Throughout his youth graphics graduate Paul Francis always knew that creation and arts were his forte, however it wasn’t until he left university that he finally managed to fulfil his dream and set up rootstem: a multimedia arts company based in Barnsley, South Yorkshire.
Paul was more than happy to talk to me in order to impart some of his knowledge and experiences of getting to where he is in life.
Speaking about how rootstem initially came about, Paul said: “Way back when schools and colleges didn’t have separate subjects for art, it was simply art and design and you got your qualifications in that first before you took a degree in a specialist subject. So I never went down one path.
“I was also doing a mixture of arts and crafts,” he continued, “so when I did my graphics course at university I was already fluent in illustration, paints, computer graphics, textiles and even using clay. After graduating I started a company with a friend of mine called Jazzmojo which was purely web design. I found the single aspect of one subject to be incredibly boring and so with rootstem I wanted to encompass everything that my co-workers and I could do.”
Up and down the UK there are people that favour the creative and artistic, however this is a niche pocket of employment and finding jobs in the industry often proves difficult as they are few and far between. Luckily Paul understands their plight and tries his best to involve as many types of people in the rootstem workforce as he can: “The people involved with the project are from all aspects of design and arts in general. This includes web design, graphic design, photography, illustration, miniature painting and creation. They’re all great!”
Despite the business having a slow start, it is gaining momentum. Speaking about the importance of social media in spreading the word, Paul said: “It’s a lot easier getting your name out their now, especially with the advent of multimedia and asking your friends to share and like your business really does help. Word of mouth is good, but so is virtual word of mouth with things like Twitter and Facebook.”
Imparting some sage advice about going down the self employment route, Paul warned: “you will not make much money in the first year! But don’t worry, if you’re doing it right it will grow. Make sure you understand everything to do with your field and do research before committing fully.”
So what’s down the line for rootstem? Speaking about the future of his business, Paul mused: “I see that rootstem will continue to grow like it is doing, and will continue to help out the little business with what they want and need. Eventually I can see it getting bigger and expanding so we can take on more staff on a full time basis. But of course keeping the core values alive is the true goal.”