Category: A Closer Look

A Closer Look with Alex Yaeger

We had a great time interviewing Alex Yaeger, a graphic designer and illustrator who focuses on creating original and intriguing concepts to best serve his clients. 

How long have you been in design?
In some ways, since I was a child. My parents were both landscape architects by degree and I was always surrounded by an abundance of drafting tools. I always enjoyed fictional settings in illustrated books and video games that fleshed out their worlds with logos, maps, and schematics. I would often emulate those sorts of creations in my spare time and especially during less-appealing classes in school. At one point, I even designed a logo for a photography studio my mother temporarily worked at. Despite this, I didn’t realize that I wanted to make a career out of my creativity until I was in my second year of college. Having been somewhat aimless and uncertain about my future before, entering the graphic design program really opened my eyes and realized that this was what I was meant to do. Before I left school, I was already tackling freelance and contracted work.

Do your personal projects differ from your professional work? If yes, how so?
I tend to think about each project very passionately. Working professionally, this has caused some deal of anxiety as, in the end: a designer does have to defer final say to a client or director. I have gradually learned to accept this and persevere in fulfilling the duties required of me. I think this is an internal struggle all creatives face when making a living based on their talents, sometimes we care too much for our own good. Personal projects and creative exercises are a good way to prevent burn out and, in the end, tend to appeal to and bring in potential clients the most.

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A Closer Look with Gina Kiel

We had a great time interviewing Gina Kiel, a freelance illustrator based in New Zealand. As a versatile illustrator and full time mom, she emphasizes the importance of maintaining creativity in her household. 

Do your personal projects differ from your professional work? If yes, how so?
I like to be versatile so that I can take on a range of good projects which don’t always have to match with my personal work, it keeps things interesting and challenging. It’s good to mix it up so everything doesn’t end up looking the same. I put lots of love into every project I work on so I think there’s naturally an essence that ties all my work together, it’s all coming from the same place. I am pretty selective about projects that I show on my website, it’s the work I most enjoy creating and the directions I’d like to explore further. I believe one of the ultimate achievements is to attract professional commissions based on personal work.

What do you think are the most important elements to focus on, when creating a personal website?
Keeping the design of the website simple and minimal to let the work itself be the main focus is important, I think. To put thought into presenting different projects well visually and making the descriptions short but clear. Choose your best work to display and make sure you keep on top of it, update it, maintain your blog, put new work on and take off any old work that you no longer relate to, keep it current.

A Closer Look ProSite

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A Closer Look with Adam Grason

How long have you been in design?
I’ve been designing since High School and started freelancing around that time but didn’t really take it serious as my career until about 5 years ago. Total years designing has been 10 years.

Do your personal projects differ from your professional work? If yes, how so?
They do tend to be different. I currently work full-time for Disney where my current role requires me to design and illustrate training materials. My freelance/personal work is very stylistically different and tends to be the work I am most passionate about. All my work outside of Disney tends to nod back to the earlier design era where illustration was king and it all had a handcrafted look.

A Closer Look

What do you think are the most important elements to focus on, when creating a personal website?
The most important thing to me is that who you are and the type of work you want to be doing is proudly displayed. In the past I would literally post anything and everything I was working on….even if it sucked. I was so caught up on making it look like I had a lot of work that I started getting the wrong kind of inquires. It wasn’t until I stripped down my site and dropped all the garbage that I began to get the kind of work I could see myself doing for the rest of my life. Your site needs to give someone a snapshot of your passion for art and your skills within seconds or you will lose them.

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A Closer Look with Gabriel Lira

We had the pleasure of interviewing Gabriel Lira, a Brasil based designer who has an incredible eye for branding and a strong entrepreneurial spirit. 

How long have you been in design?
I’ve worked as a designer since 2007, but design has been an important part of my life since I was a kid. I knew from the start that I would use the creative part of my brain to guide me through life. I always liked to draw and when I was a teenager I started drawing rock band’s logos, with inspiration from songs from bands like AC/DC, Black Sabbath and Metallica.

Do your personal projects differ from your professional work? If yes, how so?
Mostly, it doesn’t. The client’s personality is a definitive variable to how the work is going to flow. If the client wants to take risks of developing a cool project, the design process works fine and the result is amazing. The major difference between my personal and professional jobs is the freedom that I have on a project.

What do you think are the most important elements to focus on, when creating a personal website?
There are certain points that have to be taken in consideration, they are: level of experience and the objective of the website. The first one is important to know the level of information in each project and define what content is going to be put in the webpage. On another hand, a experienced professional focused in UX, for example, will have bigger projects in the area and won’t be necessarily showing projects in other areas.

Describe your process when creating this website
The process is very simple and I have been using Design Thinking on all the projects i’ve worked on. Design Thinking can be applied in any area of knowledge. I divide in four steps: Insights, ideas, prototype and realization. Inside each of these steps are applied determined tools that helps me conclude them in a fast and efficient way, however, is not a perfect formula.

What is your daily routine?
Nowadays my routine is simple, I wake up and go to work where I stay during commercial hours. Then I go to the gym and then work on my start up, called Muv Shoes, where I stay until midnight then go back home to rest.

What inspires you and keeps you motivated?
One of the things that helps me keeping motivated is a course on Branding that I have been taking and am now concluding. Behance is another source, I see wonderful works everyday that help me evolve.

What creative project you’ve worked on are you most proud of?
There are two cases that I created that makes me proud, one of them is the brand Janaína Jório and ins a small part of it available in the link: bit.ly/qcBSjp and the other is the one the I work everyday, my start up and cam be followed at www.muvshoes.com.br and soon I will put the whole project in Behance, and everyone will be able to be seen in many curated Galleries.

What are some projects you hope to work on in the future
I hope to work on some projects of big impact in society, relevant projects that have meaning to the rest of the world.

Full ProSite Here.

A Closer Look with Pavel Emelyanov

We had the opportunity to speak with Pavel Emelyanov, a designer out of St. Petersburg Russia who has created incredible projects inspired by natural materials.

1. How long have you been in design?
My professional experience started in 2010 year, when I joined my first design studio. Before that I worked for 5 years in a printing house, making-up newspapers. At that time I studied software and theory and practiced printing processes. First steps were great years!

2. Do your personal projects differ from your professional work? If yes, how so?
In personal projects, I try experiment with ideas, technologies and graphics…but in general my projects have a similar direction and baseline. As a designer I see more around myself and understand how to add something new in personal works. For clients, I often need to use more proven decisions. Sometimes clients see what I do in personal projects, and say: “Oh! I want like this.” But for me it’s less interesting to make the same thing a second time.

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A Closer Look with Akos Major

We had the pleasure of interviewing Akos Major, a freelance graphic designer and photographer whose peaceful photographs and simplistic techniques have caught our eye. 


How long have you been a photographer?
I bought my first camera in 2008, which was a Nikon D40x. I still have some of my first images in my portfolio – the Island series, and a few ones from the waterscapes series. I’m getting into photography more and more each day. It’s a discovery period, i’m trying new mediums and finding new subjects.

Describe your process when creating your ProSite
It was really easy thanks to the developers and the user friendly interface. I’m not good at coding, so it was a huge help. Sure, I want to improve the appearance of the whole site, just have to make a room for it besides the daily tasks – especially in the ‘about’ section. Overall, all I knew is that I wanted a clear looking site and i’m glad with the results.

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A Closer Look with Bex Glover

We had the pleasure of interviewing Bex Glover, a graphic designer, artist & illustrator living and working in Bristol, UK. 

How long have you been in design/illustration?
10 years

Do your personal projects differ from your professional work? If yes, how so?
Yes to some degree, my personal work is often more hand rendered / painting based -using markers and spray paint, and it tends to have a more abstract aesthetic. I like to emulate the hand rendered feel in my digital illustrative work too, but the style and subject matter will be dictated by the requirements of the brief. Some can be cleaner cut, simple, and digital in style, others more urban and freestyle. It’s great when you get projects where the client wants to do something based on your personal work –that’s often the more fun, creative stuff.

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A Closer Look with James Morton-Haworth

We are excited to have interview James Morton-Haworth, a versatile film maker who’s ProSite shows some cinematic greatness!

How long have you been in film?
In January 2013 it’ll be ten years since I graduated and started out. I’ll have to put together a reel or something to celebrate. The first ten years have been all about learning and honing the craft side of things – both filmmaking and working with the web. I’m really lucky to have had the opportunity to work and learn from so many brilliant people and to have started a company four years ago that’s growing well and producing great work. I hope that continues.

Do your personal projects differ from your professional work? If yes, how so?
Starting Gramafilm has devoured most of my life and consumed everything that I currently do. That said having my own website is a nice place to curate some of my favourite projects I’ve worked on. It’s an important little space for me – and it does bring Gramafilm.com a bit of traffic – so it’s win win.

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A Closer Look with Aaron Bloom

We had the pleasure of interviewing Aaron Bloom, a graphic designer based in Seattle, whose typography and screen prints blew us away!

How long have you been a graphic designer?
For a little over five years now.

Do your personal projects differ from your professional work? If yes, how so?
Yes, and no… Most of my professional work will always be about creative problem solving with a strategy behind it. My personal work is all about experimenting so it doesn’t really have to do anything, it can be more of a feeling, it definitely influences how I approach my “work work”. Ideally I’d like to blur the line between the two as much as possible.

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A Closer Look with Jani Leino

We were excited to get the opportunity to interview Jani Leino, a designer from Finland who specializes in interior & furniture design and has some great insight on innovation and collaboration. 

Do your personal projects differ from your professional work? If yes, how so?
A lot. At least it used to be true. I have worked in furniture design, children’s playground equipment design and in concept design doing various projects in different fields. That has really helped me experience a lot of things from different points of view. But for a while I felt too tied down. That has prevented me from doing some things that have been really close to my heart or prevented me from learning and developing my skills in new areas. I have really enjoyed working in all my jobs, but I wanted more. I wanted to combine all my skills and search for my true passion. When photography and sculpting came along in my life I started to see more clearly what I really wanted to do for living. I wanted to bring those things that I found important in my personal projects to my work projects. Little by little everything clicked together and I ended up founding a company with a couple of my friends that I met during my Design Management studies. When you combine such fields as av-production, design and education, Jam Jam Creatives ltd started to look really interesting. So I am really excited about my future and the road that lies ahead.

What do you think are the most important elements to focus on, when creating a personal website?
When I’m creating a website I try to make use of the visual elements as best as I can. Basically I think that a picture is worth a thousand words. So when you keep it simple and focus on visual aspects, you can allow the viewer to breathe and think more about the content. Keep it simple, fresh, readable & visually high. And that reminds me that I have to update my prosite with some new projects soon.

What is your daily routine?
I don’t think that I have a certain routine in my daily life. The projects that I work on vary so much that you never know what the day brings. One day you can be working on the typography of a new TV-show and tomorrow you are doing preliminary plans for a new education course and the day after that you are creating marketing materials for a newly founded company while designing them a new office. What I find is the most important part of the day are the long, creative conversations with your workmates. Sharing your problems and challenges helps you notice solutions that you couldn’t even think about. Usually we start the day and new project with a free discussion session where we freely pitch different ideas to each other. Those sessions usually create the most bizarre ideas and sometimes we just can’t stop laughing. Then we collect the best ideas together and start to create rough concept sketches about them. We try different solutions and if possible, we always try to approach the problem from a fresh point of view. When we have enough sketches about the ideas we take a break and discuss again about the solutions. We want to create new solutions to problems instead of taking the short cut with the foregone conclusion. We select the best one or combine the best ideas to one solution which we start to push forward. Sometimes all the pieces click together in a day, sometimes it takes a lot longer.

What inspires you and keeps you motivated?
I have been truly blessed by having so many creative and innovative people around me so I have to answer that I’m motivated and inspired by the people around me, never ending curiosity towards new things and people who push their limits to the max.

What creative project you’ve worked on are you most proud of?
I really can’t point one project out, there have been so many of them. But if I’m forced to pick one, I guess I would choose the ones that have helped me to break free from my limitations and the ones that have taught me new things that I wasn’t aware of. Those things help me to feel proud of myself and my work and they also motivate me to push my skills everyday. One particular project like that would be the concept design for Café Oma, while designing the building with help of the blueprints made in ca. 1920. It really improved my blueprint reading skills!

What are some projects you hope to work on in the future?
Oh my gosh, I would like to do so many things. But I think the most interesting thing would be a work assignment to a client who isn’t afraid to try something new. The assignment could be something like interior designs for a company with own unique products or new office design for Google or Red Bull. They have truly amazing offices. When going through the internet you bump into really creative people, it’s so amazing how creative people can be. You find great examples from websites like Behance, Thisaintnodisco.com or White Spaces. If I could have a chance to do something like that I would be so thrilled!

To see more of Jani’s work or to get in touch, click here