I would say probably a mix between early interactions with magazines (especially a magazine called Beckett - which told you prices of basketball cards) and being left with only one after school curriculum that i didn’t get kicked out of which was digital art. The digital art classes in 2000 had us using something like Photoshop 6, I just remember the eye avatar as their logo. We had lots of projects over the semesters from re-creating our own game covers to illustration etc. It definitely kicked me in the right direction.
Design crushes change every day from individual designers to studios, but at the moment it would be (not in any order)
1. Braulio Amado
2. Hort Studio / Eike Koenig
3. Anna Kulachek
4. Studio SPGD
5. Pitch Studios
There have been a few, it’s really the only way to learn. You can take in as much advice and pick as many people’s brains but you can only make decisions in the way you feel comfortable. I was a little relaxed about a job last year with not getting a contract that was super sound and looked after the studio. Even though it was a contract that was binding - there were loopholes within it. It resulted me in losing close to 45% of the budget which was a definite sting. I am wiser as a result and also understand how to manage particular situations where you can see these things coming from a mile away. Foresight is a funny thing.
At the moment it’s just myself in the studio, as last year we had a really big year mixed with not understanding how to attract the work we wanted to work on and working any job that came our way. So this year has been really about refining that radiation and being much more selective in the projects we take in. My day has changed dramatically from this time last year. I’ve learnt how to embrace time and not chase time, so generally starts with planning out what the day looks like and reading the guardian over coffee. From there it’s just about trying to keep in contact with what work is on the plate currently while also giving myself a break every 2/3 hours for a 10min spell. I’ve found that it’s pretty critical for me to step away from the screen every 2 hours, and do something mindless. I’ve started juggling to create that contrast in thinking. The day ends usually with something lighter work wise, or more often than not creating for the studio, if that be instagram stuff or posters - just something to move my head away from the problems I’ve been trying to solve most the day.
I can’t speak for the entire design industry, but graphic design has really started moving in the most interesting way. The industry is really cultivating more artists who are using their skills as graphic designers to explore more solutions in the form of art - this is also breaking the norm of more commercial clients looking at their problems to be solved in that manner. Graphic designers are identifying themselves more as artists which is an amazing thing to see, rather than looking at themselves as a tool or instrument in this process. All forms are being revived, especially print - poster work is now back in fashion which is super fun. Publications and Editions are being produced on a smaller scale and supported by the public. I think we will start to look at using more dynamic ideas within our delivery, if that be motion, 3D or even trying to reinvent how the idea of print comes across but if we look at trying to up-skill ourselves we’ll constantly be chasing. So to adapt this will most likely bring more collaboration on our end with more specialists in solving problems together.
I’m about to jump over to NYC for a couple months to connect with a few clients and designers. The plan over the next 12 months is to do more international networking, as instagram has helped a lot of studios have this crazy virtual web of connections. It’s super important to bring those to real life and start making the industry more inclusive rather than exclusive which I feel like happens more often than not. We are also launching a sister company called Formerly Known Press, which is aiming at providing a platform for all type of artists who are looking at exploring other mediums under their name or aliases. As well as giving the Australian market more feesable access to some of these amazing publications coming out overseas. For SCCO I’ll be looking at building the team back up again next year with a more nimble approach to how small studios can work and how collectively we can move towards the work we identify ourselves with.