a-list / leigh :: industrial designer :: bne
What sparked your passion for design?
How creative were you as a youngster?
Do you come from a creative family?
Were they supportive of your desire to be a designer?
I was always creative as a child, I won a prize for designing a safety poster for ICI when I was just 8 and won another completion to design the kit for Billingham Bombers ice hockey team at 10. Both of my parents were fairly creative, and although they originally tried to convince me to take a more secure career path they did support my final decision to enter into a creative profession.
The first move...
What sort of education and training have you had?
Who did you want to work for when you first entered the industry?
Tell us about your first project and what do you feel about it now?
Going to the same college as Ridley Scott, my initial career aspiration was to enter the world of properties and effects, with architecture being another area that greatly attracted me. The world of 3d graphics was dawning whilst I was at college and university. I saw so many endless possibilities for the application of CG after watching Red’s Dream and Luxo Junior Pixar shorts. I had a natural aptitude with numerous 3D software packages and was encouraged by my lecturer at college to pursue this field at university. After graduating my first job was working on the Miami Vice computer game. Thrown in at the deep end with so many facets of the business to learn, I gained many skills in the first six months. More than I did in 6 years of study, and within 2 years I went from office junior to Lead Artist.
What is your preferred software to work with and what has been the greatest advancement in technology over the past 5 years?
What are the various mediums that you’ve worked with and is there any that you would like to explore?
Is digital technology going to eliminate the need for print?
3D studio Max and Photoshop have been industry standards through my whole career. To me they are both intuitive very powerful tools that keep improving year upon year. I have worked with many varying mediums from oils to magic markers to computers. All of which have their positives and negatives, usually what is the main draw for one medium is the hardest aspect with another, the challenges is to use the correct medium for the task at hand.
We could be heroes...
Whose work do you really admire and why?
Who has been the greatest person that you’ve ever had the pleasure of working with and what have they taught you?
What has been your greatest achievement so far?
In architecture, Richard Rogers, Alvar Aalto and Norman Foster are a huge inspiration. In games, Ubisofts Assassin’s Creed series visually pushes what is capable on the current range of consoles. In film, Industrial Light and Magic were one of my biggest inspirations to embark on a career in design.
I had a great manager at Rockstar in Andy Hay. He has many years experience working all the way through from 2D games to current gen, and was a great person to learn from.
I have two stand out achievements in my career. The first was working with one of my inspirations, Lord Norman Foster. The second was working on Grand Theft Auto 4. On its release it was the highest grossing form of entertainment ever.
All about me...
How would you describe your work?
What are your plans for the future?
What sort of company would you like to work with next?
Most of my work to this point has been in the digital world, working in various styles and on varied project sizes. I have had much critical acclaim for projects that I have worked on, and projects that I have been involved with have grossed over $2 billion globally.
I am looking at leaving the games industry and work in advertising or real world design.
What is your opinion of Australian design?
What is the best/worst thing about being a designer in Australia?
In your opinion, what is the greatest challenge the Australian design industry has to face in the near future?
Australia has a very unique style that is undeniably Australian, which is very endearing when most of the world is being globalised. As with the games industry that I am transitioning from, other design industries will struggle with the strong Australian dollar. Global competition is fierce and the booming economy here means it is tough to bid for global contracts.
Just for fun…
What is your creative outlet outside of design?
I enjoy visiting museums and galleries, and have a real passion to learn how to play guitar better. It may take me forever to learn,but I will master it, one day….
What is the best designed bar in Brisbane?
Cloudlands in Brisbane is a local landmark of interior design, it's beautifully designed and finished.
What are your top 5 websites at the moment?
What CD are you currently listening to, and is it any good?
At the moment I'm listening to the entire Kings of Leon catalogue - seeing them live has inspired this.
If I was a font, I'd be?
I would be Perpetua - stylish, bold, adaptable, minimialistic and timeless.