An interview with the CMA’s 2022 Rising Star, River Orrey

By CMA Team on

The Rising Star a the International Content Marketing Awards is for anyone under 30 working in a content marketing function in an agency or at a brand that demonstrates an outstanding contribution to content marketing. Individuals may come from areas including account management, editorial, design, planning/ research, data and insight, content delivery and campaign management.

We caught up with the 2022 Rising Star, River Orrey, on what it means to win the award.

Can you give us an overview of your career to date and how you got started?

I graduated from Falmouth University in the midst of the pandemic in 2021 and moved back across the country to Norwich, which is a really lovely creative hub in East Anglia. After a few months of getting settled into the city, I found my first graphic design job at Dialogue Agency, where my efforts were largely focused on one particular client: GSMA. It was this work which lead me to win the Rising Star Award last year. Since then, my passions have moved away slightly from publication design, so I decided to move on from Dialogue, and I have now settled into my role as Junior Designer at Finch Design Company.

You’ve won the coveted Rising Star award at the International Content Marketing Awards, what does it mean to win?

Being able to say ‘I’ve won an international award’ after only a couple of years in the industry is completely beyond my wildest dreams. It’s been such a confidence booster as well, it’s an incredible thing to think that people look at my work and they actually like it! As a creative, it can be so easy to fall into self-doubt about how good your work is, and being able to look back to this award has helped me to get the self-assurance I need to keep going!

As a designer, what does a typical workday look like for you?

In my current role, no day is the same as the one before. This is one of the reasons I enjoy it so much. I can find myself working on up to five completely different projects in a day; print, web design, social media marketing, animation, you name it. It’s so exciting to turn up to work and not know what I might have made by the end of the day.

In your entry, you talk about your love of taking complex data and condensing it down to create visual content like infographics. Is this a design specialism you’d like to focus on?

For me personally, I don’t know if I will ever specialise into a particular niche of design. While creating graphics out of complex data is something I am still very passionate about, I think a strength of mine is finding excitement and fulfilment in nearly every different kind of creative work. 

On that note, given your successful career to date, what are your career plans for the future? 

At the moment my only plans are to keep learning as much as I can about design every day. I have a few aspirations of moving into prop design or photography later in life, but I’m not a big believer in ‘five year plans’. I want to keep myself open for any opportunity that might come my way, and this means that I can focus all my efforts onto the present and keep creating the best work I can. 

As an inspirational person in the industry, what advice would you give to potential Rising Stars who would like to emulate your success? 

My main advice for anyone new in the industry is honestly to just be as receptive as possible to learning. Completely leave your ego behind, ask as many questions as you can, and most importantly, accept help when you need it.

Finally, what advice would you give to someone who’s considering entering the International Content Marketing Awards? 

Have confidence in yourself and your work, and it will shine through. (And if you’re a designer, make some really nice mock-ups :D).

To learn more about the International Content Marketing Awards or to submit your entries please visit

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