I am a writer.
For my very first job, that was the title that the newspaper gave me: “Writer”. You see, in 1995, when you graduated with a degree in English Literature and Linguistics, you were expected to be able to write anything. You’re not a journalist, a sub-editor, a multimedia editor, a blogger or a copywriter.
You had one job: writing. So they called you a writer.
But of course, once I moved to the UK, I fell into trade journalism and publishing. I wore many hats so I got called many things by my publishers: Products Editor, Web Editor, Online Editor, Multimedia Editor, Web Developer, Photographer, Videographer and so on. My fellow union members once called me “Mother of Chapel”.
On my NUJ press card, I am a “Journalist”.
I still write. Check out Story Of Books.
I am an anthropologist.
My anthropology is really derived from my love of speech acts and plays. I studied and performed quite a few plays before I became a newspaper reporter. I was also into sports. I still suffer the side effects of doing taekwondo, rowing, cycling and running. Many years later, I did a masters degree in Digital Anthropology at UCL to research on community informatics, participatory design and knowledge transfer via situated learning in workplace settings.
My dissertation was on email conversations on crack dealing activities in Brixton. I did the research for two years, talking to irate community members, interviewing the Met Police, observing drug users and trying not to disturb the crack dealers who, I have to emphasise, did not harm me physically.
What I love from that MSc programme was the anthropology of play. I gave it a go working in gaming for a year because of the digital games that we studied, but the kind of play I like is not computer games. I prefer sports. And books.
I am an entrepreneur.
I bootstrapped for a while before I fully committed to running my own business. This means several years working in publishing, sports research, sports retail and fintech (yes, as in payments) whilst building a client base. I now use anthropology to inform our business strategy for GLUE Studio. I run this product graphic design agency together with the Creative Director.
I consult on marketing, mainly in design, publishing and CRM.