Sammy Houghton joined Hawthorn in July 2018 as a CAD & 3D Event Designer at our HQ in Leicestershire and immediately got stuck straight into creating visuals for live events and marketing campaigns. With a degree in Animation (CGI) Sammy’s creative flair has shone through, developing her skills to create a valuable role at Hawthorn where she brings events to life through CAD.

We caught up with Sammy to find out more about what she does.

What made you decide to work in the live events industry and specialise in 3D visuals?

I’ve always had a passion for architecture, animation and live events so this role is perfect for me! I love seeing how we can make the best use of a venue space and help to design an event to deliver our clients’ vision.

I started out by attending Edge Hill University in Liverpool which has a really well-respected degree programme. Through that I gained a huge amount of knowledge, developed my skills in 3D animation and even achieved a first in my BA Honours Degree! That and the work experience I’d undertaken in the gaming industry helped me to secure my job at Hawthorn. It’s fantastic, I get to work on different events and campaigns weekly - sometimes even daily!

What do you enjoy most about your job?

I love working at Hawthorn and engaging with the different teams and departments to help create visualisations for events they’re working on. It’s great to listen to people’s point of view on a particular event, get our heads together and those creative juices flowing.

There are so many new challenges for me to take on, whether it’s building a venue in 3D or creating animations for marketing campaigns. It’s never boring and the team are always here to support me.

What does your average day look like?

Busy! It’s a standing joke that I spend my day with my nose glued to the computer screen, but I get so into my work that I just go into my own world. Sometimes I work into the night to get a visual completed, but that’s not as bad as it sounds as when I’m in the groove of a visual I just want to carry on! I always get satisfaction when the visual is complete and our client loves it. I love being set a creative challenge. I was recently asked by our marketing team to create some animations to support Hawthorn’s Christmas Elf campaign, which was brilliant fun. It was great seeing all the shenanigans our clients’ elves got up to in the run up to Christmas.

What has been your favourite event to work on so far?

One of my favourite events has to be the Knights of Illumination Awards, where I had the opportunity to not only visualise the event but also animate the iconic KOI sword award for the event’s content and see it in action at the ceremony. So exciting!

What do you like to do outside of work?

Call me Sporty Spice! I have recently completed the Lincolnshire Triathlon and I’m out of breath just talking about it, but it was a fantastic experience and lots of fun. Snowboarding is one of my hobbies too. I enjoy taking to the slopes and trying to balance rather than face-plant in the snow. It’s never a pretty sight when I do. Whilst I am taking a rest from all my sporting activities I enjoy playing Grand Theft Auto because I love all the visual animations.