My name is Jonathan, I'm a musician, designer and film maker living in Manchester, UK. From an early age I've been passionate about creativity. I used to love drawing and creating pieces of artwork. In high school I discovered animation and wanted to pursue that as a career. I ended up going on to a college which didn't teach animation, but I decided to study things that felt similar: graphic design, computer science and media studies. Over those two years I grew a love for graphic design and media, and decided to pursue that instead.
Two weeks before starting a course on design and digital media at university I was offered a job with a christian charity called The Message Trust as an in-house designer. I decided to try that out as a gap year, which ended up being 5 years! Shortly after starting that job I was leading worship at my church and started a side project of writing worship songs in a new style (think Indie / Electronica meets Folk), which I called Rivers & Robots.
Over the course of those 5 years, the music project grew in popularity as I started to release some of my bedroom recordings as albums - The Great Light (2011) and Take Everything (2012). I decided to invite some friends to join the project and turned it into a 4 piece band after the second album. Eventually my side project became my main project as I reached a point where I was using all of my holidays to go on tour and every free evening and weekend to write songs and manage the band admin.
In 2015, after several chats with record labels and a lot of prayer, I decided to take a leap and quit my job as a graphic designer to set up a new missions organisation called Set Sail with my band mates. The aim of Set Sail is to make Jesus known through art and creativity, and to encourage other artists in the church around the world. The main projects being releasing music through our band Rivers & Robots, running monthly worship nights in creative spaces in Manchester and starting a new YouTube channel to release video content.
We decided to live as missionaries, raising our own funds through people that love our vision and want to support us each month. Which meant we could use all of the money that comes in from the band to fund creative projects, worship nights, video resources and missions trips that we do through Set Sail.
That's what I do full time now, which in many ways feels like the coming together of the two things I've been most passionate about growing up - worship and creativity. If you'd like to be one of the people that supports me to do that, then you can do that online here. And if you want to find out more about what we do at Set Sail, visit our website or YouTube channel.