Team Stories

Growth Stories – James Lees

James Lees is Upflowy's new Junior Application Specialist and their desire for growth and development make them a real asset.

James Lees is the new Junior Application Specialist here at Upflowy and we’re excited to share their growth story. James has been acclimating to the Upflowy product and has developed some top-tier flows. Their artistic background and creativity make them a force to be reckoned with during Friday’s Happy Hour games. James’ passion is exciting to be around, and their desire for growth and development makes them a real asset at Upflowy.

Short Bio:
Born in Sydney, I graduated from Sydney College of the Arts in 2017 with a Bachelors’s in Visual Arts. As you can see I like art and experimenting in creative fields. I’ve been lucky enough to travel to Japan, Nepal, and Costa Rica and am keen to travel again once it’s safer to do so. I have one cat, who fulfills the roles of family pet and merciful overlord.

Hobby/Fun Fact about yourself:
I like to keep busy with my hands and love to draw and illustrate. During the last lockdown, I was suffering a bit of an art block and ended up picking up painting again, which I haven’t done in years. I’ve mostly been painting small sculptures and obsessing over tiny details.

Personal Growth Story:
I was incredibly happy to study at Sydney College of the Arts, the space and education offered there was varied and a breath of fresh air after recently graduating from High School. A year and a bit into my course the heads of Sydney University announced they would be closing Sydney College of the Arts and all the students there would be moving to a separate uni course. For the next two years of my education, I was protesting this decision with my fellow students. We needed to spread awareness about the unfairness and illegality of what was being done. Thankfully we were able to keep SCA alive in a different place. The experience did take a toll on me, it was rough and mentally taxing. There may have been tough times, but I can hold my head high and say I helped fight for my degree.

Your Next Growth Target:
Developing my design knowledge and skills, and learning from other accomplished designers.

Your Role Model:
I would credit Noelle Stevenson as being a great personal inspiration. I have followed their diverse career from the early blogging days and admire their tenacity and openness. Both with their struggles and successes.

Originally starting out as an artist with a small online platform, they have since gone on to be successful in multiple different creative mediums, as a writer, producer, showrunner, and more.

What would you say to yourself 5 or 10 years ago?
Don’t be so hard on yourself, you’re doing better than you think. Start doing more stretching, RSI is no joke.

The book you plan to read or are currently reading:
I hope to start The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires soon. I was recently given a couple of books written by Grady Hendrix by my partner, and it looks like it’s a fun read!

1-3 books, podcasts, or pieces of content that you’d recommend to anyone:
Oh No Ross and Carie!. An investigative journalism podcast that looks into claims about spirituality, fringe science and religious cults. It’s very light-hearted overall, but an interesting and well-researched podcast.

Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie. A sci-fi novel about perspective, identity, and the assumptions we make about ourselves.

One Cut of the Dead. A Japanese schlocky horror movie about a film crew making a zombie movie that is then attacked by zombies. I can’t describe it any further without spoiling it, but I recommend going in blind without watching the trailer.

Find more growth stories and start-up secrets here and claim free access to Upflowy’s product here.


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