I’ve done two degrees, one in London, UK and one in Vancouver, Canada. In reverse order, my second degree I did at Vancouver Film School. Great incubator of talent. I graduated from a super intense program in 3D and VFX with a main focus on CG lighting. My art director’s degree, I did at Chelsea College of Arts and Design (UAL). From there, I was scouted to work on a series of videos for a totally balls-to-the-wall campaign shot by David LaChapelle, for an Italian denim brand. This opened doors mostly within the fashion and music industry, which lead to shooting music videos, designing record covers and the likes. This is before I decided to swim in the deep end of advertising, in order to get a mortgage. Eventually, my work found a healthy balance, with projects that combined creativity and kept the lights on as I moved forward.
Generally I’ve been blessed. Having said that, I really don’t think bad design jobs—or any bad job for that matter—make you better at all, esp if you’re in it full time. If you’re a great employee, your efforts and input should be acknowledged and if your employer (and their clients) won’t care for any of that, you’d better start looking for something else.
If you’re a freelancer, however, finding yourself in a sticky situation creatively, could probably teach you how to be more professional, diplomatic and possibly slightly assertive while still being respectful of the people you work with.
My practice is called Big Boy Studio. I’m 6’4’’ and 240 lbs. It doesn’t get much more personal than that, really. Keep it personal, make sure it’s memorable, while keeping it... erm, generic, but a good way. Lots of creative practices seem to mutate as they mature over time so you want to make sure people remember who you are, even if you veered off slightly from your original niche in the market.
Big Boy Studio is a creative practice for stills, motion and film. The work is fueled by ideas and driven by forward-thinking design. We operate within a global network of thinkers and creators, and mostly work out of London and Vancouver.
Internships can be tricky. If you want to work for a big, fancy agency and the job description only talks about delivering mail and making coffee, there’s no point. Personally, I worked for smaller shops where, among other things, I got to produce actual work and learn from seasoned creatives. This will give you both the soft and hard skills you need for your next gig.
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Well, it’s different things, really. On a top-level though, I’d usually go for someone with a great attitude that communicates well, whose sense of taste is somehow matured and aligned to what my practice stands for. Personality plays a big part. If their work’s good that’s obviously a plus.
Heading? I think it’s here now, and we are all adapting already. I find that the future of design lies in a holistic approach that fuses all design principles together as well as with the visual arts.
Take CG work for example—which is something we do more and more of lately. Modelling and texturing an object touches onto industrial design. Lighting it in a shot requires in-depth knowledge of photography and if you end up animating that shot, you’ve just directed a short film.
Design should be culturally relevant and unrelated to any and all labels. It should creatively transcend boundaries with work that is authentic, engaging and grabs the viewer from alternative angles.