Derrick, thank you for joining us today. Tell us brief about yourself?
I have been a graphic designer for 21 years. Started printing t-shirts by hand to learn how colors interacted with each other and how to set up artwork for production. That money I earned also helped me buy my first Mac computer and start learning software. Appeared on HGTV in an episode called High Flying Homes, won several advertising awards and have had work featured on magazine covers. The best reward though, is seeing a client happy with your work and appreciative of your effort for them. Worked with several celebrities, CEOs and foreign diplomats. Spent majority of my career in the general aviation industry designing jets and helicopters, but have designed for clients in several industries and agencies. I am from Kansas City, Missouri. Although I love designing my greatest love is for my daughter, Kenzie.
When did you develop the interest for graphic designing?
I started young. I remember drawing and designing logos for store fronts when I was a child. I would ride around with my parents in the car and just look at store signs and then go home and redesign them. I was always sketching, drawing characters or making posters.
What changes and development have your seen in the past 10 years in the graphic designing industry?
The biggest changes are always in the design trends and software. When I was in college we didn’t have a color scanner or the amazing software or really any of the resources we have now as designers and it just gets better year after year.
If you were not a Graphic designer, what would be your other career choices?
As a child, my first love was the game of baseball. I played from the morning until it got dark. It was my dream to play in the big leagues. That dream came crashing down when I got hurt in college playing.
What professional software & tools do you use on a daily basis?
Adobe has always been at the forefront of the software game. They are loyal to the creative mindset and are always leaders in innovating new tools for us to use. Autodesk is also a leader in the software industry. Even if you don’t use Autodesk products you would be amazed at seeing what is being produced across all industries with their products. As far as tools, it’s always good to learn how to use a pen and tablet. digital sketching, drawing on the screen is so much easier when you have a natural feeling tool in your hand.
One form of art, software, tool, skill you wish to learn in the future?
I’ve dabbled in 3D design with my aviation work, but I would love to get more involved with video, video effects and animation.
How was your experience as a 3D model designer in Aviation Industry?
It has been amazing. I never really thought I would ever get a chance to learn 3d software (Autodesk Maya) but luckily I was given that opportunity. 3d work is a very intense and time consuming medium, but it produces amazing results which motivate you to want to learn more.
If one of your important clients requires some urgent graphic work from you and you don’t have access to Adobe. What other tool or application would be your option or choice?
Sounds like my first designer job. I had to manage with just using Microsoft Paint and a scanner. I had to really break down the design to the basics. It’s always good to keep a pencil and paper in your toolkit. These two tools can spark the creativity. Sketchbook Pro is the best app to use if you want to get ideas down on “paper”.
What do you think is the future of Graphic Designing?
Well design has evolved as technology has. It used to just be thought of just for books, logos, catalogs, posters, etc. but now we have apps, UI UX, websites… all the digital mediums. The future looks pretty amazing really. New mediums will be invented and they will need designers
One advice you would give to someone who wants to start a career in Graphic Designing industry?
Pick up a pencil and draw. Whether you think you good at drawing or not, pick up a pencil and draw. It’s the fastest way to get the ideas out of your head and made into a tangible element you can manipulate and refine. Always have one with you – in a purse, backpack or behind your ear. I’ve learned the hard way. I’ve had great ideas lost forever because I didn’t have anything to get it ‘down’ on paper.