When did you fall in love with design and how did you get started?
I was always that kid at school that got overly excited to get my hands dirty and paint banners for my team, make extravagant birthday cards for my friends or design invites for group sleepovers. I never really thought I would make a career from it and in turn enrolled for accounting when I first finished school. I got 6 weeks in before realising I wanted to get paid to do arts and crafts and be creative. None of which accounting offered - who would have thought! So I started studying design the next year.
Where do you gather inspiration, on and off the web?
-On: I love a good old Tumblr session. I’ll pretty much follow anyone whether their blogs are design based or not because everything has value. It’s so easy to wave goodbye to hours online though, which seems like a good idea when doing it and never in retrospect.
-Off: My shonky iPhone 4 is full of lower than average snaps I take on a daily basis. Everything from cool colour combinations I find between the fruit & veges at the Central Markets, bad typography observations and up-close-and-personal photo-shoots with IKEA hotdogs. I’m a firm believer in finding inspiration in everything and even though the photo taken may serve no relevance at the time other than ‘this looks cool’ it might come back to help you in the future. Though I’m still finding a use for the hotdog shoot…
What has been some of the biggest lessons you’ve learnt along the way?
1. Trust your gut: If you believe in your work and your ideas – roll with them. Take advice from your lecturers and those around you but ultimately it’s your work and you have to be happy with it.
2. Sleep: Self explanatory.
3. Surround yourself with a good network of like minded people: Being able to bounce ideas off each other is important and I was incredibly lucky to score some amazingly talented friends at uni who were always up for a laugh/beer/crying session before assessment.
4. Be a weirdo: Cannot stress this enough! Weird ideas stand out. Challenge briefs, push the boundaries, always ask “why?” and never play by the rules.
5. File management: Don’t accidentally replace a folder named ‘Portfolio’ that contains years worth of work that you have been compiling for your portfolio with an empty folder named ‘Portfolio’ less than a week before you need to have the thing printed. No amount of beer or tears can fix that. Trust me. File management is key.
Whats the big goal in the next five years?
To own my own studio named ‘Kelvin’. It has been a little lovechild of mine brewing for a while now and I cannot wait for it to come together. There is a lot I have to do before Kelvin peeks it’s weird head into the world (learn about business/how to be a real life functioning adult/work experience/build a client base etc) but it’s definitely something I am going to work hard on over the next 5 years.
Any personal projects you would like to share? past, present or future?
Last year I designed a book called ‘Colourful Language’ which is basically a celebration of my potty mouth. It focuses on the words shit, fuck and cunt and made my mum very proud (haha). It’s something that I hope to revisit in the future and either take aspects of it or the whole thing into publication. It was cool to see everyone getting into it and even better to see those who really disliked it (I got a few nasty glares from less than impressed parents especially when they came across the insult generator and learnt phrases such as ‘You’re the biggest, turd munching cunt circus!”).
Which three people in the design industry would you pick as mentors and why?
1. David Shrigley. Though he is a visual artist, I love the guy. His ideas are insane and as a mentor I would hope he passed some of his quirky mind to me.
2. The guys from Melbourne studio Tin & Ed. I came across them on Instagram and am often intrigued by their art direction and way of thinking. Their bright and unconventional style is super cool.
3. Dom and James - an Adelaide duo who run MASH. I’m a fan girl of everything they do and I love potato mash. It’s a match made in design heaven. Or should I say a mash made in heaven?
Salt Lake City
Subscribe to our weekly newsletter and join our design community of emerging graphic designers around the globe.