.

7. What keeps you awake at night?
This is probably sounding like ‘Groundhog Day’ – but my project literally keeps me awake. I keep a note pad at the side bed, and have been known to be sketching and scribbling down ideas well into the early hours! I have an iPhone now – a great gadget for writing concepts as I think of them – this has reduced some of the sleep deprivation!

8. What do you think is Nottingham’s best kept secret?
Nottingham’s best-kept secret – Mmm, there are so many to choose from. I guess the biggest (literally) is the vast network of caves in the city. They are absolutely fascinating – along with their history. We could turn them into all sorts of crazy creative ‘alternative’ visitor experiences. The potential is limitless.

9. What would you like to see more of in Nottingham?

More positive thinking and a healthy dose of positive action – this would be best achieved through everyone expressing their creativity more.
Nottingham is a great place, but people that live here often don’t realise it. We need to spread the word – to the world – about what Nottingham has to offer – it is so much more than Robin Hood! This mission would be achievable through the application of a strong, emotional, place brand. (Cue my Republic of Nottingham).

10. What BIG thing are you’re currently working on?

Groundhog Day, again, I’m afraid – of course – it’s my project. The biggest thing for me has been my research project. I’m now in the process of developing the brand identity for the ‘Republic of Nottingham’. The project is in its final few months of development, and it has finally reached the visual stage. This is where I need the help from the Creative Nottingham network. To ensure that the brand for Nottingham has an identity that represents the people and the place. And importantly its aspirations for the future – and its potential.