I’d like to start by thanking Grant Friedman of Colorburned.com for taking time out of his day to answer these questions. Grant is the talented and creative individual behind Colorburned; a portfolio and resource site for his graphic art. On the site you can see his portfolio of work, learn from tutorials, download free textures, and much more. Featured below is his work entitled “Equidistant.”
Here is the interview, I hope you enjoy it!
How did you get started in graphic/web design, and how long have you been at it?
I got my start in graphic and web design back in 1999. An organization in which I was involved with wanted to send out an e-newsletter via e-mail. At the time, e-mail was relatively new and no one knew how to send out an e-mail to multiple recipients so I volunteered to figure out how to do it. I kept trying to figure out ways to make the e-mails I was sending look better. Eventually, I began learning html and finally graphic design. After that, I was hooked and Iâ€™ve been doing it ever since.
What is your design background (education, self-taught)?
In college, I studied a variety of subjects. Originally, I was a political science major. As my interests changed, so did my majors. After a number of years, I eventually enrolled in the graphic and web design program at my school. After that I went on to study advertising and telecommunications.
What’s one of your favorite projects that you’ve worked on, and why?
I did a series of designs a while back based on basic shapes and lighting effects. I really loved the way they turned out.
Where do you get your design inspiration from, how do you get started on a project?
Inspiration is everywhere! I get inspiration from all sorts of places. Iâ€™m always looking at advertisements and billboards around town to see what the latest design trends are. During my last trip to New York I took lots of pictures of items that I felt were interesting to look at hoping that I could use those ideas in projects later on. I also look online at some of my favorite websites.
What technologies could you not live without?
I live in Adobe Illustrator. It is usually where most of my projects begin. I also love Photoshop, Fireworks, InDesign and Dreamweaver. Iâ€™d also be lost without my laptop. I spend a lot of time on my laptop at night surfing the Internet for inspiration.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
I love the feeling I get from creating something out of nothing. I also enjoy feeling of accomplishment I get when I finish a project that the client loves.
What does a typical day entail?
I suppose the answer to this question depends on my workload. At the moment my workload is kind of light so Iâ€™m spending a lot of time developing new techniques, working on my website, developing new clients and collecting resources which I will use in later projects. If Iâ€™m very busy, I will usually devote most of my time to whatever task thatâ€™s in front of me. But no matter what my workload is, I always devote at least one hour a day, every day to the gym. Itâ€™s very important for me to be fit. As a designer we spend long hours sitting down in front of a computer so I feel itâ€™s very important to spend as much time as possible exercising and enjoying the outdoors.
What are your greatest stresses/anxieties?
Freelancing has always been a side-job for me. Itâ€™s only been recently that it has become a full-time thing. Iâ€™m very used to having a steady paycheck and I kind of miss it.
What’s the best piece of advice you’d give to an aspiring designer?
A lot of designers will tell you a lot of different things. Iâ€™d say that one of the best things you can do is to collect a lot of graphic design resources such as textures, photographs, vector objects, fonts and brushes. Itâ€™s very important for a designer to be creative but Iâ€™d say itâ€™s equally important to be fast and to meet deadlines. More resources at your disposal means less time creating things from scratch and more time designing projects for clients who pay money.
Tell us more about your site, colorburned.com.
I developed Colorburned.com as a means to showcase my work and to offer graphic design resources such as textures, vectors, tutorials and more to other graphic designers. So far Iâ€™ve posted over 300 high resolution textures and I have nearly 1,000 in waiting to be published. The response Iâ€™ve received has been phenomenal and Iâ€™m very excited about the months and years to come.
What are your methods for drumming up new business/clients?
I mostly use word of mouth to drum up new clients.
What are your favorite sites to visit and learn from? What are the top sites in your feed?
What are your future plans/goals?
I would like to become a creative or art director for a major advertising firm.
That wraps up my interview with Grant Friedman. I hope to add some more interviews to the site in the future. If you have any comments or questions for Grant, don’t hesitate to drop me a line using the comment form below.