This month we spoke to Sam, an Art Director and Graphic Designer based in Waltham Forest. We learn how valuable Forge was to his business since Edition 2 and we also find out about a surprising talent…

Tell us about your business 

I’m an Art Director and Graphic Designer working across cultural and commercial sectors. I create and develop brands and communications for individuals and companies.

When did you set it up? 

I’ve been independent since 2008.

 Why Forge? What urged you to apply?

Connecting with local support is really valuable for me – an opportunity to develop the business side of my practice.

What are the challenges and opportunities that your business are currently facing during the pandemic? 

I guess the immediate challenge will be how to come through what’s looking likely to be a big recession. Although these periods can throw up opportunities too, as people look to change and do things differently.

How important is connecting with other businesses to you?

It’s essential. Whether as a supplier, collaborator, client or ally – interacting with other businesses is the life blood of my work.

Did you make any valuable connections through Forge? 

I think so, yes – and more friendly faces around the place. The workshop sessions were really valuable for that – people were open, friendly and generous.

What advice would you give to the current edition 4 of forgers? 

I’d hesitate to give advice… although maybe I’d say, thinking specifically of the workshop sessions, that engaging openly and generously helps the whole room. I was lucky that the group I was with worked that way!

Tell us something we might not know about you

My making-the-dinner/in-the-shower singing voice is a surprising falsetto.

Sam Bluden joined the Forge community as part of the second edition, Cohort 2.