Time to shine the virtual spotlight on yet another excellent Artisan candidate! This time we've sat down with concept designer and visualisation artist Alicia and asked her a heap of questions about her work, creative life, and inspirations. Enjoy!
Tell us a little bit about your background:
My name is Alicia and I’m a concept designer and visualisation artist. I began my freelance career after graduating from Swinburne University with a Bachelors of Design.
What sparked your interest in design?
As a child, I was lucky enough to have plenty of paints, markers and pencils, and regularly visited art galleries with my parents. This love for art grew and expanded to include design and film. I decided to focus on the concept development process and the numerous sketches and ideas that are created during this stage. All design projects come down to visual problem solving and I enjoy the challenge of refining abstract ideas into clear concepts.
How do you think creativity is changing the world around us?
Creativity is an amazing tool for insight and a catalyst for change. There can be mythology around creativity – as though it is an innate talent gifted to certain individuals and not others. I think this is due to a confusion between ‘artistic’ and ‘creative’. A lot of people say to me ‘I’m not creative at all, I can only draw stick-figures.’ Drawing is one method out of many to depict an idea. The most challenging part of the creative process is exploring the idea within your own mind and contemplating the best way to express it to others. It’s this creative thinking that makes amazing changes in our world, and this is something anyone can practise and hone over time.
What are some of the online resources you use for inspiration?
A great tool for inspiration is the Creative Commons on Flickr. It’s a collection of historical photographs and illustrations from institutions across the world, such as the Getty Research Institute and the British Library. They have created an enormous public resource of inspiring pieces from history, from medieval illuminated manuscripts to NASA’s archive photographs.
What is a typical day for you?
In order to stay motivated and get the most out of the day, I stick to a daily schedule. Working from home means that I need to be strict about routine and my working hours – sometimes that can also mean being strict about knowing when to stop. I make sure to fit in exercise and time outdoors, plenty of breaks and time away from the computer. Timekeeping software makes keeping to a schedule much simpler.
Do you have any advice for people who want to follow in your career footsteps?
Don’t worry about forcing your creativity, sometimes it’ll happen easily – other times you’ll stare at a blank screen in despair. An artist’s life can be unpredictable, so don’t panic if success has a roundabout way of reaching you. Be flexible with your ideas. Take the time to explore your style. Embrace learning and try to set yourself a challenge on each new project. Let your own originality inspire you, don’t limit yourself by imitating existing work. Above all, don’t fear failing or making mistakes. Mistakes are part of creativity, so when something doesn’t go to plan, it might just be a chance to see things from a different angle.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
A quote by William Faulkner:
“In writing, you must kill your darlings.”
As in writing, also in design. This quote perfectly describes the artistic pitfalls and subsequent heartache. Sometimes there is a part of a project that you just love. It’s your darling, and you’ve spent a long time crafting it into something wonderful. But the project as a whole is better off without it. It’s painful, but instead of crow-barring it in at any cost, you have to send it to its grave peacefully.
What is your favourite design or work of yours and why?
Though I can’t pick a favourite individual piece, I do enjoy projects where I can see my finished work in a public space. I recently did illustrations for Uniqlo, which they used in their window displays and in-store promotions around Australia. It’s a great feeling to be able to walk down Lonsdale street and see people looking at your illustrations.
What do you like about being an Artisan candidate?
I enjoy the experience of being able to step back and let the Artisan team take care of the logistics, so that I can focus on the creative side. It’s reassuring to know there is a great team at Artisan looking after you and finding projects that match your skills and interests.
Why would you recommend Artisan to a fellow creative?
I have worked for many quality clients through Artisan who I would not have had the opportunity of meeting elsewhere. I am always excited to hear about any new projects they send my way.
Thanks for taking the time to talk to us and share some of your favourite designs, Alicia! If you're an Artisan candidate and you'd like to be featured in an A-List profile, feel free to contact Jess for more info. If you're not an Artisan candidate yet, what are you waiting for? Sign up with us today!