Met Erika Evans – the clever lady behind Brisbane based studio Tinker. We crossed paths back in 2012 after Terrible Twos Brisbane, and now we discuss the bumpy road into design, french curves, and good blogs to check out. Enjoy Brisbanites!
When did you fall in love with design and how did you get started?
I grew up in a small country town (Cooktown) and then went to highschool in a bigger country town (Rockhampton), so there wasn’t really a lot of exposure to the arts or careers in it. I always loved being creative at school, but my dad said there was no career in art and I should do something that used my brain instead. Ha! After school, the road to becoming a designer was bumpy. I went to college in 1999 where we learnt how to use french curves and draw in watercolour and ink. At the end of my course I was left with very little practical experience – lets just say the french curves were retired, never to be seen again. I called 52 places looking for work experience, until finally I found an ad agency that took students. When I finished college I continued working for free in that agency until they employed me. I worked my way up through the studio and learnt all I could, completed AWARD School and was then approached by a new startup agency that I took a chance on, which ended 6 months later when their doors closed. I continued working in agencies until I finally made the move out of advertising and across to design, which is where my heart is.
Tell us your favourite spots to get inspired?
I find I’m more creative when I work without pressure or looming deadlines. There is no particular spot I go to to get inspired. I like to familiarise myself with the job, research and take all the info on board, then leave it and let my subconscious work on it for a bit. I could be driving in the car, taking a shower or awake at 2am when inspiration hits.
What are your go to blogs for inspiration?
Pinterest is probably my favourite as I love the organisation you can have in there. It’s a great place to collect bits and pieces and store for future reference. I also love the graphic exchange blog: mr-cup.com and one for fun – a site filled with old letterhead examples: letterheady.com
What advice would you give students starting out?
Be humble, skill is important but attitude goes a very long way. Approach every task as an opportunity to learn or grow no matter how trivial it may seem. Treat every person you meet as if they have something they can teach you – you can learn so much just by being open and having honest conversations with people. Remember that in a commercial environment, not every project you work on in your career will end up a design masterpiece that changes the world, but for your clients its their masterpiece that will change their world!
Where do you think design is heading in the next five years and how will you adapt?
Five years is a long time in our industry! I really hope we still hold onto print in some form. For me there is something so special about being able to hold a finished piece in your hands, to be able to admire the stock, the colours, the finishes. It seems so much is moving towards the digital world because it’s so accessible and has such a huge reach, but we are bombarded with it daily which makes receiving printed pieces (well thought out and executed printed pieces) so special and memorable.