In the backyard with…James Frewin

Creative Director, Designer, BACKED Community

Published in
3 min readOct 27, 2020

🧰 | My first ever job…

The first ever job I had was as an engineer in a hospital. I used to go around and fix whatever people needed. In my first week I was replacing a computer in an operating theatre when somebody got rushed in for surgery. I had to change into the scrubs and everything to keep working while they did their thing. I had just turned 17 too. It’s pretty difficult to care about installing Windows 7 Enterprise Edition when there’s a room full of doctors and nurses giving blood transfusions and emergency oxygen.

🧠 | The last thing I geeked out about…

This is tough. I just rewatched The People vs OJ Simpson on Netflix. The show is so good and the story is so crazy. Maybe that. I like making Spotify Playlists for my friends too and I was definitely pretty obsessive about the order of the tracks. I think quarantine has made me go insane.

🔎 | I want to learn more about…

I’d love to learn more about food and cooking. I just finished Gordon Ramsay and Thomas Keller’s Masterclasses and got a Gousto subscription. BACKED VC meets Come Dine With Me?

💁🏼‍♂️ | You can ask me about…

Design probably. Mostly App Design but I’ll discuss whatever. Photography — let’s do it. Architecture — great. One of my friends once said to me “You know, pretty much everything is design” and I almost married her on the spot.

⚒️ | A problem that needs a better solution…

It might not be the biggest problem out there right now but I’m really interested in finding ways to link people in lower-income countries with higher paid work. So far I’ve trialed it from a design point-of-view with a few student designers in Brazil, paying them to study a mini crash course in UI/UX design that I made — and then linking them up with startups in the UK or US. It worked pretty well and I’d like to trial it again but I kept running out of money to pay them…

⚡ | A sector / technology / trend I’m excited about right now…

I feel like I’m always really excited about video stuff despite not doing that much video work. I love seeing how creative people have got with video on TikTok just like how a whole bunch of new video styles came out of Vine. I’m really excited to see where people take this creativity now that we have much better cameras, equipment and ways to edit them from our phones.

🎉 | I’m hosting a dinner party. My three special guests are…

  1. Okay it makes sense to have someone to handle the cooking, right? So I’ll probably go with Gordon Ramsay because to see him call someone an idiot sandwich in MY kitchen? That’s the dream. Though actually he’d probably be calling me that…
  2. Now we need someone funny who’s gonna keep stirring up some topics to talk about. I’m gonna go with Seth Rogen. I think he’ll have some great stories. Plus he might bring Jonah Hill with him.
  3. And finally someone to keep us on time and make sure we come out of the dinner party more successful than when we went in. Who else but Kris Jenner? We’d probably even get an E! TV Series out of it too.
In the backyard with…@James Frewin | Creative Director, Designer, BACKED Community | Image Jason Leung.

This series introduces the incredibly talented, gritty and good people in the BACKED Community.

BACKED is the human-centric venture capital fund. We invest in exceptional founders, at Seed, in Europe. Put People First | Be An Apprentice | Push the Limits | Bring Good Energy. Since 2015.

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