How did you get into design?
It all started when I was studying GCSE graphic design. I picked coursework topic on branding. I learned how to use Adobe Illustrator and ABUSED the hell out of gradients and all the other weird and wonderful tools I had picked up. My project looked like Word Art but at the time, I was so proud of it.
I continued playing around with the different mediums into university and, of course, after I graduated.
Coming from a non-design background, how did you start building your portfolio?
I kind of fell into being a “designer” when I started university. I joined two societies, and was appointed ‘Society Media Officer’. I was also a part of the photography team at my church, which I used to experiment a lot. From then on it was down to word of mouth, which inspired the birth of my YouTube channel.
Do you prefer to have full creative control, or when a client knows exactly what they’re going for?
Hmm… it depends. I need to have a balance. If they have no idea, it can be a bit confusing because my mind goes blank. There are so many ways to approach different concepts, so it’s harder for everybody when I don’t have any idea of how they’d like it. I can think of something, hand it over to the client, and they may end up not liking it like “this” – I always want them to be satisfied, so I ensure I guide them on the thought process.
There is beauty in having constraints. I like to educate them through my thought process, which influences creative concepts that we can eventually agree on. Sometimes some people need that jumpstart! I can then start thinking of a set colour scheme and styles (classy or chill, formal or informal).
On the other hand, when there is too little room for my creative input, it can start to feel like I am being micro managed. As much as I love trying new things, I think that sometimes if what the client is asking is too far from what you deliver, it’s best to refer them to someone that specialises in that niche. For example, I prefer using different mediums (photography and design) to tell a story. Other designer prefer illustrations, and can deliver those project much better than I would.
How do you deal with creative blocks?
God! He is the creator, and everything I do is in his hands. He is my main inspiration, so whenever my mind is blank I know it’s time to sit down with him.
I try to get off social media every once in a while, and get inspiration from other mediums of creativity. Things like music and films. You’d be surprised at what you can get inspiration from! Sometimes I get inspiration from things that aren’t directly related to design.
What are your design pet peeves?
Designers taking a literal approach to design brief
My scratch disks always being full, and my projects taking FOREVER to render like I don’t have things to be doing
Non-Macbooks LOL! We don’t have time for viruses over here…
We love how you incorporate elements of yourself in your designs. How did you find your niche?
I love the art of storytelling. I was initially inspired by Drake’s ‘If you’re reading this, recreated all his album covers and fell in love with the style. I like seeing narrative through design, and always try to do the same!
How has the support you get from your friends and social media followers influenced your perspective on how creatives are viewed on social media?
Amazing! I get so much love from my friends and followers across my social media platforms.
I love that I get such great support from people I don’t know. People actually notice the growth, and feel comfortable to approachable me to ask for tips and network, which is cool.
However, I think social media sells a success story. People only see the highlights and don’t see the crazy hours and hard work that goes into it. They assume because I’m getting flewed out all expenseses paid for, that I’m living the good life. These times, all the wheels of my suitcase had fallen off, and I had been workly ungodly hours! It’s easy to think that if someone’s social media feed is nice and clean, that everything in their life is perfect and they are all knowing. Please! None of us know what we’re doing.
What would you tell your 15 y/o self?
Everything will make sense in the future, so keep going. Life will definitely get harder, but I promise if you work hard, it’ll all come together.
Education isn’t everything.
You’ve got this, persevere even when people don’t understand or believe in you.
What would you like to say to our readers?
You’re always a student. As we grow up we think we’ll graduate from uni, get this amazing job, and suddenly know all the answers to life. However life is a learning process – you’re never too smart or too old to learn new things. We are so blessed to have so many resources available to us with the click of a button. Even I learned a lot of what I know from YouTube videos for free! I’ve learned about design through design books, all different types of people, workshops, and… the internet!