A Friend Of Mine

Such a pleasure to be interviewing Suzy Tuxen, the Creative Director of the incredible Melbourne based studio, A Friend of Mine (AFOM). AFOM are the design brains behind the recent Supergraph identity, not to mention the awarded Pixel Flix brand identity and endlessly blogged The Town Mouse bar/restaurant branding. Suzy took part in TDK Melbourne Terrible Twos alongside Alice Oehr back in 2012. This is one creative lady, working across all mediums, collaborating and always challenging herself. Read on for hot tips to keep your design cool! 

How did A Friend of Mine start?

A Friend of Mine started in January 2009 a few weeks after I returned from living in London. With no money, no mortgage and job — it seemed like a perfect time to start a business before I got locked into anything! Initially I worked from the second bedroom in a rental flat that I shared with my now husband. After supplementing my business with freelancing and teaching, business slowly grew and after a year I moved into a studio space. Renting a studio space was really worth the investment for me — meetings were more professional, I was taken more seriously and it was easier to justify design fees. I learned much from trial and error, and asking people like my generous mentor Scott Bonnanno of Liquorice Studio. Things really geared up in the last 3 years, and I now have designers Cassie Brock and Emily Fitts working with. Both women are incredibly talented and add so much depth and fun to the business — A Friend of Mine wouldn't be the same without them!

You have been involved in some amazing projects, what have been your favourite to date and why?

Thanks, it's been a fun ride! So hard to say, I've enjoyed so many projects over the years, but recent projects we have really loved and had lots of design freedom on would have to be Supergraph and The Town Mouse. Kind and trusting clients always enable the best projects!

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What have been some of your most interesting project collaborations?

I'd have to say the most unusual collaborations would be creating a weaving which with Carla Grbacfor Wired Magazine — it was so much fun exploring the challenges and beauty of a different hand made craft.

I also collaborate with one of my best friends, Ryan Ward, to co-create an online shop selling crafted design items, Significant Others which merges graphic design with timber crafts.

Whats advice do you have for recent grads looking for a job? What gets your attention?

My advice is to make clever work which is well crafted and well presented. The clever part is the most important!

Design work by A Friend Of Mine The Design Kids interviews A Friend Of Mine work-4
Design work by A Friend Of Mine The Design Kids interviews A Friend Of Mine work-4

After supplementing my business with freelancing and teaching, business slowly grew and after a year I moved into a studio space. Renting a studio space was really worth the investment for me — meetings were more professional, I was taken more seriously and it was easier to justify design fees.

What have been some of the most creative job applications you have received?

To be honest, it's the tricksy, complicated job applications which I tend to really dislike! Keep it simple: It's about the work and presenting yourself professionally. It's handy if you have a website to supplement a PDF portfolio. PDF's are great to keep on file in case an employer doesn't have work immediately but might like to hire you down the track.

What’s your creative process like? What do you do if you come to a creative block?

I love to move away from the computer in the early stages of a creative process. Sketching with a pencil and paper, talking to someone else about the project really helps as well. If all else fails, go for a walk! Showers are also great for brainstorming — but the common thread is not being in front of the computer when trying to think ideas through.

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Which blogs are a must read for you?

The Design Files, Share Design — I'm more interested in looking at interiors than graphic design admittedly!

Whats on the horizon?

A baby! My husband and I are expecting a baby boy in mid October. I'm imagining it will be quite challenging to have a baby and run a business at the same time — but I'm determined to do it! Thank goodness for my amazing staff who are going to hold the forte whilst I'm on maternity leave!

afom.com.au
instagram.com/afriendofminedesignstudio

Design work by A Friend Of Mine The Design Kids interviews A Friend Of Mine work-8
Design work by A Friend Of Mine The Design Kids interviews A Friend Of Mine work-8

Where to find A Friend Of Mine online.

 

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