a-list / jared :: graphic designer :: mel
What sparked your passion for design?
I'm not sure what sparked it originally. I wanted to be a comic book illustrator when I was younger, so I guess that style of artwork inspired me. In general, I've always liked the idea of creating something that could touch someone and really speak to people. Not literally, like a robot or something, that'd be weird...
How creative were you as a youngster?
I was big into drawing comic book characters, and things like that. I liked making flip-books, and posters, etc. I usually stuck to just pencils, which in hindsight is pretty boring. I like colouring art digitally now, back then I didn't really care for using crayons, or markers, or paint.
Do you come from a creative family?
I always wanted sketches and drawings of ninja turtles and other stuff like that that kids get obsessed with. I used to get my dad to draw me pictures (he was really good), and after a while I guess he pushed me to start drawing for myself, because really, those drawings took a lot of time, and I'm sure I asked for a new one every single day.
Were they supportive of your desire to be a designer?
Yes, absolutely. They always encouraged me to be creative and artistic. It kept me out of trouble...for the most part.
What sort of education and training have you had?
I studied at Fanshawe College in London, Ontario, Canada. I graduated from the 3-year Graphic Design program. It was a great experience for me, and I really got a ton out of it. There is always on the job training too. I like that. Going into work and learning new things and techniques all of the time is huge for me.
Who did you want to work for when you first entered the industry?
Probably a major film studio. I've always loved movie posters, I think that would be a really cool job.
Tell us about your first project and what do you feel about it now?
It was packaging for a really poorly made kite. Probably not my best work... It was good to learn on the job though. Find out what the client wants, and adapt to make it work for them. Being able to take constructive criticism and make it work to your advantage is something I think you have to go through as a designer, you can't just be taught it.
What is your preferred software to work with and what has been the greatest advancement in technology over the past 5 years?
I like working with Adobe Creative Suite. Making each of the programs more compatible with each other is always nice. Keeping up with the mobile device technology is pretty great too, in my opinion.
Is digital technology going to eliminate the need for print?
Digital technology is always going to be a massive medium, and it'll just keep getting better and better and push print to the back burner. But it will never kill it. There is something aesthetically pleasing about picking up a great print job on a nice stock. As good as digital technology is, it won't give you that same feeling.
Whose work do you really admire and why?
Tomer Hanuka, he is a New York-based illustrator. I have always liked his work, he has a comic book style that has always just worked for me. I wrote to him once asking for some tips, and advice about making it as a freelancer. He responded with some helpful words of wisdom. It was pretty great.
Who has been the greatest person that you’ve ever had the pleasure of working with and what have they taught you?
At my first job out of college, I worked within a really talented team of designers. I would say that time in general was a great pleasure for me, as I learned a lot from all of them. They were very patient and supportive with me. So besides learning things design-wise, I learned about being a professional, and how to treat colleagues, regardless of how many years experience they have.
How would you describe your work?
I always find it tough to say that it is "this", or it is "that". I think that in general, it is pretty accessible. Hopefully people can look at my work and relate to it in some way. I haven't gone through my blue period yet or anything. I'd like to do some varying work and diversify my portfolio more. As an illustrator, I'd like to loosen my art up a bit. I don't think I have quite defined my own style yet. I think being a designer/illustrator is a constant work-in-progress.
What are your plans for the future?
I have been working on some designs for a clothing company. It'd start off with t-shirts. I think creating a brand of your own and just running with it would be great. So we'll see where that goes.
What sort of company would you like to work with next?
Definitely one with a big emphasis on design and being creative. It's sometimes tough to be passionate about your work when you know that the company just looks at it as filler. I think being heard and having input in the work place is always nice. It makes me feel like I'm really contributing in other areas, besides the obvious graphic designer ones.
What is your opinion of Australian design?
So far, so good. I haven't been in Australia all that long, so I'm not sure how strong of an opinion I have on it yet. The street art is great.
What is the best/worst thing about being a designer in Australia?
I don't really have any complaints yet. I am from Canada, so if I can go to work on Friday and then to the beach on Saturday, in the middle of December, I'm happy.
What is your creative outlet outside of design?
I'm digging a lot of the street art here in Melbourne, I think that might be fun to get into a bit. Hopefully no handcuffs though.
What is the best designed bar in Melbourne?
Hmmm, not sure yet. The rooftop bar and cinema at the Curtin House is pretty cool. A rooftop patio with a big movie screen. What's not to love?
What are your top 5 websites at the moment?
and my Yahoo fantasy hockey league site(Canadians....)
What CD are you currently listening to and is it any good?
Listening to Gotye's album Making Mirrors. I heard the single "Somebody that I used to know" the other day, and thought I'd check out the rest of the album. It's really good. The new Kasabian is great too.
If I was a font, I’d be...?