Interviews with top designers

Learn how these designers got started, get clients and keep motivated.

Will Paterson

1. When did you realise you wanted to be a designer? I had a friend in school that would create amazing YouTube banners in Photoshop. I loved what he created and wanted to do this myself. So from the age of 16 I started learning through limited videos online, books...

Jason Knight

Jason Knight

1. When did you realise you wanted to be a designer?   At the end of year 12 when I had to select a UNI degree. I excelled at art and woodwork and looking for some way to blend these together I stumbled across Industrial/Product Design. It was about 5 years after...

Hoodzpah

Hoodzpah

1. When did you realise you wanted to be a designer? Jen: I think we started doing it before we even realized what “it” was. We were drawing as soon as we beheld the majesty of a deluxe set of Crayola Crayons (that 64 color set was a game changerrrr). So we grew up...

Ksenya Samarskaya

Ksenya Samarskaya

1. When did you realise you wanted to be a designer? The definition has evolved, but as long as I can remember, starting at perhaps four or five or six, I knew I wanted to be an artist. It was the allure of the lifestyle. A space where I could think on different...

Simon Dixon

Simon Dixon

1. When did you realise you wanted to be a designer? I loved drawing and art as a kid. I was helped by being educated at home through what would have been in secondary school, so I had a lot of freedom to experiment. I drew a lot, including self-publishing comic...

Gday Frank

Gday Frank

1. When did you realise you wanted to be a designer? Year 10 Art Class (2003) when I was introduced to Photoshop. Prior to that I'd wanted to be an animator for Pixar, Industrial Light and Magic or Animal Logic, but once I got to my final year of high school I was...

Joel Kelly

Joel Kelly

1. When did you realise you wanted to be a designer? From a very young age, I have been doodling on scraps of paper, and in academia, it was my school work. I seemed to always be drawn to visual elements and wanting to improve on the concept. It wasn’t until 1997 that...

James Martin

James Martin

1. When did you realise you wanted to be a designer? That's a very good question and one I still don’t really know to this day. I have always been creative and “arty” and ended up “falling into” graphic design in all honesty. I went to college and did an Art...

Aaron Draplin

Aaron Draplin

1. When did you realize you wanted to be a designer? It was right out of high school. I didn't really even know what a graphic designer was, but I knew I wanted to be into art. It goes all the way back to skateboarding. We were making our own grip tape graphics, our...

Gyor Moore

Gyor Moore

1. When did you realize you wanted to be a designer? My parents often tell me that when I was a kid I was always drawing. Mostly comic characters, and I would create stories around them. I think this was the first hint of me being into design and storytelling. It was...

Matthew Encina

Matthew Encina

1. When did you realize you wanted to be a designer? When I was 5 years old, in school, I played with Legos a lot. I loved building cars and spaceships, and was so particular about the forms I build and the bricks and colors I chose. When other kids tried to play with...

David Airey

David Airey

David Airey is a designer of enduring logos and visual identities. He runs an independent graphic design studio in Northern Ireland, collaborating with clients worldwide to grow their businesses through distinctive, meaningful, and emotive design. He’s also an author...

Jeroen Van Eerden

Jeroen Van Eerden

The following is an interview with Jeroen Van Eerden. Jeroen is a passionate logo and identity designer. Based in Groningen, The Netherlands, he has worked as an independent designer for more than 150 companies worldwide over the last 8 years, some of the more notable...

Michael Janda

Michael Janda

1. When did you realise you wanted to be a designer? I was always into art and creativity. Doodling, comic books, imagination…even a stint with Dungeons and Dragons during my middle school years. When I was in high school I thought “commercial art” (now called graphic...

Brendan Dawes

Brendan Dawes

1.When did you realise you wanted to be a designer? I don't think I ever did. To be honest I never really thought about what I wanted to do, though maybe something creative or involving making things in some way. I really got into design as a side-effect of being into...

Colleen Gratzer

Colleen Gratzer

1.When did you realise you wanted to be a designer? Very early on. My parents would always say that I was born with a pencil and drawing tablet in hand. I was always drawing. I was especially big on drawing people’s faces and houses—two completely unrelated things,...

Christophe De Pelsemaker

Christophe De Pelsemaker

1.When did you realise you wanted to be a designer? At the age of 16/17, we had some moments during school which were devoted to talk about our interests and what we would like to study after we got out of school at the age of 17/18. Like many students, I didn't had...

Steve Raboin

Steve Raboin

1. When did you realise you wanted to be a designer? When I was wrapping up my 4-year enlistment in the United States Marine Corps. I had already studied illustration for two years before I went in. When I started looking into returning to...

Danny  Matthews

Danny Matthews

1. When did you realise you wanted to be a designer? Since I was a kid, whenever someone asked me what I wanted to be when I was older I used to alternate between: Cartoon Voiceover, Designing Cars or Making Toys (I’m such a kid). Unfortunately I lost my way after...

Shane Rielly

Shane Rielly

1. When did you realise you wanted to be a designer? I have always been what others would call 'a creative person' so I guess I have naturally always looked for outlets and ways to exercise that. If I got a skateboard, surfboard, pencil case, or just about anything...

Jacob Cass

Jacob Cass

1. When did you realise you wanted to be a designer? Looking back on my childhood, I was always attracted to creative subjects such as art and design, so there was something engrained there from the beginning. However, it wasn't until I was 15 that my school's career...

Douglas Davis

Douglas Davis

1. When did you realise you wanted to be a designer? Well, I didn't really decide to be a designer. I stumbled into it. I remember wanting to be a cartoonist. I loved Garfield as a kid and my cousins took me to the state fair as a kid, I was probably about 7 or 8 and...

Matt Dawson

Matt Dawson

1. When did you realise you wanted to be a designer? Kind of by accident. I was in school for Landscape Architecture, but spent more time designing the development signage & pitch decks rather than making sure my landscape designs actually worked! I was doing...

Laura Evans

Laura Evans

1. When did you realise you wanted to be a designer? I wish I could say 'I was born with design in my blood!' but that would be a lie! I've always been creative: I adored art and design and technology at school; I actually started a degree at Loughborough University...

Deb Panckhurst

Deb Panckhurst

1. When did you realise you wanted to be a designer? Probably early teens. I was always very interested in art in general, drawing and doodling. I remember sketching magazine ads as a kid. Drawing out the text and everything. One of my high school teachers said to me...

Joseph Szala

Joseph Szala

1. When did you realise you wanted to be a designer? I’d say it was in my late teens. I played bass in a band, and the duty of creating our show posters, website, album art, and other elements. This also introduced me to business as I had to book shows, negotiate...

Bart ODell

Bart ODell

1. When did you realise you wanted to be a designer? I was honestly 9 years old and in the third grade, I believe, living in Wichita, Kansas USA. I was constantly getting into trouble with my elementary school teacher for constantly drawing in class before, after and...

Michael Edward

Michael Edward

1. When did you realise you wanted to be a designer? I would have to give my parents credit for recognizing my creative talent at a very young age. They encouraged me to express myself to the point of me winning every contest my work was submitted in. When I went to...

Mark Des Cotes

Mark Des Cotes

1. When did you realise you wanted to be a designer? I actually didn’t realize I wanted to be a designer until part way through my first year of design school. Originally, After High School my plan was to go to university and learn how to produce television...

Dustin Lee

Dustin Lee

1. When did you realise you wanted to be a designer? I’ve always loved old packaging, cheap ads in comic books, and album artwork. I just didn’t realize it was a career. The first time I got excited and felt empowered to experiment with design was when I purchased...