After doing two years of architecture and realising it wasn’t for him, Illustrator/Designer David Zimmerman from Bigshot Robot, found his love of design through printmaking. He tells us about some great reads, his design crushes and some big lessons learnt along the way.
Where did you study and what were some of your first jobs? I did the majority of my studying at the Peck School of the Arts at UW – Milwaukee. My first job out of school was an internship at the corporate office of a movie theatre company. After that, I spent some time with the friendly folks at sōsh, a social media start-up. Then finally BVK, a full service advertising agency, as an art director – along with a few freelance stints sprinkled in between.
What was your plan for graduating and what actually happened? I left high school with a head full of nuts and bolts cad drawings, minimal black and white photography experience, and a love for rock n roll. I started my university experience at UWM in the School of Architecture and Urban Planning, hoping to be the next Corbusier. After two years I decided architecture wasn’t for me, or rather architecture decided I wasn’t for it. Either my attention span was too short or buildings took too long to come to fruition. Moving right along, I transferred to the Peck School of the Arts within the same university. I began exploring my dormant love for fine art by trying out a couple of majors until one stuck. Photography, graphic design, and printmaking. It wasn’t until I discovered a lust for printmaking and silk screening that my true passion, drawing and illustration, re-emerged. I graduated with a multidisciplinary Bachelors of Fine Arts.
What are your three must-read design books/blogs/podcasts and why? First and foremost, Andy J. Miller’s Creative Pep Talk for its ever-inspirational and realistic look from the eyes of a human that creates art for a living.
Although it is not strictly design related, Freakonomics has found a soft place in my heart. As a designer, I find it helps to know a little bit about a lot of different things and Steven & Steven expertly help make that an easier task.
Lastly, the book Never Sleep was really the first time I was able to see how all the hard work and countless hours I’ve been putting in can really amount to a collection of amazing experiences on the way to a full life and career.
Any passion projects you would like to share? I am always working on a very long term story-based project. All I can say for now is that it has to do with an intergalactic florist.
What has been some of the biggest lessons you’ve learnt along the way? 1. Everyone is kind of making it up as they go. (There is no true guidebook for everything)
2. Hard work DOES pay off.
3. Not everyone will understand or like what you are doing, and that’s okay. Just be nice to everyone.
4. Real friendships are infinitely important, don’t forget to foster them.
….and one I still struggle with…
5. Sleep is important for mental and physical stability.
What’s the big goal in the next five years? Animation. I hope to create a short film based on a story I have been developing for the last 5 years. I have shared bits and pieces of the story with so many people and they have each had a lasting effect on the story. So, if for nothing else, I would love to create an animation that honors their creativity and willingness to take part in the creation of that story in some way. You know what they say, “it takes a village.”