As Roost president and full-time freelancer, Andy Jones has a busy life. His journey, however hectic, has been positive and his recent professional rebranding is a testament to how far he’s come.
He said, “For years, I have been trading under my own name, but I’ve just launched my new brand Colour & Sound Creative, which is a way of unifying all the lots of different bits and pieces I do.”
After graduating from the University of Newcastle in 2012, Andy has come a long way both professionally and logistically. After a six-month stint as a video journalist in Cambodia, he returned to Newcastle where he immediately began life as a freelancer.
He said, “Initially, I started freelancing because I wasn’t sure what path I wanted to go down; there wasn’t one single career path that was singing to me. Freelancing was an opportunity to try a bunch of different things.”
“I’ve always had lots of interests. When I started freelancing, the single income stream was from video. I introduced photography, audio editing and podcasting and, more recently, working more broadly with clients to work out who they are, what they do and getting their story out there.”
One of the main benefits of freelance work is the flexibility to shape your working life as you think is best. As Andy’s business has grown, he’s moved into new practises based on both personal and pragmatic reasons.
He said, “What has shaped the direction of my career has been two things. First and foremost, whatever interests me. I like to be constantly learning new skills and taking on challenges.”
“The second thing is whatever people will pay me to do. As much as I’d like to live in a way that finance didn’t factor into my plans, that’s kind of difficult.”
“I’m trying to find that sweet spot between things that I enjoy doing and to live my life the way I want whilst still earning money.”
One of the more recent additions to his professional portfolio is working on podcasts. Having helped out on the Welcome to Day One podcast, Andy is now developing his own series to focus on the burgeoning creative industry in the local area.
He said, “I have taken so much value out of being a member of The Roost. The podcast, in large part, is about trying to bottle that value in a way that it can be shared with people outside of The Roost.”
“Running a business is hard and creativity doesn’t happen in a vacuum. I hope that a podcast about the creative industries, which would be made up of conversations of people from all different fields, would be a great way to learn more about what it’s actually like to work in a creative industry and to celebrate and grow the creative community in Newcastle.”
Starting at The Roost in mid-2014 after hearing about a workspace that “sounded too good to be true”, Andy has established himself as a popular and respected member here. After two terms serving on The Roost board, Andy was voted in as Roost president at the end of 2018.
Talking of the Roost, he said, “I don’t think I would still be freelancing had I not found The Roost. It’s really been an enormous part of what makes my job enjoyable and sustainable.”
“First and foremost, just having a physical space to be in, that was the thing I got immediate benefit from. But over time, even more important than that, has been the connections I’ve developed and the friendships I’ve made.”
And speaking of his time as president, Andy added, “It’s been both a challenge and an absolute pleasure taking on more responsibility around The Roost. I just love the people and that’s the bit that makes it all worthwhile.”