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Interview with Stephane Munnier aka Goanna

Check out this interview with the Flash Masters Stephane Munnier aka Goanna, the French designer who lives in Brazil and does work for all parts of the globe. Plus, he gives us all access to his recent project vouDo! Design. Who is Goanna? Stephane Munnier aka Goana, 35 year old born in France, now lives in Rio de Janeiro Brazil Flash Designer/ Web Art Director. Work as a freelancer since 2004. www.goanna-webdesign.com Goana is a Flash masters making his designs very unique and definitely very interesting as you can see: For more visit www.goanna-webdesign.com Tell us about your project "vouDo! Design". The project besides anything is a experimentation, I can be defined as a virtual studio, A collective of 5 designers, all freelancers. And the formation goes like this: Stéphane Munnier - Founder and Flash Designer (Rio de Janeiro) Sébastien Larreur - Motion Designer (New York) Jean Christophe Quillez - Sound Designer (Paris) Sylvain Briand -Action script 3 Programmer and 3D Flash (Lyon) Florent Jean -Action Script 3 Programmer (Lyon) The Idea was to be united so we could present ourselves to our clients with more competence, and complement any needs in different areas, like mobile and other types of multimedia productions, but the biggest challenge was to have everybody working together being so far away from each other. For more visit www.voudodesign.com How long you guys been together now and is the distance still a challenge for the team? The team was created in April 2008, when I started looking for someone to work with me in some projects and I ended up hiring Sebastien, our motion designer, after he presented to me a video about stop motion on the web that got him a place on the team ... After that we Sylvain got on the team, me and him worked before back in 2007 on a web project www.restez-motard-a-moto.com where I did the animation and he did the programming. Then we started getting proposals of a lot of different designers that would like to be part of the team, Florent got in when he helped me to make the vouDo! Design website, after that It became more official. And Jean-Christophe came in to complete the team. Now days we don't have a lot of problems communicating anymore, we use skype and emails, sometimes I even forget that telephones exist. The only problem is the time difference between some of us but we try to get around that. And with the clients is the same process. Sometimes the clients feel a need of meeting with someone and when that happens I have to explain the way we work and showing our references they end up understanding and trusting us to go futher with the project our ways. Now show us some work that you guys done together. So far we haven't done a lot of projects together but we use the team to gather up our portfolios and get more jobs for ourselves, here are the latest web work we've done, if you check on the website there is a some motion design, sound design, animation and more, we cover all design areas you can imagine. I hope everyone like my stuff, check out my websites for more work and more inspirations, if anything needed you know where to find me, Thank you.

Interview: Perttu Murto

Perttu Murto is an amazing digital artist from Finland. In this interview we talk about his background and his very first beginning with photoshop. He worked for big companies such as Dolce & Gabbana and has been featured several design magazines. Great success for a 23-year-old student. PerttuMurto.com for more information I am a 23-year-old graphic designer from Finland. I have been involved in graphics for almost 7 years and was also recently selected as the Young Advertisement Designer of the Year for 2007 in Northern Finland. My work has also been featured in several prestigious design websites and magazines. At the moment I am entering my second year in Oulu University of Applied Sciences Business and Information Management, majoring in Digital Media. I am also currently working in a Finnish advertising agency Työmaa. 1. First of all we would like to thank you for taking the time to provide abduzeedo.com with this interview. Please tell us more about your art and design background and what made you become an artist and designer? It all begun when I bought my first digital camera, I think I was 16 or 17 years old. That's how I got my first touch with Photoshop and boy I was sold when I saw what kind of stuff you can do with it. Anyway I kept photographing and playing with Photoshop. There was a time when I played with Photoshop everyday. When I learned more about it, I started to really get into graphic design and art directing. I studied things about typography, layouts, logos, branding and everything which had something to do with graphic design. I really wanted to know it all, haha. Years went by and I started to notice that this is definitely what I want to do in my life. It had become more like a lifestyle than a profession. At the moment I study in Oulu University of Applied Sciences Business and Information Management, majoring in Digital Media. I am also working in an advertising agency called Työmaa but I'm always up to interesting freelancer projects as well. 2. Your work is pretty unique and full of creativity. Where does your inspiration come from? It really comes from everywhere, but mostly from music, movies, other designers, cd-cover art etc you name it! Sometimes I don't even know where it comes from, I just feel like creating something what I think might be cool. 3. Could you describe for us your typical 'start to finish' workflow when working on a design? It depends on the task and especially whether it is a client job or a "own" piece of art. If it is a client job, the process begins already in the client brief. After the brief you do different kinds of raw layouts which correspond with the client's brandbook and the target group of the campaign. The raw layouts are presented to the client and the client chooses the best one and he gives some comments about it. Then you'll start finishing the layouts in accordance with the client's comments. A personal piece of art differs completely from a client job. When creating a personal artwork you don't have to think about any target groups or take care of the customer's brand. The idea for a personal artwork can come from anything and it can stay in your mind or sketchbook for months and develop at the same time. Then, when an inspiration hits, you can make it real. Nowadays I haven't really had time to do personal pieces of art because the client jobs are taking so much time. Personal pieces are really important so you can experiment and develop your skills. 4. What are your tools of the trade, both hardware and software? HARDWARE: Sketchbook, pen, wacom, mac book pro, Canon 30D SOFTWARE: Photoshop, Illustrator, Adobe flash, Dreamweaver, Indesign 5. What, for you personally are the pros and cons of being a designer? Pros: I can do what I want for living. I can be part of different projects around the world. I can give a face for a brand new company. I can see my works in everyday life, street ads, magazines, CD stores etc... Cons: It keeps me very very busy sometimes. The deadline might be so short that it's impossible to put as much input to the work as I want to. 6. How does your job as an artist and designer influence your life? Do you feel that you see things around you differently for example? I like it. I see some things really differently than some of my non-designer friends. For example when we are in some coffeeplace I can check out a nice typography in a sign or magazine and be like "damn that's so cool", my friends are usually like "I dont get that... it's just text", heh. But I like it, I like how I notice all the details we got everywhere around us. 7. What are your coming projects? There are few personal projects I am working on, nothing really to say yet... And of course there are plenty of projects we are working on in our agency. Plus the school stuff.. It's gonna be a busy year! 8. What are your favourite 5 websites, and why? Pingstate.nu / A great Finnish design community! Depthcore.com / The best artgroup around there, I love to spend time in the memberpanel. FFFFound.com / A lot of inspiration! ReformRevolution / When I want to know what's new in the design field. Behance.net / A nice network for creative people. 9. Once again , thank you very much for the interview. As a final word, do you have any tips for upcoming artists and designers? Be patient, work hard, work harder, chill.

Interview: Elena Savitskaya

I haven't posted an interview in a while. For this one, I'd like to introduce you to a very good Russian female designer from London. Since the interview with Rik Oostenbroek and JamesTu you know that we love to feature young and talented artists (especially when they are female). Elena Savitskaya is a 22 year-old designer from London. She studied marketing management and graphic design, and became a graphic designer for an oil company prior to working for an online marketing agency. She just quit her job to concentrate 100 percent on freelancing. 1. First of all we would like to thank you for taking the time to provide abduzeedo.com with this interview. Please tell us more about your art and design background and what made you become an artist and designer? I want to thank you for asking me to do an interview. I come from marketing management background, but designing and drawing has always been a hobby of mine. And at some point in my life, i had to pick a profession at a very though time for my family, and i was facing a choice of becoming a waitress (well, who would want a 17 year old marketing manager?) or developing my hobby into something much more than a hobby. And then it became my obsession. I had to push myself very hard to develop my skills to a professional level. And i consider that to be the biggest achievement in my life so far. My marketing background comes in very handy in my profession, i don't really see design as just creating a "pretty" picture, as most of us do. Im approaching my work based what sort of financial benefits it could bring to my clients. Basically, i design to help my clients sell their services. In a return, i get a lot of positive feedback from clients and they keep coming back, which keeps me happy and gives me sense of achievement. Im also trying my best to be unique and develop my own techniques and styles, when it comes to projects. Im still in a way of developing my own style i think, but i will certainly get there. 2. Your work is pretty unique and full of creativity. Where does your inspiration come from? Im a very easily excited person. Anything brings inspiration to my life, biggest one is probably my partner, my family, everything around me, big cities, new places, travel, nature, and adventure. Even tiny things i find on antiques markets get me fascinated. Best designers in the industry also have a huge influence on me. I always try to push myself to try to become one of the "best out there". Reference books and magazines also inspire me a lot. I read a lot, i probably spend 50% of my day reading. 3. Could you describe for us your typical 'start to finish' workflow when working on a design? Well i always start by asking my client a lot of questions. Things like their target audience, their idea behind the project, what they'd like to see and typical "brainstorming" process. I try to gather as much marketing information as possible, when needed i would do a competitor research too. If it's web-design project i would also offer them a marketing analysis of existing website so that i can suggest if it's better to improve their old website or start from a scratch, and give them a bit of better understanding of web. Then it's down to sketches. Once im done sketching and structuring a project out, i scan it in and start developing it. I would also take few breaks now and then to enjoy my odd cup of coffee and reconsider what i've done so far. It's a good way of noticing your own mistakes and evaluating the project. 4. What are your tools of the trade, both hardware and software? Well i use Adobe Suite CS2, i've never really wanted an upgrade so far, since im very comfortable with this edition, i might be a bit of a comfort freak, i also have to work in Corel Draw sometimes, as some clients have certain software requirements. Hardware wise i've got the following set-up. And yes, it's a PC. :) Intel Core2 Quad 2.40 GHz and 4 Gig RAM. My video card: XFX nVIDIA® GeForce 9800GTX+ 512MB DDR3 Over Clocked Edition 1 TB hard drive + 700Gig External Hard drive for back ups. 22' Samsung Screen does a great job so far. 5. What, for you personally are the pros and cons of being a designer? The biggest "pro" of my personality that help a lot in my work is that I'm a perfectionist. I'd push myself to the limit just to get things perfect. It gives me a huge boost while working. So i guess i can call myself a very self-motivated person because of it. Im also very dedicated to my job, i would even spend most of my time off reading design/marketing related magazines or articles. My biggest problem is the love for my sofa. It just constantly appears in front of my eyes and i cant help myself but get a tiny break on it every now and then. :) 6. How does your job as an artist and designer influence your life? Do you feel that you see things around you differently for example? Now this is one of the weirdest things about me. I would stop on my way to somewhere even thou i'd be late just to stare at some video advert on the public transport or a beautifully designed poster. Im also totally immune to any marketing moves out there and, surprise-surprise, for this reason i don't have a TV. I just prefer not to watch it, since all the marketing moves out there on air are all same old tricks. And when something new happens, it would end up on YouTube anyway, if it's really something remarkable. 7. What are your coming projects? Well, right now i've just came back to being freelance and I'm in a process of starting from a scratch again and seeing if i can pull it off. Im currently working for a Concert Factory, they are planning some amazing concerts in the UK and I'm hoping i will get to work on the advertising side of it. Im also continuously working on creating flyers for various clubs in London, as well as few strictly corporate brochures. 8. What are your favourite 5 websites, and why? First one has to be Google. Nothing can beat it. You have a question - they've got an answer. Simple as that. Second place would probably go to Wikipedia. Since I'm a very curious person, if i'd want to know about something, I'd probably go to wiki and read a whole article about the thing. I love having a bit of a deeper insight on things. Third one would probably be facebook, to whom im grateful for being able to find all my long lost friends and keep in touch with them. Fourth one has to be BBC news website, for giving me a tiny bit of connection with civilization every time i need it :) And the fifth place goes to Smashingmagazine, for being probably one of the most insightful resources out there and having a very wide view on design industry. 9. Once again , thank you very much for the interview. As a final word, do you have any tips for upcoming artists and designers? The biggest lesson in life that i learned so far being a graphic designer is probably the one i'd like to share: Push yourself to the limit, be driven by what you do, love your job, never be satisfied with level of your skills and always feed your brain with new ideas and inspiration. Thank you very much once again for asking me to do the interview and keeping up the standard of your great resource. All the best, Elena For more visit her website or her DeviantAccount

Interview: Photomanipulation by Joan Charmant

This time, we have a very special interview. Joan Charmant is a software engineer who started doing photo manipulation very good. In this interview he explains us how he works on these and we show you the images he used in her files. Enjoy 1. First of all we would like to thank you for taking the time to provide abduzeedo.com with this interview. Please tell us more about your art and design background and what made you become an artist and designer? Thanks to you for the interview. Sorry it took such a long time for me to deliver. I have no academic background in art. My dayjob is software engineer. I started photo montage in 2004, when I stumbled upon UFO pictures and wanted to see how hard it would have been to fake. While looking for tutorials I found the website Worth1000.com and I started to spend days and nights entering contests there. It took a lot of trial and error and a fair ammount of constructive criticism from other members, until I could be happy with some of my images. 2. Your work is pretty unique and full of creativity. Where does your inspiration come from? Thanks :-) I'm fascinated by a lot of things, nature, technology, science, cultures differences... I'll compulsively look for reference books everytime I stumble upon a area unknown to me. The consequence is that when I design an image, I will often make connections between remote concepts and come up with (hopefully) something fresh or bizarre. I will try to mix constrasting ideas and feelings. I like to apply a domain-specific logic to think about something completely unrelated. Material used in this picture Material used in this picture Material used in this picture 3. Could you describe for us your typical 'start to finish' workflow when working on a photo manipulation? First I get some sort of insight. An interesting concept, a funny thought, anything... Then I try to push and stretch the concept in various directions, removing everything not conveying the core idea along the way. (This is my favorite step :D) At one point, I'll have a bare bone idea that should be interesting in itself. Then starts the image hunt for the main subject. (several -boring- hours) I will collect various set of images to account for perspective coherence. (you can fake everything but not perspective) I may do low res tryouts to assess pictures matches. Once I'm confident with the images I have, I will start the blending. Smaller parts can be added afterwards with lesser quality images. Blending the main part will generally give me some time to think about the concept a bit more. I write down whatever potential nice additions comes to my mind during that process. When the image structure is almost finished and I'm adding small bits, I need to take a step back and have a fresh look.. When I'm done with structure and local color adjustments, I'll generally apply overall adjustment and enhancing. At that point I consider the final image as a photography and try to simply make it look pleasant to the eye. It ties things together and make the image pops. 4. What are your tools of the trade, both hardware and software? I have a fairly standard setup : - PC under Windows, Photoshop CS2. - Optical mouse, no wacom, one 19" screen. - 2GB of RAM but I only use them when the picture involve faery powder :-) I almost never shoot sources myself. 5. What, for you personnaly are the pros of designing in contrary to your dayjob in software engineering ? The most gratifying thing is when you know you provoked warm or strange feelings to your audience. In software we design complex systems from the ground up to build something new... Creating a graphic scene is essentially the same process for me, except that the end result is not aimed at your pragmatic skills, but directly at your imagination. Telling a story with a bunch of pixels is really an efficient way to communicate. Material used in this picture Material used in this picture Material used in this picture 6. What are your favourite 5 websites, and why? - Worth1000 (www.worth1000.com) : Where I learnt everything. - Charles Krebs Gallery (http://www.krebsmicro.com/) : Probably the best microscopy photographer on the internet... - Atmospheric Optics (http://www.atoptics.co.uk) : Nature can be such a beauty. - Astronomy Pic of the Day (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/) : Daily dose of wonders. - Chris Gilbert Gallery (http://www.christophegilbert.com/) : Some fantastically disturbing montages from a pro. Love it. 7. Once again , thank you very much for the interview. As a final word, do you have any tips for upcoming artists and designers? - Fix reality in your sources whenever you have to. Don't say "It was already weird in the original". - If in doubt, it's better to mask too much than not enough. - Try to avoid foreground objects coming straight from an edge. - If you can provoke the same emotion with less elements, it will have more impact. Thank you ! for more manipulations watch his website JoanCharmant.com Material used in this picture Material used in this picture Material used in this picture Material used in this picture

Interview: Eduardo Recife (from MisprintedType)

Eduardo Recife was a great inspiration source for me when I first started doing graphics. In my opinion he started something new when he published the first MisprintedType website. You see a lot of his font used in designs out there in the world. That's why I was very pleased to do an interview with him. And it goes like this: Visit MisprintedType.com for loads of illustrations, drawings and free stuff like fonts and brushes. 1. First of all we would like to thank you for taking the time to provide abduzeedo.com with this interview. Please tell us more about your art and design background and what made you invent Misprinted Type? Back in 1997 I started to create my own typefaces for my personal use. Somehow I figure it would be a good idea to distribute them online so other people could use them aswel. So I named it "Misprinted Type" after the name of my very first typeface. At this same time period I started to play with handmade collages and some digital art, so I created a section for my experiments aswel... I had no prior artistic education, I learned everything from trial and error. I used to expend most of my time experimenting with collages, paint, textures and playing with fonts and photoshop. 2. Your work is pretty unique and full of creativity. Where does your inspiration come from? Its so hard to speak about inspiration. Im often surprised with ideas without any apparent reason. But if I could say the biggest source of inspiration it would definitely be life and everything that crosses my mind. My work is somehow a way for me to filter all information I received (thoughts, feelings,etc) arrange it and put it on paper. But yes, of course other pieces of artworks, illustrations, photographs can be inspiring... 3. Could you describe for us your typical 'start to finish' workflow when working on a design? I usually have an idea/concept in mind. After that I start collecting materials to work with. Usually I do not sketch. I rather have a formless idea in my mind, gather lots of images that somehow relate to the concept and start playing with them. The reason I do not sketch is because most times its very frustrating trying to find such specific images in order to make the sketch work; and it also limits the unexpected and spontaneity of the process of creation. 4. What are your tools of the trade, both hardware and software? I have an Imac 24". And I use mostly photoshop, illustrator and fontlab. 5. What, for you personally are the pros and cons of being a designer? Im actually working more as an illustrator these days.... But the pros is that you can have a regular income and have the chance to work with some interesting projects and clients. The cons is that it consumes the free time I would have to work on my personal projects (drawings, collages, fonts, photography, etc...). Im trying more and more to focus my energy towards my personal works. 6. How does your job as an artist and designer influence your life? Do you feel that you see things around you differently for example? Well, I usually think its the opposite. Seeing things around me differently makes possible for me to work as an artist and designer. 7. What are your favourite 5 websites, and why? ffffound.com so many things to see all day. WoosterCollective see whats happening in street art. ProcessRecess.com I really like James Jean's work. Amazon.com I just love books. MyFonts.com always handy when looking for some specific type. 8. What are your favourite 3 serif and 3 san serif fonts? Adobe Caslon, New Baskerville and Requiem. Helvetica, Accidenz and Akkurat. 9. Once again , thank you very much for the interview. As a final word, do you have any tips for upcoming artists and designers? Dont give up! } MisprintedType.com } EduardoRecife.com } Flickr.com/photos/eduardorecife

Interview: Stefan G. Bucher (Dailymonster)

After waking up, for a long time the first thing I did was starting my computer and watch the newest daily monster from Stefan G. Bucher. So this time it's even more a pleasure for me to do a great interview with the inventor himself. 1. First of all we would like to thank you for taking the time to provide abduzeedo.com with this interview. Please tell us more about your art and design background and what made you become an artist and designer? I’m a graphic designer / illustrator / writer. You might have seen some of my Monsters at DailyMonster.com, or some of my design work for Tarsem, David Hockney, Sting, and others at 344Design.com I’ve also written two books: All Access – The Making of 30 Extraordinary Graphic Designers and this year’s 100 Days of Monsters I’ve drawn ever since I can remember. I had my first drawing published at 12, sold my first ad design at 15, and graduated from Art Center College of Design at 23. Since then I’ve worked for ad agencies, record labels, art galleries, scientists, thinkers, and tinkerers, all in the name of expanding the glory of the 344 Empire. 2. I love your "Daily Monsters" and it was a ritual for me watching them every morning. How did you get the idea? The first Monster appeared to me as I was driving on the freeway. It just sat there, coiled around my left arm. I figured I should draw it, and had so much fun with it that I made a few hundred more. 3. Could you describe for us your typical 'start to finish' workflow when working on a monster? How do you get the inspiration for the monster? With each Monster I put a few drops of black sumi ink on a piece of regular office paper — either with an eye dropper or with a toothbrush. Then I blow air on the in with a straw, which make the ink spread out in crazy and wonderful tendril shapes. This is where each Monster emerges. I turn the paper until I see a creature in my mind’s eye. At that point, all I have to do is put lines where I see the Monster. None of the creatures are pre-planned. They all come entirely out of the moment. I’ve tried planning them out, and they get very cranky about that. They just won’t cooperate. 4. What are your tools of the trade? Do you also use software to finish the artworks? The Daily Monster clips are heavily time-lapsed, which I do with an incredibly rinky-dink method in Quicktime Pro. Many of the Monsters come to life at the end of their drawing sequence. That part I do in “Anime Studio 5,” Otherwise it’s all pen and paper. I use Faber-Castell PITT artist pens, Staedtler pigment liners, Tombow ABT pens, Sharpies (fine point and wedge tip), and Yasutomo Sumi ink on regular old uncoated bond paper. If the Monsters are destined to be printed, I’ll scan them, and then apply background colors in Photoshop. 5. What, for you personally are the pros and cons of being a designer? The pros far outweigh the cons. I get to choose my clients from some of the brightest, loveliest people in the world, and get paid to help them on their projects. What’s not to love? I get to poke my nose in all kinds of fun situations, and learn about new culture and new science. On top of that I built my business in a way that allows me to produce my own projects on top of everything else. Cons? I work all day every day. (Which isn’t REALLY a con, either.) 6. How does your job as an artist and designer influence your life? Do you feel that you see things around you differently for example? Yes, I do — for better or for worse. Unless I force myself to relax my eye, I do notice every little thing, often from a distance. That can be tough on relationships. Nobody likes being marked up with an imaginary wax pencil every time I look at them or their work. There is definitely a tendency to see everything around me as raw material for improvement. “Those pictures could be arranged differently, that wall would look great in green, and have you thought of wearing that jacket unbuttoned, layered over something slinky?” It gets a bit much, even if all of that just happens in my head. But I’m getting better at drawing a line between what’s for me to control and what I should just appreciate for what it is. In fact, the more my actual work occupies me, the easier it is to leave everything else alone and be perfectly happy about it. On the plus side, I do see beauty everywhere. 7. What are your favourite 5 websites, and why? Beyond DailyMonster.com , 344Design.com , NeoLogist.org , and the new Monster Facebook app Facebook.com/dailymonster you mean? Do I really have favorite, favorite sites? Sites that I go to all the time just because I love them? Yeah, but they’re not that exciting. NYTimes and Facebook, mostly. Most everything else I absorb, and then move on. Here are a few sites I visit frequently, though: 1. Russel Davies Typepad Smart thoughts on design and communication from a very smart person 2. Hulu.com Great for catching up on TV shows in otherwise lonely hotel rooms when I’m on the road. 3. Ted.com An amazing archive of TED talks past. Everybody loves the TED site. 4. HopStop.com Like Google Maps, but complete with the correct subway stops. Genius! 5. Hoops & Yoyo Homepage I don’t know why Hoops & Yoyo crack me up, but they do! A great example of a big corporation doing something very fun very right. 6. FWIS I’m always happy to see what my friends at FWIS are up to. 8. As a final word, do you have any tips for upcoming artists and designers? Two easy steps to success in life, love, and graphic design: 1.Be Useful 2. Don’t Be Boring You’ll never be hungry or alone. 9. Once again , thank you very much for the interview. It’s my pleasure. Thank you for asking interesting questions.

Interview: Jacob Cass

In this week's interview we have a great interview with Jacob Cass, the blogger behing Just Creative Design. JCD is a very famous design blog launched in November 2007 that focuses on all areas of design and creativity. Also, Jacob is a freelancer designer working in the fields of logo design, print design, web design and branding. You probably know who he is and I hope you enjoy this interview. 1. First of all, the staff of Abduzeedo would like to thank you for answering these questions. So, why did you decide to start a design blog? It was only 9 months ago when I first realised that blogging was more than just a personal diary but once I knew, I knew it was going to work for me (after some initial research). I originally started a design blog so I could get more design work and record my progress in the design industry which works both hand in hand. 2. Did you have different experiences as a blogger? What about the people that contact you thru your blog besides clients? Any fans? Without a doubt. Blogging has put my name out there which means I now have clients from all over the world and with that of course comes fans... Every week I receive numerous "fan-mails" if you can call it that... mainly people just thanking me for my work and the occasional "your hot / cute" email which always gives me a smile. There are also those just wanting some advice and those who want a bit of promotion, of which I give to every person that asks. I make it my job to reply to every single email. 3. We've seen that you got many cools works in your portfolio, like your logo designs, prints, web and personal pieces. How is your workflow? I actually have a whole category on my blog dedicated to my design process. My usual process starts off with gathering information from the client, getting the initial 50% deposit and then I begin research, sketching, conceptualising and then getting feedback from the client and going from there. Every project is unique so there is no 100% set process but usually it goes in an order similar to that mentioned. 4. Do you work in a office? What is your routine like? What do you do to get some inspiration? I work from home which has an office like atmosphere with lots of natural light. I don't have a concrete routine but I generally check my emails in the morning and afternoon, do design work during the day and blogging and social stuff at night. I have a massive folder full of design inspiration on my harddrive and if that doesn't work I always refer to my post 101+ Places To Get Design Inspiration. 5. What, for you personally, are the pros and cons of being a designer? The biggest pro is that I love what I do so it is not really work which gives me the highest satisfaction. The cons of being a freelance designer is that you have to be disiplined, your own boss and do all of the business administration yourself. 6. What are your tools of the trade, both hardware and software? Hardware: Intel Core Duo 2.44GHZ, 3GB RAM, 500GB, TV Card (to watch TV on my computer), 1000GB External Harddrive, 24" Benq Monitor, 18" Samsung Syncmaster Monitor, Graphics Tablet, Cordless Logitech Keyboard and Mouse, 5.1 Altec Lansing Speakers, Canon Multi Purpose Printer / Scanner / Colour Photocopier... Pencil & Paper. Software: Photoshop, Illustrator, Dreamweaver, InDesign, Firefox, iTunes, Twirl, MSN, Skype, Font Explorer. 7. What do you do in your spare time? Sports, television, movies? I am a big fan of the pub / club scene as I love dance music and socialising but in my spare time I also love going to the beach, cafes, movies, listening to music and doing even more design. I also love traveling and so far have been to 30 countries which is a mean effort for a year 20 year old. I am planning to go to Canada next year and hopefully Japan at a later date. 8. What are your favorite 5 websites, and why? Delicious as it can find design stock and popular resources quickly and accurately. Google as it is the god of search engines for everything else not design related. DesignFloat as it showcases great design articles. Adubzeedo for publishing awesome posts all the time and My own website (http://justcreativedesign.com/)as I have loyal readers who contribute to discussions most relevant to me and my career. 9. Once again , thank you very much for the interview. As a final word, do you have any tips for upcoming artists, designers and bloggers? The most important tip I could give to upcoming artist would be to practice and read a lot and never undercharge... same goes with bloggers... read and practice, read and practice, read and practice. Some Works

Interview: Jesar One

For the first time, there's an interview with a german designer. Heiko Klug, better known as Jesar One, is an awesome 25-year old german graphic designer. Like a lot of artists he also started with doing graffiti and the changed to the digital medium of art. Very successful as you can see. Visit his personal portfolio at Jesar-one.com First of all we would like to thank you for taking the time to provide Abduzeedo.com with this interview. Please tell us more about your art and design background and what made you become an artist and designer? I would self-title me as an artist, not an designer. I don't know why but maybe it got something to to with the "designer" hype. everyone titles himself/herself as a designer. I don't want at be part of it. i think every started at the age of 14, I painted graffitis. I really get late to the digital artwork. I work with photoshop since 2003. a friend of mine told me about the 2d program and I start to trace my sketches in photoshop and add some images and textures to it. it was just a question of time till I got deeper into photo-manipulation and 3D. I always loved to paint with pencil and paper, I'm not a great painter but since I was a child I painted a lot. the times just chances, pencil and paper become a computer and a wacom tablet. its hard for me to define my work. I think its a mix of photo-manipulation with 3d elements in surreal way. I love to work in tiny details and its not easy for me to define a pictures as "finished" Your work is pretty unique and full of creativity. Where does your inspiration come from? Tough questions. I think inspiration comes from everywhere, you just need to look closer. motion pictures and music is a big inspiration for me but also traditional artwork. I can get my inspiration really from everywhere. Could you describe for us your typical 'start to finish' workflow when working on a design? At first I started often with a sketch in my sketchbook and it stay there for a while. I got a little a5 black book with me when I'm not home and if got an idea or see an interesting shape or something like that I sketch it into my book. as I said the ideas stay there a while till I move on and work on them. the need to grow a bit. sometimes a great idea doesn't interested me anymore a week later. I only start the project when I still love that sketch, the idea weeks later. I often work further on the sketches and refine them. when I got an exact idea what it should look like I start the work on the computer. when I need 3d elements I shape out those first and then move on to photoshop and do the composition. I often also use the time before working to search for stocks or do them on my own. I often work like the most artist I think. in photoshop I do a rough composition and than I work on the details. color correction, clean up and light comes last. when I got my work finished its the same with the sketches. I keep them a while for my self before I publish them. only when I like it a week after finishing I publish it. What are your tools of the trade, both hardware and software? At the agency I work with a mac but at home I got a quad core pc with 8 gigs of ram and 1,5 terabyte storage. I also use a intous a4 wacom tablet. as software I use photoshop cs3 mostly and 3dsmax6. What, for you personally are the pros and cons of being a designer? How does your job as an artist and designer influence your life? Do you feel that you see things around you differently for example? Its nice for the ladies... I'm just kiding hehe. well, its nice to bring your ideas your feelings in a form, printed, or just on the screen..what ever. its great that you can share this with others. in germany you also can live very good from being an artist/designer. the bad thing on that is really terrible: its hard for me to define something as "good" you know what I mean? when somebody shows me some photos of their vacation, simple vacation photos, I cant look neutral on this, I analyze everything, composition, lightning and so on..its hard to keep it for my self, ask me friends they often roll eyes when they ask me about a photo hehe. what I mean is, I cant look netral as normal person to advertising, paintings, films...almost everything art related. I always analyze the stuff I see, if I want to do it or not. What are your coming projects? Im very busy at my full time job at the moment. I'm working as digital media designer in a design agency in cologne. I don't got much free time last time. at the moment I'm doing more photography. you know its summer here and if I got some free time I don't want to spend my free time in front of the computer like I do in my job. I need a bit distance so I only do my personal client stuff at the moment, like an illustration for a polish mineral water concern. i also got my last cubic series piece in the making but it will take a while till I finish it. its the most detailed picture of this series yet. ...hm and yeah like I said, I did a few shootings in the last days. I think I will extend my portfolio with a photography section so you all can have a look. also a blog for my portfolio will come, where I will post work in progress pictures of my work, some photography..and so on. but I think it will also take some till the blog is online. What are your favourite 5 websites, and why? Uhh..you got me. its like the question "tell me your top five songs". well okay. lets start: cgsociety.org massive of inspiration, tips and cg news I visit this site every morning when I come to work. cpluv.com also a good news center for the design culture fubiz.net a french design blog, also with some nice news you don't find on every blog microbot.ch the personal portfolio of my friend david, I love this website, its so nice animated and full of little details. google.com surprised? well I honestly visit this site most, if you need anything you will find it, its free its fast its good hehe. Once again , thank you very much for the interview. As a final word, do you have any tips for upcoming artists and designers? I also thank you for the interview. final words are not easy. I'm asked often for tips for upcoming artist or designer, well I only can say, do you thing, your own thing. don't follow any trends and be patient thats maybe the most useful tip. it will take time till you can produce your work exactly the way you wanted. never stop training be open for new technics and don't forget to read the some good art specific books.

Interview: Veerle Pieters

This week we have a great interview with one of the fifty most influential female bloggers according to NorthxEast. She is the CEO of Duoh! n.v. and author of Veerle's blog where she talks about her experience in the design industry and covers a variety of topics related to graphic design. Veerle's Blog 1. First of all we would like to thank you for taking the time to provide Abduzeedo with this interview. Please tell us more about your art and design background and what made you become an artist and designer? Thanks for having me I feel honored :) As a child I always loved drawing and considered it a hobby. I always thought it wasn't possible to make this my day job so that's why I studied tourism until I discovered that you could actually study graphic design. Sounds maybe crazy now, but you have to see it in it's context of the time frame (1987). I always thought about it from an artistic point of view and believed there wasn't a future in it. Studying graphic design changed that and from that point on my hobby became my passion and income. 2. In the past years you achieved your own style. What or who inspired you to get into graphic design? To be honest nobody inspired me to get into graphic design. It was just a dream that I had from my childhood to able to draw for a living. Creating geometric patterns in Illustrator 3. Do you work in an office? What is your routine like? What are your research resources? Yes I work in an office, a temporary one as we are now in the fascinating stage of researching its final look. I strongly believe that an office has to be an inspiring location to get the best out of you. I don't have a routine it's different every time. It depends from project to project; sometimes I start by doodling or by looking in books like HOW, Print etc or by browsing my personal Yojimbo collection of bits and pieces that I gathered over the years. There is one consistent factor, that I don't use the Internet that much for inspiration unless it's a site like FFFFound. I don't use CSS galleries anymore because it overwhelms me and it often blocks my inspiration. Illustrator Make with Mesh 4. Could you describe for us your typical 'start to finish' workflow when working on a design? For logos I always start on paper and create a bunch of sketches until I have a few that are good enough to work out in Illustrator. When creating a web site I sometimes start on paper but not always, it depends. Usually I create a wireframe in Adobe Illustrator and when this is approved by the client I move on to creating the actual design in Adobe Photoshop. The next phase is starting the coding part, for that I usually use DreamWeaver and CSSEdit. The first thing I do is coding the entire HMTL page so I have my structure right and then I switch over to CSSEdit to style things. 5. What, for you personally are the pros and cons of being a designer? Never thought about pros and cons to be honest :) The pro is that my job is my passion and my hobby and if I have think of a con it would be the fact that some clients don't understand the beauty of a design and they don't value your input. Simple organic shapes the Illustrator way 6. How does your job as an artist and designer influence your life? Do you feel that you see things around you differently for example? Yes I do and I try to do it more consciously to trigger my creative brain. It's often things you have seen around you that make you appreciate the beauty of it. There is so much to be seen and I think we sometimes have forgotten how to look. Create a spiral ornament Symbol in Illustrator 7. We like to know what artists do in their spare time to get some fun. What do you do? Sports, television, movies? Spare time what's that exactly? :) These days every little spare time I have is going into personal work and the blog. However if there is time left I love to take my bike out for a spin and enjoy our beautiful little country. I don't watch much TV but if I do it's never live but taped to HD recorder with the publicity taken out. 8. What are your favorite 5 websites, and why? FFFFound because of the diversity of things shown. Flickr also because of the large amount of topics and items found Netdiver because of the quality stuff that Carole puts there Fontshop because of my interest in typography Zeldman.com because of his way of writing. What is Graphic Design Poster Flickr Group 9. Once again , thank you very much for the interview. As a final word, do you have any tips for upcoming artists and designers? No need to thank me it was a pleasure! Stay passionate about what you do and don't loose that drive to constantly learn new things.

Interview: Lowpop

Lowpop, or Ringot Baptiste, is a 25 year-old graphic designer from France, and I had the pleasure of interviewing him for Abduzeedo. Thanks for the opportunity of having you here. I really like your work. So, tell me a bit of how did you start and discover that you wanted be a designer? Well, it's been a long road to get there... I screwed up school, was kind of a lost and violent teenager, and also passionate by street art, and photography. i was taking my lessons in sort of graffiti fonts, and always stealing the teachers markers and else ( i apologize for that, really :p ). And then i stopped school, and stopped the whole thing too. I started to play guitar, several hours a day, and when i had my first serious rock band, from the first hours i wanted to participate to the visual stuffs. And it's how it came back. I had my computer ( an old crappy shit ), a photoshop 7.0 version, and later bought a digital camera. And i spent nights, trying to learn on my own the rules of design, what to do, what NOT to do, why this font works better or not.. And it took me a long long time, i wasn't aware of the tutorials or else. And anyway, never really liked to learn with " lessons " , i always think it's better to learn everything on your own, even if it's quite longer... It's like in music, you study everything you hear, you swallow it, slowly digest it, but when it comes out , it's your own shit. And from the day i realized i was spending much more time on photoshop or any other design softs than on my guitar, i thought " that's what you wanna do ". How do you come up with those amazing ideas and effects? Tips on how to create those effects? Wow. That's quite of a good question i never asked myself. The fact is : I'm kind of a tortured mind, every second of every minute there's something in my head, something i'm thinking about, worrying about, forgetting about... So it's a complete mess in my head. Hard to handle sometimes. And my ideas come the same way. I've never been in the street thinking " hey ! i'm gonna take a pandabear and a beautiful lady, put a yellow background and some of this some of that " In my way of thinking it's a bit restricting. And i know i have a bad way of work : i just open a new empty photoshop document, seek the internet for elements, and go. But it's the way it works for me. Even if, thanks to my friend Kawo, i tend to change this way of working, for a more professional way. So my ideas come from everywhere and nowhere at the same time, from my mind or from the street, anything.. And tips to create effects ? Damn, i don't know, try everything in your softwares, even things that would make you think " no way, it can't work " and you'll see, sometimes, it works great. And never stop to watch nature, everything is in nature, it's one of the design rule i prefer. Tell us a bit of your career? Favorite project you worked on? Toughest project? My career is so so new ! i've started to work in july for wonderful people i met when i moved on Lille ( North of France ), still thanks to my friend kawo. I kinda have to get my ideas straighter, more accurate, more focused. 'Cause it's a fresh new world for me, and i have to make my place in it. So i can't say i have a big career for the moment, but it's cool this way, i need things to go quietly at the beginning. And two weeks ago, i became creative director for Epoch, a brand new collective that will, i hope, make some noise !!! My favorite project is the one at the moment, i work with a band called Skip The Use, they're one of the greatest bands i've seen, and i have to design every visual piece for them, it's a real pleasure. And it's also the toughest one, i want something perfect for them, and it takes time ! And, advertising time, i'm available for any commissions ! Who are the designers you like and inspire you? And what sites do you visit, or what do you do to get inspiration? Damn, there are so many... Since i've discovered how internet can bring talents to your door, i can't stop watching folios and sites... I'm a huge huge Fan of Takeshi (TKSH), this guy is just so brilliant, and his style begins to be simpler and simpler, i love it... I wanted to drop his name particularly 'cause that's one of the first that made me say " wow ". There's also Neil Duerden, who is just a f**kin master in what he does. All his pieces are just perfect. Craig Shields is a killer, Nelson Balaban due to his age makes you feel washed up.. And there are so many... I have books, magazines, plenty of those, full of talents and inspiring things, there's no limit.. Even your friend who just caught photoshop on the internet and destroyed a picture can be inspiring.. For the sites i visit : plenty of blogs, i have discovered abduzeedo a year ago, and still visit it, DeviantArt is a huge huge community.. it's a no end list, i also visit fashion sites, photographers folio, EVERYTHING related ( or not ) to what i like.. Tell us about the apps you use? How long have you been using them? Well well well... I use photoshop a lot, it's really the main tool. Even if i use illustrator on the side, or even Cinema 4D sometimes, it's always to import elements in a photoshop documents. I feel more comfy this way. And i bought myself a huge huge amount of paintings, pencils, papers, cissors, from all sorts, that i wanna use soon. I love the idea of shutting down everything, go at a desk, and draw, paint, cut, anything. But i don't take time for that.. Soon, i hope. It's been two years i use photoshop, one for illustrator ( learned it at school, very useful tool ). And i also know Indesign well, and Quark Xpress too. And i'm working on After Effects when i have time, cause it's really fun to make your things move ! ( but.. Being good at AE is a full time work... ) What about your hardware? I mainly work on a 17" laptop cause i often have to move, but it's powerful enough for everything i need. Well... almost... But i also have a PC with the good old windows XP on it, i think i'm gonna leave it only if it dies cause it works well. And if i have to buy something soon, it's gonna be a 24" imac. This thing is incredible, and the screen is outstanding. I'm not a huge geek in computers, but i guess what i use is enough. Again, thanks for the opportunity of talking to you. One last question: Any advice for designers out there, who, like me are willing to improve their skills and become a master? You're welcome. I'm nobody in the world of design for the moment, so it's a great chance for me to be interviewed here... And so thanks to you ! And i'm still a padawan in design, so i guess the best advice i could give is " listen to the advices of the masters ! " haha ;o) Lowpop can be found at: http://www.myspace.com/iamlowpop http://epochdesigns.co.uk/forums

Interview: Radim Malinic from Brand Nu

This week we have another interview with a great designer. Radim Malinic from Brand Nu is one of the most sought after, internationally renowned illustrators / designers working today, with an extensive high end list of clients including O2, BBC, Fuze/Coca Cola, National Geographic, Xbox 360, Smirnoff, and many more. Radim Malinic, prides himself on his artistic sensibility, passion for details, innovative resutls, pushing the boundaries. His work has been described as imaginative, sophisticated, sensual and sexy. While his goal is to fulfill the needs of his client, he creates contemporary visions that are a complex montage of layered photographic, colorful elements, hand drawn renders. His award winning creations have been used in the above and below the line advertising, books, magazines, product illustrations, music releases, album artwork, CD’s and DVD’s, posters ... anything in need of injecting of visual finesse and colour. We hope you enjoy this interview and as usual check his site out for more information at http://www.brandnu.co.uk/ 1. First of all we would like to thank you for taking the time to provide Abduzeedo with this interview. Please tell us more about your art and design background and what made you become an artist and designer? I was always kind of involved in some way of creative process, designing posters for my dj gigs or my band gigs some years ago. It all started when I was mingling with creatives at my mothers ad agency when I was 15. It wasn't for much later til my early twenties, when I started taking my creative mishaps a bit more seriously. It was time to get a real job and naturally my graphic designs obsession won. I never really thought too much of my works as I was happy to just to muck about and experiment a lot. I was offered a full time position which nailed it for me and I didn't look back since then going from junior to senior in 2.5 years, whilst breaking rules and dazzling clients. In April 2007 I went full time freelance to concentrate on Brand Nu following the success of previous years. 2. Which tools do you usually use? Both "traditional" (pencil, markers...) and digital. I work mainly in digital environment on a Mac Pro with Wacom Tablet, but my sketch pad is always nearby. Adobe Photoshop is where all comes together, that where I blend my Illustrator vectors and piece together images with layers. A few months ago I acquired new 30" cinena screen which makes everything rather more enjoyable. 3. Do you work in a office? What is your routine like? Since I've become a full time freelancer, I work from home studio set up and suits me well. Although I'm a gregarious, people loving individual I enjoy working on my own a lot. There are times when I work at other studios and the interaction is amazing. If at home, it's usually an early start of the day, breakfast, then mainly admin, job amends, phone calls, meetings during the day, full time creative time comes at evening and night when all the hustle and bustle calms down. 4. Could you describe for us your typical 'start to finish' workflow when working on a design? Predominantly my work is commercial commission based, it comes with a brief and a problem to solve. In most of the cases the finished product will dictate how set to start. There might be images to cut out, textures to make, elements to draw alongside new shapes and colour pallettes prepared. Then it would be first proof, art directors changes, second proof, clients changes and if all goes well, it would be upload of the final file the to FTP. I was asked to participate to an upcoming gallery exhibition, working on personal pieces is not much different. I don't like to just do Photoshop exercise but have meaning to what I want to achieve. 5. What, for you personally are the pros and cons of being a designer? You get to do what you love, make people envious when you say you do what you do and how much you enjoy it. If you are diverse in your skillset you stand better chance to work on some exciting work and don't get bored much too quickly. Being a designer bears benefits of being involved in exciting new projects, creating things that people use, examine, explore and admire. The cons aren't there too many, some client test your patience and sleep patterns, but should you keep your thoughts on the bright side, it's walk through the park most of the times. 6. How does your job as an artist and designer influence your life? Do you feel that you see things around you differently for example? A few years ago I'd pick up a magazine and scour the whole think for interesting typefaces. I tend to look for ideas other designer deploy in solving their briefs. You could pick up a conflakes box during breakfast and examine the preposterous packaging in admiring fashion, how would you do it differently, what colours they used, print finishes ... the list would go on. Everything around us is a result of creative process which inspires us to think about our identity, brand experiences and the way we live. 7. We like to know what artists do in their spare time to get some fun. What do you do? Sports, television, movies? It's all about summer music festivals, live gigs, music all in all. I travel with my family whenever we've got time, I like to encounter new and unexplored. Oh, and I like english stand up comedy, currently laughing my head to people like Lee Mack, Bill Bailey, Russell Brand ... the lot. 8. What are your favorite 5 websites, and why? www.cpluv.com - for being inspirational and thoughtful www.news.bbc.co.uk - just for the news www.google.co.uk - just for being the best www.wikipedia.com - to fuel my endless curiousity www.youtube.com - for all the other obvious reasons 9. Once again , thank you very much for the interview. As a final word, do you have any tips for upcoming artists and designers? It's well known established fact that what you give is what you get and really depends how far you want to make it in the industry. Try to innovate and experiment. It's becoming stupid how upcoming designers churn out the brainless-illustrations and random 3D images, when they find themselves without any real work due to incompatibility with the design industry. It seems this has become a race for some whilst leaving a good thought behind. If you love what you do, the good stuff will come sooner or later. Showcase

Interview: Nikolay Vanchev (NuFabric)

Nikolay Vanchev is a very talented 20-year-old graphic designer & art director. I was a friend to him on Deviantart but im in love with his work since he published his "Typography is not a solution"-artwork. Together with Dimo Trifonov the bulgarian launched his new website nufabric.org. You can visit them at nufabric.org Following pictures are artworks by Dimo Trifonov and Nikolay Vanchev also collaborations with other artists. First of all we would like to thank you for taking the time to provide abduzeedo.com with this interview. Please tell us more about your art and design background and what made you become an artist and designer? Pleasure’s mine Alexis. I guess it all started back in 2001-02. I was a 14-5 year old kiddo and somehow I got myself into graffiti. I started tagging the town, sketching stuff etc. In 2004 I stopped painting the streets..and year later it was my first meeting with digital art (eg. Photoshop), but at the end I’d say that the end of 2006 is the actual start of my design career. That was the time when I’ve started thinking a bit more about what I am doing, not just fooling around with abstract shapes and visuals. Rather than inundate the viewer with multi-colored, gaudy, flashy and ostentatious firework collages that are so popular with contemporary designers today I was trying to examine the spaces and moments that get lost amongst these hyper-visual explosions. Your work is pretty unique and full of creativity. Where does your inspiration come from? Mostly I explore people behavior, the way they move, act etc. Some of you will say “So you deal with their emotions”. NO! I try to stay away from emotions, not because I don’t want to be touted as an emo, but because emotions are very personal thing. I wouldn’t like somebody to explore mine, if I do not want to, so I don’t trade on people emotions. Could you describe for us your typical 'start to finish' workflow when working on a design? I wouldn’t say I have typical way of working. It really depends, and it’s really up to what I want to reach. It’s different for every type of work. At the beginning it was all about try & error, while now it’s most about keeping the composition strong, having the concept at its right place. I think. What are your tools of the trade, both hardware and software? You won’t be surprised – Adobe CS3 is my best friend when it’s up to creative process. Recently I’m experimenting a lot too, so I’m trying to incorporate a lot of objects – photography, installations..everything can be called design. What, for you personally are the pros and cons of being a designer? At first it’s financial part. In my country (Bulgaria), with my job as designer/art director I’m earning a lot, so that’s an advantage. Then it’s all about personality. I feel good, because at that young age, I know what I’m doing with my life and I know where I want to develop it. Tho in a society like here, where people are a bit old-aged, since the communism here ended just 20 years ago, you can be a bit misunderstood. But it’s ok. How does your job as an artist and designer influence your life? Do you feel that you see things around you differently for example? Absolutely. I know it’s cliché, but it’s all about the aesthetics around you. You see them in things you never imagine. You’re standing at the office, at the street..everywhere and you realize how your daily surrounding is one actual canvas left for you, where you can experiment. Gosh, I’m sounding like somebody from the age of the Romantism. What are your favourite 5 websites, and why? Nowadays it’s pretty hard to point just 5. WWW turned like Place number one for inspiration, news etc. I can’t imagine waking up in the morning and be without internet, shower and glass of cold milk, but I’ll try : 1. formfiftyfive.com – I like the content there, and I’m also part of the team. 2. motionographer.com – I’m addicted to good animation and motion graphics, so that’s one of my daily inspirations 3. thefwa.com – I doubt that there’s somebody who doesn’t know TheFWA J 4. inqmnd.ca – you just HAVE to bookmark it. Canadian magazine, great articles, stylishly presented 5. google.com/reader - keeping the stuff organized…and lastly I just can’t miss nufabric.org, since it’s my baby. Once again , thank you very much for the interview. As a final word, do you have any tips for upcoming artists and designers? Try to look at everything, try to feel everything, catch everything around you. Constantly change yourself. Be religious, on the next day be conservative. Be radical, then forgot about all the transformations and found your own way to create.

Interview: Tom Lane from Ginger Monkey

This week we have a great interview with Tom Lane, the designer behind Ginger Monkey. I'm a fan of his style and I have even created some pieces inspired by some of Tom's work, the Frilly Bits Tutorial is an example. At Ginger Monkey I design, illustrate, write, talk, dance, swing and sparkle with passion and intent... My outlook is colourful, open, thoughtful and honest. It's underpinned by drive and enthusiasm and peppered with an unquenchable thirst for the fruits of life and the challenges it can hold. 1. First of all we would like to thank you for taking the time to provide Abduzeedo with this interview. Please tell us more about your art and design background and what made you become an artist and designer? No Problem! Well, luckily for me I stumbled upon the subject of Graphic Design, A friend was studying photography at art collage and was experimenting more with layouts and manipulating the photographs than he was taking them. I watched over his shoulder and was intrigued. I quit my uninspiring job to go back into education and become a graphic designer. During that time I just opened up to this new visual world I hadn’t really taken much notice of and it all started to make sense. I felt this consuming excitement for the subject, what circled around it, and learning in general. I was hooked, and have been on a nice little ride for the last few years. After Graduating from my degree I was offered a teaching position for a year and looked to fill in my spare time with some freelance work. By then I was illustrating my ideas as well and I was getting some great feedback from companies and individuals I was contacting for work opportunities. With what felt like a strong portfolio for a graduate and some industry recognition from the ISTD and D&AD and the feedback I was getting, I started to feel that I was able to carve my own little place in the industry. I set up Ginger Monkey a few months after graduating and have been plugging away at it for the last 3 years. 2. Which tools do you usually use? Both "traditional" (pencil, markers...) and digital. My main tools are my Wacom tablet and my intuition! Without them I'd be a bit stuck. I use watercolours paints for creating depth, texture and colour for certain pieces but I rarely use drawn off the computer elements but I will plan to some degree in my layout pad with fine liners. 3. Do you work in a office? What is your routine like? What are your research resources? I have a cool little studio to myself smack in the middle of a very busy part of Bristol city centre. It's right next to a gym, supermarket, a few big bookshops and lots of coffee shops! I like to get to work bright and early and get cracking on what ever is cooking in the commission department or to work on the million and two personal projects I seem to have going but haven't completed! Obviously my days and weeks are dictated mostly by deadlines and the task required to meet them but I make time to do my own stuff and update my website etc as I go along. Otherwise, things will definitely get a bit out of control or neglected. My research resources cover, the internet, mostly flickr and the numerous stock libraries and I'm always browsing the blogs. I get to book shops a lot, scouring the Art & Design section and the magazine racks pretty regularly. I have a good library of my own built with what could only be described as a slight fetish for the smell of print. I do like to get out with my own camera too. 4. Could you describe for us your typical 'start to finish' workflow when working on a design? I listen, then I listen a bit more and then get everything in writing and read my brief a few times making notes, highlighting sections, pulling out vital info. If there is something I'm not sure off, I'll get in contact and chat through. Clarity is my first step. Time, money and reputation wasted otherwise. Then i'll look into things I've identified from the brief and get my own research done so I'm starting to get a feel for things. I'll then start to brainstorm the subject matter and make lists broken down into sections such as message, focus, depth, structure, colour etc so I'm weighting up the options. By now I'm itching to get cracking so take what I think are the best routes and begin making the piece by what ever means necessary. I don't produce roughs though as they never indicate well enough what I'm thinking. I'll get the piece to a stage that I think conveys strongly where it is going as early as possible so that the client can give me the thumbs up to keep going. This then continues until we're both happy and everything gets signed off and I thank them with a polite invoice! 5. What, for you personally are the pros and cons of being a designer? The only cons for me come from being a freelance designer. I'm not paid when I'm sick or on holidays & I'm not always paid on time! The pros, however, completely out weight the cons. I feel the benefit of my efforts first hand. I'm heavily in control of what work I get to do. I get to wear a lot of hats, metaphorically speaking of course. I've learnt about so many new things because I needed to in order to survive. I feel there is endless possibilities to what I can achieve and what I want to create. I'm in charge of my time so I can pursue more interests. 6. How does your job as an artist and designer influence your life? Do you feel that you see things around you differently for example? My work is an absolute passion that has become intrinsically bound to all aspects of my life and it's a very happy one! If I'm not pursing getting better, trying new things and making the most of what I have to offer it effects my general well being. This has meant I'm very aware of what is happening out in the world. I don't necessarily read all the mags and blogs but I do heavily absorb the visual world around me. Doing what I do has given me the confidence to keep pushing and putting my mind to things. I think that really comes with the territory of being a designer, seeing problems or obstacles and over coming them. 7. We like to know what artists do in their spare time to get some fun. What do you do? Sports, television, movies? Fun comes to me in many different ways and there is definitely no dividing line between my work and personal life, thats what I love about it! However, I listen to Audio Books (currently getting through Stephen Kings back catalogue), I go to my friends club nights to get sweaty to loud music and make a point of getting out and about with my girlfriend seeing and experiencing stuff in our local area. I work out at the gym next to my studio which I strangely find fun and I've a big HD TV with PS3 that calls to me throughout the day. I'm also pretty obsessive about film so the local cinema is a good friend of mine. 8. What are your favorite 5 websites, and why? www.yahoo.co.uk - Don't why but I compulsively type it into my browser when ever I open it. I love reading about all the transfer deals and rumours in the footy.www.newwebpick.com great website with lots to look at and readwww.ffffound.com - full of amazing inspirationwww.flickr.com - great for research and inspiration and last but not leastwww.abduzeedo.com - good all rounder 9. Once again , thank you very much for the interview. As a final word, do you have any tips for upcoming artists and designers? Be enthusiastic. Don't be obsessed with creating style, just be obsessed with getting better and your voice will come out. Explore, experiment and be open to learn new things. For more information visit Ginger Monkey's website at http://www.gingermonkeydesign.com/

Interview: Jonathan Wong

We've seen some works from depthCore already, a great group of designers. One of them is Jonathan Wong, a great designer living in Ireland. He gently answered a few questions for us, and now we got a great interview for you guys! 1. First of all we would like to thank you for taking the time to provide Abduzeedo with this interview. Please tell us more about your art and design background and what made you become an artist and designer? You're welcome, Abduzeedo! Anyway, my name is Jonathan Wong. I live in Ireland in a city called Limerick. I've always had a passion for art. Ever since I was young, I would draw and paint a lot. I never really saw it as a possible career for me. It was not until I discovered digital art that I realised that there was a big opportunity in designing. With this realisation, I applied for art college in Limerick and got in. I am currently going into my second year in Graphic Design. 2. Which tools do you usually use? Both "traditional" (pencil, markers...) and digital. Traditionally. I use a lot. Pencils, paints(acryllics and oils), Pitt Pens, biros etc.. Anything that makes a mark really, I'll try. And digitally, I use a Wacom drawing tablet and a big ol computer. 3. Do you work in a office? What is your routine like? What are your research resources? I don't work in an office. I freelance from home for the most part. I wake up. Catch up with some friends during the day and then burn the midnight oil with my art at night. For research, obviously the internet is something I use but I also like to read books. Not really if I want to research something for a commission but just to get inspiration for myself for my own personal work. 4. Could you describe for us your typical 'start to finish' workflow when working on a design? Typical start to finish. It goes from my mind to some paper to my computer. Or sometimes I may just skip the middleman and just go freestyle on the computer. It all depends on my mood. 5. What, for you personally are the pros and cons of being a designer? Well at the moment, I am a freelance designer so I'll tell you about the pros and cons about that. The cons for me personally is that there is never a steady income. Sometimes you may go through patches where there is not many great offers to take on that you want to pursue further. Deadlines can be very tight at times for clients so that is also a con, though it must be said, tight deadlines come with the territory anyway. However, there are many positives. The fact that you can work at home, that you are your own boss. You also get to freely decide what projects you want to take on as opposed to being an inhouse designer where you have little or no power over what projects you take on. 6. How does your job as an artist and designer influence your life? Do you feel that you see things around you differently for example? I think as a designer, I feel I have a greater appreciation for design in general. Where some people may take everyday designs for granted, I don't. Designers work in visuals everyday too. We have to work in images, so when I see things that may seem banal to an ordinary personal, I don't see it for what it is but for what it might be. 7. We like to know what artists do in their spare time to get some fun. What do you do? Sports, television, movies? In my spare times, I love spending time with my girlfriend and my friends. I love football so I'll watch that when it is on. I don't watch television that much because I will normally have whatever TV series I want to watch on my computer. I'm a big movie buff also. 8. What are your favorite 5 websites, and why? http://www.depthcore.com - Great people, great art. http://www.evokeone.com - Been a member there for quite a while. Still really enjoy being there. A lot of nice artists there too. http://www.youtube.com - Who doesn't love youtube? http://www.artofwong.com - What is an interview without a shameless plug? http:/www.imdb.com - Awesome movie database (And of course Abduzeedo, an awesome sourse of inpiration and design news!) 9. Once again , thank you very much for the interview. As a final word, do you have any tips for upcoming artists and designers? You're welcome again! A final word? Hmm, just enjoy what you do and the rest will fall into place.

Interview: Adopekid

He called himself Adobekid but after Adobe contacted him he had to change his name. He changed it to Adopekid and if you look at his artworks you can recognize that they are very dope. Adopekid's website: Myspace.com/adopekid 1. First of all we would like to thank you for taking the time to provide abduzeedo.com with this interview. Please tell us more about your art and design background and what made you become an artist and designer? I like to draw since i was a child. But it never realy was my aim to become a designer. One day i reached a point where i had to decide what to do in life... I simply wrote an application for the Hamburger Technische Kunsthochschule HTK (Hamburg Techincal Artschool) and they accepted me. After finishin the apprenticeship on the HTK, which took me 3 yearz, i had to decide again what to do next. Do i applicate in a advertising agency, or what should i do? While i was askin me this, I was already workin as a Freelancer in German Hip Hop domain, and it seemed to get better and better. After a while everybody knew my name. U know, in this domain, everybody knowz everybody. My name _ADOPEKID_ was in everybodyz mouth... they knew me for my good work. Mainly, people wanted to have my Logos at all costs. I WAS ABSOLUTLEY determined to be autonomus, freelance - totaly self-dependet! I had my aim right in front of my eyez! All i wanted was to be on the top rung! 2. Your work is pretty unique and full of creativity. Where does your inspiration come from? Main part of Hip Hop is that every single artist has itz own personality. Often i just look at the people and listen to their music and i quickly get an idea of what could fit them or suit them without loosin their personality! When i was a child, i used to look WRESTLING, u know, thats kind of the same, when it comes up to their traits fitting perfectly to their outfits. I think this awesome coloured show and some cartoonz, like SABER RIDER, made me think the way i do when it comes up to design. In general, a lot of ideas do come out of my mind when i watch moviez! 3. Could you describe for us your typical 'start to finish' workflow when working on a design? Before startin with any logo, i discuss how the customer wantz it as itz best. But sometimes it also happenz that they just say : I NEED A LOGO... I´M SURE U´LL MANAGE!!! hahaha So i GOOGLE arround, lookin what there is to find out about this subject. But itz not easy u know... one day u spend a lot of time on arabic ornaments and in the same night u have to create a techno logo or a girly shirt. Actually i spend hours of hours sittin infront of my computer and tinker till it fitz perfectly. 4. What are your tools of the trade, both hardware and software? I scann all the thingz. For example, if i have to attach figures into logos, or i take a picture of a person to make it look real in the end. WORKIN WITH NO MAC! ONLY PHOTOSHOP, INDESIGN AND COREL DRAW! 5. What, for you personally are the pros and cons of being a designer? People identify me on the steetz, coz i don´t hide like other graphic artist, i merchandise myself. I´m known in Hip Hop business. Besides, itz a cool job...workin far into the night...and then have a good night´s rest, what do i want more? =) 6. How does your job as an artist and designer influence your life? Do you feel that you see things around you differently for example? TOTALY! I look into magazinez and yes, certainly i do take ``another`` look on somethingz then some other person do. Even in moviez i pay heed to other thingz than for example my friendz do ( cam engagementz etc) Sometimes i stop infront of a bill right in middle of the city and just let it sink in to me... Thinkin: These people made their work defenetly good! 7. What are your favourite 5 websites, and why? MYSPACE - bringz me a lot of customers GOOGLE - helpz me workin YOUPORN - helpz me to clear my mind =) MYSPACE/syndikatebeats MYSPACE/farhot ...Listenin to their music while i am workin - power beats! Honestly...thatz it... 8. Once again , thank you very much for the interview. As a final word, do you have any tips for upcoming artists and designers? I say thanx!! To all tha designerz out there : Fuck the rulez and also risk a break in style! PEACE KID

Interview: Nik Ainley (Shinybinary)

Nowerdays you'll find Nik Ainley's work (from Shinybinary) almost everywhere in the internet. He worked for great design inspirations and websites like PSDTUTS, Computer Arts, DigitalArtsOnline and Desktopography, just to name a few. You can watch his art online on Shinybinary.com 1. First of all we would like to thank you for taking the time to provide abduzeedo.com with this interview. Please tell us more about your art and design background and what made you become an artist and designer? I fell into doing design really rather than through any formal education or training. I was at university about 5 years ago studying physics and happened to pick up a copy of Photoshop. I loved it and soon found myself using it a lot in my spare time, just teaching myself and seeing what could be done with it. After uni I just kept on producing work and it was around then I decided I wanted to do something creative for a living. I launched my website, www.shinybinary.com in 2004 as somewhere to showcase my work and the good feedback I got gave me confidence that I could make money from it. I then worked as a web designer for a large company for about two and a half years, always producing my own work in my spare time. Eventually just over a year ago I decided to go freelance and have been working as a designer and illustrator on commission since then. Things seem to be going well so far anyway. 2. Your work is pretty unique and full of creativity. Where does your inspiration come from? I find inspiration in everything around me. Sometimes it's hard to explain where my ideas come from, I'm just glad they do! 3. Could you describe for us your typical 'start to finish' workflow when working on a design? This can vary hugely depending on what sort of project it is, whether it's personal or professional etc. If it's a photomanipulation picture for instance I can spend a huge amount of time finding the right photos before I even start in Photoshop. Generally though I start off with a fair amount of experimentation before I decide which direction the picture's going in. From there things settle down a bit as I get more and more of an idea of the look 'm going for, and the work gets a bit more precise and technical. Knowing when an image is done can be one of the hardest things to do. I normally think that if nothing I adds to a picture enhances it then it's done. 4. What are your tools of the trade, both hardware and software? Hardware wise I use a pc as I prefer their flexibility and speed for price over Macs. I have two, one quad core and one dual core as a backup. The usual stuff inside, a lot of RAM, a lot of big fast hard drives and a good video card. I also use a 30" monitor which has been one of the best investments I've ever made. It would be hard going back to anything much smaller now. 5. What, for you personally are the pros and cons of being a designer? The pros are all about being able to do something creative you enjoy and get paid for it, noone can ask for much more than that. I think one of the big problems with being a designer is that everyone has their own opinion and is quite happy to tell you it, whether they know nothing about design or not. Convincing people that you might know more and that they hired you for a reason can be quite tough. 6. How does your job as an artist and designer influence your life? Do you feel that you see things around you differently for example? Totally, I often find myself scrutinisg posters or flyers or all sorts of design to see what tricks have been used. I think when your job is so focussed on visuals it naturally changes the way you look at things. I often spot things that give me ideas for things to use in my artwork, from more obvious things like patterns to quite abstract stuff like colours or a particular type of lighting. 7. What are your favourite 5 websites, and why? Well I'll ignore the ones I visit most as they are probably the same as most people out there (Google, BBC news, Youtube etc) and go for the less obvious ones. ComputerLove I browse a lot of news/blogs to do with design and illustration but this is definitely my favourite. Anything visually cool on the net or in the real world will probably turn up here. I can't remember how many great things I've seen on this site. Snopes An urban legend myth-busting site. Always a good read when you want to know the facts and how much crap some people can talk. The Perry Bible Fellowship Not updated so much recently but still one of the best web comics out there. Quite quirky, quite dark, all brilliant. b3ta Very British humour, edgy is putting it mildly. At Ease Being a Radiohead geek I like to follow all the related news, this is the best place for that. 8. Once again , thank you very much for the interview. As a final word, do you have any tips for upcoming artists and designers? It's been a pleasure. I'm not very good at giving really general tips or advice. One thing I will say is back up your work! Losing stuff due to technical failures is very unpleasant, I know, make sure you backup so it never happens to you.

Interview: Godmachine

Hi guys, what we've got here today is my first interview. Hanging around on the internet I've found these amazing works, and the artist behind all that is called Godmachine. He's very active in t-shirts design too, so I thought it could be interesting to get an interview from this cool guy and he has been so kind to accept, giving us very interesting and inspiring answers. 1- Tell us something more about you and your works. How did you start? What did you study? Where do you get the inspiration? I live in Wales (UK) with my two cats and my wife to be. I have been drawing all my life- I think if I remeber rightly I was a lot better when I was younger- but I never thought I could make a career out of it. I always wanted to go into film- did some courses in it- watch a lot of films hahah- but you dont realise what kind of dedication and concentration you need to be a film maker- thats some serious focus. I later studied Time Based Media as the age of flash was dawning- never having a computer or even playing computer games I was lost. I couldnt even turn the macs on in Uni- I was out of my depth. I expected it to be mostly direction and so forth....I left and after a year of social work with the homeless I started a Graphic Communication course. I passed but I couldnt tell you how. I was lost on that course too- it was a new course and the lecturers didnt seem to know what was going on- got taught all the basics- but I was still out of my depth. I spent most of the course drawing Lenor type sketches or hugley detailed Beardsly black and white ink drawings. The tutor took me aside and said 'I dont like this kind of work- I think its artistically offensive and I dont understand it. But I also know from that that you may well be succesfull for it'. It irritated me a bit because she would fail everything I did. Luckily the head of the course was a big Tom Waits fan as was I, and would catch the same bus home as me. He made sure I got decent grades off her and watched my back for me. I dont think you can teach graphics or typography- you either get it or struggle. I spend hours looking at the posters on fffound wonder what is it about all that typography/graphic that people like- I'm totally clueless to it all. so for ages I swam in this work of graf' art and typography- all these kids (I was a mature student having been a bricklayer or electricians mate most of my youth) all jerking off over clean vector stuff- I was lost...... ...untill I discovered old skateboard designs were collectable again- my mate who is an avid skateboard collector started talking about this and that and It was about the same time I discovered Horsebites- he really cemented the plan for me to do what I'm doing today- I'm lucky enough to have had a lot of communication with the guy and I'm chuffed to say he is one of the nicest guys out there (I would love to mention so many people here but I fear it would end up as a huge list with no reading value). Lowbrow skulls etc had come back just in time. 2- Which tools do you usually use? Both "traditional" (pencil, markers...) and digital. I dont have the patients to move squares about all day (illustrator). Finally my Mrs bought me a canvas and some paints and told me to do a painting- I nearly died- all my stuff up untill then was on scraps of paper with either a biro or a pencil. I was hugely influenced by Gieger, Aubrey Beardlsy, Klimt, Richard James loads more...and anyone who drew for 2000AD (a comic in the UK) in the 90's and 80's. My mate bought the painting off me- so I did some more. I finally ruined our front room and kitchen with acrylic paints and started to do work above a shop in town- I hated having to walk to my studio to paint every day- and finally they needed the space back. I have no room or time to paint anymore- I miss it- but not the mess- I like splashing it about hahah. So, slowly over many years I began to get to grips with photoshop (im still a complete idiot with it) and started to learn about brushes and textures- and would scan in my pen drawings and colour them in. It took me years to learn all this stuff. I bought a tablet ages ago and didnt use it at all. lately Its all i use- I know sketch straight into the computer. I only use photoshop and no other program- it took me about 5 years to get where I am with it today- I only stopped using PS7 3 months ago. Im old old school. 3- Can you describe your workflow, from a sketch to the finished product? what i have learnt form computers is that its soooo easy to erase your mistakes- unlike paints where correcting a mistake can take days. So know i do a doodle- literaly a doodle with about 6 lines on a scap of paper. Imagine in my head what i want it to look like and start to sketch it out on the computer- using layers start to build up a more adhesive structure untill I even surprise myself with the out-come. I take regular breaks from the computer to play with my cats, do some cleaning, buy fresh veg and fruit for the day a bit of gardening- so it usually takes me about a day or two to produce a pic'. But then some days I'm like a dog with a bone and I will stay awake untill its finished. I havent picked up a pencil or pen to sketch for ages- I bought some sketch books and some pencils and have been trying to sketch more and more- I'm always too eager to get it finished so as soon as I have thought of something- I'm straight on the computer- and seeing as I work from home- I am never away from the computer long enough to warrent a sketch book....I hate it hahahah...but love it... 4- When you get a commissioned work, for a t-shirt for example, how much freedom do you usually have? freedom on a piece can be a curse at times. 'hey man, just do your usually godmachine stuff', so theres this mutant evil baby i've been thinking of for ages- so I go ahead and produce it- then they say 'oh hell bro- thats sick- but we think its a bit..you know'. hahah so its cool to be given free reign- but people just dont realise what that means. Others are very specific about what they want- and that can be cool or a curse too. You get used to who you work with and learn to lay down some rules. I generally just try to draw what I want and hope that someone wants to buy it. It sucks when it comes to fitting in text- but its a lot better than a load of rejections. I've know designers get into mad depressed funks from rejections- its not cool. I do get some rad art direction from some people though. I suppose people come to you because they want a bit of you in the pic' - they want what you do- but its not always easy to guess whats inside someones head hahah. I dont blame the customer- I think its a lot to do with experiance and your catalogue of work. Slowly I'm getting better when people say ' a bright monster' I can generally guess what they have been looking at from my work and get it right 8 times out of 10. Its deffinately a skill- and not something you will ever get 'right', some top level artists still get rejections. 5- In t-shirt design which are the common problems we can get into about the printing process? Which are the most common limitations we can step into? Can you show us your most problematic design for a t-shirt and tell us which compromises did you have to accept? seperations and size- these are my problems. Limited colours: I havent really got a problem with this- for years I drew only in black and white so its fun to return to that- and with halftones you can do a lot more. They say in art you should always limit your palette to make more of an impact- I'm realising that lately, but it makes me forget I can do stuff other that tees- I get into this 4 colour limit way of thinking with my work- its hard to break out of. Seperations: I work in photoshop only and I work very messy (behind the lines) i use layers to cover things up and build up a clean look- this gives me a huge file size- so I have to flatten it and then seperate the colours into layers. I have never had to do this before and it perplexes me that a printers would not offer this service- i think its a program called film-ripper or something like that. I do enjoy sending a flat image off and having the printers do it proffessionally rather than me having to worry about it. I think it makes sense for printers to include this service- it will get you a lot more clients. Size: grrrrr It bugs me when you produce a design a certain size and the client/printer prints it small on the chest. I was talking to some big design folk about it and they were saying: if the client cant produce your work as intended then you should not produce any work for them as it is a direct representation of you- no one thinks- hey the band printed it small- they think- hey the artists did a small drawing. which is not good. I suppose you can always deny doing it hahaha. 6- Are you active in any t-shirt design community, like designbyhumans.com for example? Did you get printed? Emptees is where I hang out more than others- some of the people there are cool as hell and loads of fun. I did a design on Design By Humans and it got printed- I dont think I have the constitution for competitions- I'm a natural worrier. My friend Jimiyo.com is spending a whole year entering contests alone- no freelance work- the guy is a demon though and have the right frame of mind for all that- check him out- I learned a lot from him. Recently I have been learning a lot about the nature of mesage boards and threads- they live forever. I was told recently by some big names about staying away from message boards as they breed negativity- by all means show work- but be carefull of threads- people talk shit on them alot. People forget that the internet is a small place and you dont know who is watching. You know those people on youtube who leave comments like 'fag' or 'you twat' etc? Well, they exist in the art world too. 7- Your design seems to get inspired a lot by skateboard decks and stickers of the 80s and 90s. Did you ever worked for a skateboards label? work for a skateboard label? yes please. I was a skater and that where my influences lay- the 80's and 90's were such a good time for me- skating all day- hanging out in huge packs of chip throwing ramp building burmuda short wearing curb shredders....get me a time machine. Art and Influences go around in circles- we are always digging up the past- adding some spice, reheating it and feeding it to a new generation- it will never end- I remember in the 90's it was a rehash of the 60's with bright swirl colours and a plethora of drug and field raves. It will happen every generation- and its cool. Skateboard art recently has become a mad place to be-I wish I was in the thick of it. There are a few companies who are slowlu bring good design back to the game. I remember for a while skate graphics went a big regressive or logo/branded and I lost interest. Skateboarding has always been at the forefront of most style and changes in my culture and most others. 8- Which tips and advice can you share with who wants to become a professional illustrator? I am lucky to have been given some great advice by some great people- and even just some great encouragement-I have only really been doing this seriously for about a year- so its nice to have. I will regurgitate some for you now and include my own at the end. Jeff Finley (http://www.gomediazine.com/) has been great to me from the start and one of his best bits of advice was to 'just draw it'- this wasnt said specifically to me- it was on his blog. It was along the lines of that he sits and think and worries about the piece too much and that he should just start drawing it- mistakes and all. I think we all have that problem at times and it rings through my head and has helped me produce some great pieces when I'm stuck 'just draw it'. jimiyo is one smart dude- his philosophy is amazing- I just recomend you check out his blog/site- a very resorceful person: his tutorial about how to make a weathered brush from his cat is brilliant. Jimiyo says some great things about believing in yourself and being the master of your work...read his blog. Again, there are loads of people I would love to enter here by name- sorry. Personally I would say- join a community- there are loads about at the moment, it has helped me no end- you get to finding groups that do the same kind of stuff like you and you get to bouce ideas about. When I was a boxer we used to have sparing partners who would also train with you- this was to ensure that if you didnt feel like running that night- your partner would be round banging on your door making you run- and versa visa (sic). Joining a community is much the same thing- the vein of the style I do now was just coming into its own and I have some excellent- if not frighteningly, terrifyingly good sparing partners. Thank you for interviewing me- it was terrifiying- I hope it helps someone- If anyone wants any other advice or anything, feel free to drop us an email. yours aziz A.K.A. Godmachine www.godmachine.co.uk