As much as I love graphic design and the jobs I mostly get commissioned to do (design logos, stationery, brochures etc etc), I secretly wish I was a commercial artist.
Without that secret desire, I wouldn’t be where I am now. Truth be told, it was my love for comic books while at high school that prompted me to go to art college.
But that dream faded at college. Computer aided design back in 1989 wasn’t anything like it is now and I soon realised that my average drawing skills were never going to catch the eye of 2000AD or DC Comics. Graphic design seemed like the logical route and as the old saying goes… “The rest is history”.
Roll on to 1995 and I was now the owner of a colour Mac and such applications as Photoshop, Bryce and Poser. Suddenly, those dreams I had less than 10 years earlier were beginning to resurface. My limitations as a graphic artist were no longer down to my drawing ability but down to how far I wanted to push the software at my disposal.
Quite early on in to my career as a freelance graphic designer I picked up a client who published a monthly magazine aimed at ‘electronic hobbyists’ – the kind of magazine that nerdy CB radio enthusiast buy who want to learn how to make their own metal detector. Ok, maybe not the most glamourous of clients but they were a client who gave me the opportunity to flex my fledgling graphic art muscles and produce science fiction-esque cover images for their magazine.
I really miss working for that magazine!
I produced over 80 covers for them between 1998 and 2004. Mostly were electronics based images i.e. 3D models of circuit boards that looked like futuristic cities, or metal detectors hovering over sandy beaches. But the important thing was that these images needed to answer a brief, look convincing and stand out on the shelf – the three boxes that need ticking when producing artwork for a magazine or book cover.
I feel quite fortunate that as well as being a designer who can produce good looking graphic design for my clients, I’m also able to offer my services as an artist as well.