V. Nelson-Lee [mrv]
What is your specialty?
Posters, flyers, shirts, general promotional things of a more artistic nature.
I suppose it would be making stencils for silkscreen/spraypainting.
Where can we view your portfolio online?
What made you interested in design?
Been using Illustrator and Photoshop from a young age... I guess I just like being able to put those skills to a real use, and getting a chance to use them.
What has been your professional career path?
Seeing as I'm fifteen.... not much.
I've done some video work for the local historical society, and photography for the land trust. I am currently working on a small monthly art magazine with some friends.
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?
To end up having done something emotionally gratifying and worthwhile.
Some sort of art, or doing something with friends, usually.
How would you define your design style?
Edgy, satirical, outside of the box. Things are nice when they're somewhat minimalist- a lot of the time people just stick things in without thinking, which irritates me.
How do you promote and move your work?
I don't try to push things, just let people see what I've done in the past and draw their own conclusions.
In which new areas would you like to experiment?
I'd like to be able to do some more serious graphic design- all I've done in seriousness is video, writing, and photo.
Shapes, color, concept: where do you usually begin when conceiving a design?
When thinking about a topic, I get a small, strong idea- maybe an image or a slogan, then I go from there to add things on to it, maintaining the general theme.
What are your sources for documentation and to generate ideas?
I'll usually just research the related topic, and a detail from that will stand out for me to base things on.
Which festivals or awards in your field do you find most interesting?
I would LOVE to do a small film festival.
What is your favourite type of customer?
Someone open-minded, with a good sense of humour. Flexible, but still knows what they want, and doesn't change their mind too much.
To a certain point, is copying justifiable?
If it's for satire, all the way.
If it's serious business... make sure to get the rights for it first. (I'm assuming images/video clips here.) Plagarising actual design work is kind of fail. Sure, be inspired by someone's technique, but you've still got to be you when you design. It's not just a reflection of the product, it's a reflection of yourself.
List some things you dislike seeing in design.
1. Too many varying fonts
2. People that take themselves too seriously without being able to pull it off
3. Cluttered, busy design
4. Forcefully trying to be 'artistic' or 'sensitive'
5. Bad photography
6. Use of too many varying colours/themes
Do you believe the newer generations are better at designing?
Not by any means. I think to some extent, computers have made it too easy for people to design, so they'll just churn out whatever they think is neat, without thinking about how good it actually is. I mean, look at the old Soviet designers... their work is absolutely amazing. Simple, but well-crafted, and it gets the point across.
Age has nothing to do with it. There are just as many young design failures as there are old.
With which type of client would you decline in working for?
Unreliable people who think their word is cast in stone- not a good combination.
People who think the world of themselves.
People who can't take a step back and laugh about something.
People who change their mind too much.
People who have no appreciation for good design.
How do you calculate budgets for a design project?
Well, I just get the usual material prices... and then I just guess and check- I mean, you can't give a tangible value to creative work a lot of the time. Whatever sounds reasonable to me, which ends up being a bit cheaper than what other people are charging.
Which professionals in your field -contemporary or past- do you most admire?
Some of the old Russian designers- though I'm drawing a blank as to their names right now.
David Hockney, a fantastic photographer and painter.
Which software applications do you most utilize in your work?
After that, Indesign.
And with film, I use FinalCut Pro.
(I'm on a Mac)
Up to what point do your designs reflect your personality?
Depending on what it is... if it's something I can identify with, it will show through a bit. If not, then no as much.
How do you distinguish passing fads from mainstays in new trends?
For this- you've got to look to the past, and see what type of thing stays, and what doesn't. What kind of things are easy for people to abandon, and the reasons people follow something in the first place.
If you weren't a designer, what would you be doing?
Writing, most definitely. Either that or working in the film industry.
At this moment, what would be your dream job or project?
I'm working on it right now- an underground art/commentary magazine.
Can you see yourself in this field twenty years from now?
Which design resources online do you frequently visit?
Resources? Wikipedia for research, Library of Congress for copyright-free media, and deviantART/Flickr as a means for critique.
What hobbies have you got?
Film, Photo, writing.... stencil design.
I read a lot.
If you were sent to a deserted island, which book, CD and film would you take with you?
War and Peace by Tolstoy
Keasbey Nights by Catch 22
In moments of tension, what techniques work in calming the mind?
Listening to music, reading. Trying to understand the other side's point of view.
A simple pleasure that for you is quite big or important.
Listening to music.
How do you respond to telemarketing calls?
Just hanging up.
Something in which you are completely incompetent.
Algebra and other useless mathematics
What toy gave you the best moments of your childhood?
Trees to climb.
Is there any superstition that makes you change your behaviour?
Does knowing someone's zodiac sign help you to better understand that person?
Not at all- astrology is a gimcrack field.
Please list something you have not yet done, but that you would definitely like to do someday.
1. Go backpacking in the Appalachians.
2. Explore an old hospital/training school.
3. Climb up on the roof of a building and sit there with someone.
4. Take mandolin lessons.
Did God create the world in seven days, or do you believe in the theory of evolution?
Do you believe many illnesses can be caused by the mind?
Using the subway without paying, shoplifting: is there excessive tolerance to these small offenses?
Shoplifting, there should not be much tolerance for.
Finding out ways to ride the subway for free, however, is an admirable example of people using logic to beat the system.
What do you think of the squatter "movement"?
It's respectable. The buildings and land are not being used, nor will they ever be.
People are attached to such things too easily, owning a piece of paper does not imply real ownership. That comes when you actually appreciate and use the land for something worthwhile, not just letting it fallow because you own it on paper.
Do you think tipping is a good custom?
Yes, if the tip is deserved.
What is your opinion of the rise in popularity of plastic surgery and implants?
Not my face, not my problem. Stupid people will be stupid. It's how things work.
What do you currently have in your MP3 player?
Lots... indie, folk, grunge, industrial, jazz, ska... whatever.
What books are you currently reading?
Herzog, by Saul Bellows.
Just finished Choke by Chuck Palahniuk.
What is that special film you never tire of watching?
What do you use: Mac or PC and why?
I'm using OSX... it's more friendly, better looking, reliable... it's just an entirely better experience.
What is to come after consumist society?
Either anarchy or an autocratic distopia.
Do you believe there is excessive sex and violence in the media?
Not really, no. The media should not be restricted because a few parents don't like what they let their kids watch... it's up to the individual, not the government.
Has there been a personal-growth book that has transformed your life?
An official personal-growth book? No.
Reading Chuck Palahniuk helped shape me though.
Have you ever bought works of art? What type of art? What compels you to purchase art?
Poster art, paintings, photos, whatever.
If it's something really special and not crazy overpriced.
Do you defend urban graffiti?
Yes, as long as it's meaningful... the usual "I was here, w33d forever!" is a waste of paint. It gives cities character, and shows that people are more free than they'd like to think.
What magazines do you frequently read?
Popular Mechanics, Popular Science, MAKE, National Geographic
Piracy continues to grow: What will happen to the music and film
industries and culture in general?
It will force the larger companies to be more fair in their compensation of artists.
What matters more in deciding your vote: the party, the candidate, or the ideas?
Two-party systems are on the rise: is this good for politics?
No. It forces a lot of people to go with things they don't agree with.
Does a state have the right to attack or intervene in another country that has not attacked said state, if the country has committed grave injustices or crimes against humanity?
Depending... it should be put to vote by the people.
Are we witnessing the end of the American empire?
Hopefully. We could certainly use some humility.
Why did the economies of communist countries fail?
Because, in the end, they were not actually communist.
The USSR actually ceased to be communist when Stalin took over. There was a movement within Soviet Russia itself to regain power and reinstate Leninism.
And in some cases, because nobody will give them a chance. Cuba could do amazingly well if we opened up to them and helped them start becoming a producer... that would in turn make them more open to discussion of human-rights issues in the country.
Should consensual offenses such as drug use or prostitution be legalized?
Depending on what it is.... cannabis should be legalized, but things that legitimately harm people should not. (amphetamines.)
Are you pro-choice or pro-life?
Choice... if you think abortion is wrong, don't get one. It's no reason to infringe on other peoples' rights.
Should homosexual couples have the same right to adopt as heterosexual couples?
Rhode Island- USA