Over the last 2 year I have spent many hours on a site called graphicriver a place for selling design templates of all sorts, it is a great place with many talented authors so I have decided to interview artists from the site and this is the first of many more to come. I hope this will help people understand how other designer work and what processes they go through.
1. How did you get started in the design industry, and what is your advice for people thinking of doing the same?
When I was about 14, I custom built a PC with a family friend who was a computer tech guy. I wanted the PC for gaming, so it had a strong graphics card and was fairly powerful. When finishing off the computer, my friend also installed the Adobe suite + things like Macromedia fireworks. I ended up playing around with Photoshop + Fireworks and found it incredibly cool (you know, writing your name and adding an embossed effect being the coolest thing you’ve ever seen) and it became my new hobby. I started spending a lot of time creating silly graphics for game forum signatures, my friend’s myspace accounts or MSN Messenger avatars and it simply grew from that. It was only about a year or two later after I’d discovered PSD Tuts and really improved my skills, that I started to think about maybe finding clients and entering the ‘industry’
2. What is your process for starting a new piece of work?
It varies on what I have in mind. I recently created a range of 3 Gangster themed flyer templates which beforehand I trawled the web looking for old 1940’s photographs of people and life back then. I analysed the images and applied what I could see to my work. It all depends on the project, sometimes I’ll just get on with it and ‘throw my paints at the canvas’, others I’ll refer to books or the web. You can see a video of me working & making it up as I go along shown below
3. Do you have any favourite websites for finding design inspiration?
I tend to stick to the usual of DeviantArt, Behance & Creattica. Sometimes I wander around Ffffound, but that’s exactly it – I wander around, get lost and an hour later I can’t even remember what I was originally looking for. Specifically as an inspiration for my craft, i.e making flyer templates, I have a big folder on my computer and a folder in Chrome just FULL of bookmarks to interesting works. I also make regular flyer design inspiration posts on Flyer Heroes.
4. What do you think are the most important skills for a designer to have/develop?
The most important things for a designer to have are determination to consistently improve and the ability to take all criticisms of their work on board. Everyone develops their own style and their own way of doing things, but you should also have the ability to understand the fundamentals of design. It’s ok to be able to create super explosive, energy filled & high octane flyer or poster designs, but can you create a simple, basic, text based leaflet for a local shop or business, that doesn’t need in-your-face graphics? Understanding the importance of single core subjects like typography, contrast, colour palettes etc, is something that I am still taking a lot of time to improve and work on, as it’s something that’ll be key to your success much more than your ‘sick Photoshop skillz’.
5. What does your work area look like and what make it special to you?
My work area is wherever I choose to sit in the house. Either in my office, one of my lounges, dining room, bedroom… Ahhh I love having the freedom of a laptop.
6. What trends will emerge and be popular in 2012 in your opinion?
I really don’t know. In regards to the Micro-ISV market on places like Graphicriver, things will definitely become more competitive, the quality of your competition’s items will increase and it won’t be as easy as it once was to instantly start getting sales on your items.
7. When you are not designing what do you get up to?
I’ll be working on something, eating, watching films or working on something. Oh, did I say working on something?
8. Which piece of you work are you most proud of and why?
A3 Drinks Advertisement Poster Template. Clean, crisp, highly usable and selling really well. I recently designed a follow up to it, Drinks Advertisement Poster Template Vol. 2, which is also working it’s way through the sales. I’m also very proud of Flyer Heroes and our growing list of Free Flyer Templates. A blog I started a few months ago for my rejected flyer templates + it has surprisingly picked up it’s traffic and is beginning to gather a bit of traction here and there!
9. What do you do when get creative block and how do you overcome it?
Work on something else, take my mind off the project for an hour or day, browse the net looking for inspiration or refer to my growing collection f design related books. As we all know, creative block is just plain evil.
10. What are the current design goals you’re looking to achieve?
Personally, for 2012, my main goal is the sheer dedication to increasing my Graphicriver market share. I want to be in the top 50 Graphicriver Authors in the next 4 or 5 months. (currently #94) I also plan to create a crash course for new authors revealing some great techniques for jump starting your Graphicriver career. If you’d like to connect with me online, feel free to check out my personal website, QAE Design or find me designing free flyer templates over on FlyerHeroes! Thanks, Adam.