I was brought up in a family of seven and shared one bed with 3 brothers. I remember we stayed warm under coats and army blankets. Itchy things.

My mothers dinner instructions as she put the dinner on the table was; “Stretch or starve” and I learned fast to fight for what I wanted. Being the youngest of 7 strategy was my best policy.

School was a case of how to avoid it. I hated it with a passion and wasn’t really forced to go often so I didn’t. I couldn’t read until I was 15 and avoided situation that I may be ask to read something. Even as I got older I had many embarassing situation when I was ask to read something. Still not a fast reader to be honest; but now enjoy it.

Growing up in Northern Ireland bullying was a part of every day life and I was a frequent victim, being quite frail. And a bit of a pretty boy aparently.

I was finally thrown out of school as soon as they could get rid of me. Finishing bottom of my class/school/ever. But surprisingly first in science and art. The only two subjects I was interested in.

Started work in a hat factory as a dispatcher.Wrapping parcels basically. Hated every minute of it.

When I was thrown out of school a teacher had metioned that maybe a painting and decorating apprenticeship might lead to an artistic career. I must admit I did enjoy the practical work a lot but always had my sights set on the glamorous world of Advertising but had absolutely no idea how that could ever happen.


I bumped into an old science teach one day, who showed me a science magazine he was carrying. He explained that everything in the magazine although considered proven science; would be strongly disputed or completely debunked in the next 20 years. He taught me about the power in leverage that day and that the world is an exciting journey if we continue to explore and challenge everything. THANK YOU SIR! Although I suspect he is long gone since he was in his 60’s then. But he did change the rest of my life.


As a result of my conversation with this amazing man. (And even though I didn’t have a single graduating qualification, and could barely read,) I visited my local college and ask if I could enter there Advertising and Design course. They ask if I had read their entrance requirements. But I managed to talk my way round this somehow and was granted my big chance in life. I failed! School really wasn’t my thing for sure. After 2 years I was duly thrown out. However I had one last card up my sleeve. I was given a 2 week student placement with a major Advertising agency as they hadn’t yet leanrt of my imminent expulsion.


I worked my student placement out and felt a real weight as I said my last goodbyes to the amazing creative people I had worked with. Over the weekend I thought about how much I had enjoyed working in such a creatively stimulating environment. Monday morning came and I got up as usual for work at McCain Erricson. I figured I would go to work and ask if it would be possible to do another week. He said no; but like in the college interview, I somehow convinced him to let me stay. And with no promise of ANY remuneration, I turned up every day, then week, then month and it became a running joke. “Are you still here?” I was later offered freelance work in a ditched effort to get me out of their office. I stayed. After 2 years I moved to another agency with a great track record under my belt and learnt my greatest lesson life had for me. GIVE YOUR ALL WITHOUT EXPECTATIONS AND NEVER GIVE UP!