Interview with British Designer Neil Duerden

Neil Duerden is an experienced designer/illustrator from UK and in this interview he is sharing a bit of his work life and also giving some tips for the young designers, and you get a little taste of his work while you read, check it out.

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Let's start with the usual, tell as a little about your self and what you do?

I'm a self confessed mac monkey is based in a rural miners cottage 20 miles north of Manchester, I create pieces that combine elements from mixed media, photography that are interlaced with complex vectors to create pieces that always hit the brief for clients all around the world. My art is from the heart and this passion shows through clever usage of the latest technology and hand rendered techniques alike. I am always hungry for commissions and love what I do.

For how long you been doing this and what keeps you going for more?

I've been in the creative industries nearly 20 years. Starting as a studio junior and ending up as an art director. I found that a lot of agencies have a "wallpaper". approach to advertising. By this I mean they won't try and push the boundaries for clients in terms of their direction and customer-base. I found this frustrating I believe that to cross sell a product or service through clever advertising is what it is all about. This made me re-evaluate where I was going creatively, so I decided that commercial illustration was the way forward for myself. This was a build up of both personal pleasure, as I love what I do, and for-filling briefs for aspirational clients.

Describe to us what's your typical day of work.

Get up at around 6am and have a healthy breakfast, help my girlfriend get the kids ready for school and then prepare for my day ahead. I start by looking what projects i have on and making sure there's enough hours in the day and schedule everything in. I'll then get started on the illustrative work and the morning always flies by as it's a pleasure to work on most projects. A quick lunch away from the screen and then straight back to work with music always flowing. I always make sure I have time for an evening meal with my family then depending on work load either back to it or spend a little leisure time. This can involve anything from watching a film with my kids through to caving, climbing or mountain biking with friends (it always involves a sneaky beer or two after as well). This gives me such a balance of life, as I live and work in a beautiful part of the UK it never becomes boring or mundane.

What kind of music do you play to get you going through the day?

Music is essential, I work with it constantly in the background and listen to everything from Radiohead through to Dance. I have a passion for quality hifi too, I believe that music should sound as it was intended too and not compromised by poor equipment. At the moment in the background there's Keane playing which seems to be on my playlist more and more at the moment but earlier I was listening to PWEI. It's all good and keeps me going throughout the day.

Where do you find inspiration?

Inspiration comes from many sources, this can be as direct as the art directors briefing through to noticing details in nature. I completed a piece a few weeks back that was inspired from the geometric pattern of the seeds of a cucumber:). All you have to do is open your eyes to the world around you.

Once you start working on a Piece, what's your working process?

I take a briefing and then dependent on the looseness either come up with a few solutions to the campaign or start directly on the creative treatment. Each and every job demands a different approach, the one that fits best. I also keep the client informed and email them and discuss the project at every stage to keep the job on track and right for both the agency and end client. At the end of the day commercial illustration is about selling a product or service, this needs to be the main objective in the most creative way possible.

What advice you give for young designer/illustrators that are starting on their journey now?

Get a job in an ad agency first! This will give you a broad scope on how the whole"big advertising machine" works. It's not just about making things look pretty and to be successful you need to understand this from a ground level upwards.

Thank you very much for this interview, and I will leave the last words for you.

I'd like to say thanks to all the clients past and present and also thank the team at Abduzeedo. Also all you illustrators out there keep enjoying creating, thats what keeps us all going!

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