E. David Ferriman [dferriman]
What is your specialty?
Web Design, image creation and manipulation.
Where can we view your portfolio online?
What made you interested in design?
I like to create, and I love seeing the end result. The process of first seeing something in my head to the end product is like watching magic to me.
What has been your professional career path?
I've spent most of my life in management, but I have always been the art and IT person where ever I go. So, I went back to school 5 years ago and changed careers. For the past three or four years I have really pushed myself into the field of wed design and marketing, with a focus on web marketing.
Have you received any awards for your work in the field of design?
What is your motivation? What makes you get up in the mornings?
A better question would be what gets me unmotivated so I can sleep at night. I live to create and will stay up late then get back up early to get a song I am working on just right or to tweak an image just a little more. If I have an idea, I can't sleep. I have to see it on paper or on my computer, if it is music, I have to at least record myself humming the tune. Something to get it out of my head and into the real world.
How would you define your design style?
My style can be a little surreal, or very professional. I like to think I embrace many styles, but I really like what we westerners call "manga" or "anima."
How do you promote and move your work?
Most everything i do is on the web, but I have created advertisements that have appeared in newspapers and magazines.
In which new areas would you like to experiment?
I have recently begun getting into 3D and video game creation using Blender and SIO2 with Xcode. I would really like to get more involved with this on a professional level. More so on the Blender side, but I really enjoy working with Xcode too.
Shapes, color, concept: where do you usually begin when conceiving a design?
Most things start with sketch. This can be an image on a napkin or a mock up in Photoshop or GIMP.
What are your sources for documentation and to generate ideas?
The internet. It is full of creative resources. I also read ImagineFX, Advansed PhotoShop and have recently started reading 3DArtist.
Which festivals or awards in your field do you find most interesting?
I am not really into festivals or awards. I use to be very involved in them when I was in high school, but they all seemed bias, even when I won. Maybe I should look into them more.
What is your favourite type of customer?
The kind that will work with me. We don't have to agree on everything, but even getting content at times can seem like pulling teeth. When I started out I had many clients that would want a website, but didn't know what they wanted on it. I like customers that know what they want and are willing to let me help them get there.
To a certain point, is copying justifiable?
I actually wrote about this very topic on my blog. If the client sees something "cool" "trendy" and "hip" they will want it. It is the artist's job to make it theirs without ripping of the other guy, like it or not. If they can't, they are not an artist. But lets be honest, as much as I try to make everything I do as original as possible, I have to sell it to the client. If they want what's hot now, and I can't talk them out of it, I'm going to make the best whatever they want they have seen - while making it as "hot and new" as possible.
Don't get me wrong, I am not giving the go ahead to steal other people's ideas. The reality though is that everyone wants what they see working. The question becomes, how do I make it original and how do I make it likable. I would hope that it is every artist's dream that we find a client that wants us to make them something that becomes the next big thing in design. But in the end, lets be honest - they want to make a buck, and in reality so do I.
List some things you dislike seeing in design.
complete lack of "white space" - crowding
Do you believe the newer generations are better at designing?
No. I think every generation will have their own style as pop culture evolves. I also think that technology makes the work easier, but that it doesn't help if the user can't grasp the basic concepts of design. But to say that one generation would be better than another? I don't think so. I think they actually have it harder as our jobs get easier.
With which type of client would you decline in working for?
I would decline anyone that thinks their only end users will be themselves, unless they will be the only ones using the creation. For example, when I build a website, I'm not building it for the client, I'm building it for the client's consumers. The design needs to be for them, not me or the client. If they cannot grasp this idea, I will not work for them.
How do you calculate budgets for a design project?
I base everything on the time it will take me to get the work done. I have a set start price range, then I add on based on the overall work load.
Which professionals in your field -contemporary or past- do you most admire?
I really like Michelangelo for the variety of things he did. Salvador Dalí is by far may favorite painter for the dream-like quality of is visions. Abduzeedo has amazing Photoshop tutorials. Masashi Kishimoto is a favorite for his Naruto series. Last on this list would be Jim Lee for the work he did on the X-Men comic back in the early 90's.
Which software applications do you most utilize in your work?
It use to be the GIMP, but with Photoshop being the industry standard, I have made the move to this pricey alternative. Regardless what other program I use, Blender, Inkscape/Illustrator etc, I always find myself in Photoshop at some point, just like I use to find myself working with the GIMP.
Up to what point do your designs reflect your personality?
I fear that every design I am happy with reflects on me personally. I have a very broad personality. My joy comes out in happy things I make and my dark side shows in darker creations (which works well when working on album art or rock band websites).
How do you distinguish passing fads from mainstays in new trends?
I don't. I use what I like and focus on what will work best for the client. If done right, what was a fad for some will keep working for them.
If you weren't a designer, what would you be doing?
I tried not being a designer and I was a designer. After high school the idea of making money with art was so unreal to me. So I managed and I am good at it because I see leading people just like leading a paintbrush. Get the right people in the right places and everything will flow like art.
At this moment, what would be your dream job or project?
My dream job at this point would be one of two things:
1. Creating art for video games, particularity 3D art with blender for iPhone games.
2. Creating logos designs and other art for or along with marketing strategies for clients. I would not like to find the clients, of course, but would rather be on or running the team for a company.
Can you see yourself in this field twenty years from now?
I can't see myself anywhere else. I'd like to see me teaching this field by then. But what ever I am doing, it will be creative. It always has been.
Which design resources online do you frequently visit?
I really like to do tutorials, even basic ones to keep my skills sharp. I find most on Google, but Abduzeedo and Photoshop Guru are 2 I always go back to. Smashing magazine is also a great resource for web designers. I read there and find good tutorials as well.
E. David Ferriman
Columbus, Ohio - USA