Dennis Salvatier / Salvatier Studios [salvatier]
What is your specialty?
My specialty is graphics for branding, print design, apparel design and illustration.
Where can we view your portfolio online?
What made you interested in design?
Since I was a kid I have always been interested in color and form. I'd doodle on napkins and even draw up my own coloring books. Animation and comic books completely captured my imagination and it slowly transitioned into graphic design. I'd go as far as to say that just looking at the world around me as a small child and realizing that someone designed every building, billboard, toy (etc.) helped me to come to the conclusion that I could design things myself.
What has been your professional career path?
I've been fortunate enough to be involved in many arenas, such as animation and fashion to name a few, but I have always been attracted to branding and marketing. Out of school, I began to do logos at a fraction of the rate I ask for now, but I found that a good logo is invaluable. It really is the foundation on which an entire corporation can be built upon. I don't think I knew what I was going to do at the beginning, but these projects helped me to decide that branding was the way to go.
Have you received any awards for your work in the field of design?
I received awards as far back as High School. One was an award for a short animated film from the L.A. Student Film Festival. And recently I received and Addy Award for some branding work. I also came in 5th place in the artwanted.com 100 most popular artists.
What is your motivation? What makes you get up in the mornings?
My motivation is paying the bills, quite frankly (:D), but my reason to get up is knowing that I love what I do. You never know what may happen. There are infinite possibilities to any project.
How would you define your design style?
I think it's very versatile. I don't think I have a distinctive style, but I do like texture. Even with designs I deem "clean", I always like to have a sense of texture. You can also spot my background in illustration in my designs. I love color and richness. It needs to pop.
How do you promote and move your work?
I spread my business cards like wildfire. Any networking opportunity that arises, I try to atttend. But I firmly believe that marketing begins with servicing your client. If he or she is not happy, or has issues with your work ethic, or the lack thereof, everyone will know it. Making my clients happy insures positive word of mouth, which is marketing you can't put a price tag on. Having a fun blog and twitter account doesn't hurt either.
In which new areas would you like to experiment?
I've actually began experimenting on cover design for music albums. I have designed things in the past, but I've approached artists online and shown them my work, which has led to some gigs that I hope will be lucrative and land me in a new sandbox.
Shapes, color, concept: where do you usually begin when conceiving a design?
It usually begins with a single idea and some thumbnails. I also like to look up other people's portfolios who have nothing to do with graphic design. It could be a photographer or a sculpter that gives me my newest idea. Having my favorite music on doesn't hurt either.
What are your sources for documentation and to generate ideas?
I think I just answered that above. I tend to find ideas where most people wouldn't look. I don't want to do what other graphic designers are doing. I want to see what a photographer or painter is doing.
Which festivals or awards in your field do you find most interesting?
I haven't been to any festivals lately, but have grown interested in independent galleries. I really enjoy Addy Awards. But being recognize by other designers who's work I admire is more relevant for me.
What is your favourite type of customer?
The kind that trust your judgement and let you do what you do best.
To a certain point, is copying justifiable?
They say plagerism is a form of flattery. To an extent I believe that is true. I think it's fine to look up what's popular to see what's working in those designs to have your finger on the pulse, but I don't think copying is helpful to your career. Design is about voicing what is special to you, but if you are voicing someone one else's ideas, that says you have no voice of your own. Your design is cookie cutter.
List some things you dislike seeing in design.
It's been a few years since the grungy-scratchy style reared it's head and I think it's slowly going away. I understand that urban is cool, but when you eat too much ice cream is makes you sick.
Do you believe the newer generations are better at designing?
No. I think with every generation we become more digitally inclined and we lack some of the hands on skills that early professional designers had in abundance. We have grown more impatient and dependent on computers, that we fail to see how going out there and picking up an autumn leaf off the floor can enhance your thinking.
With which type of client would you decline in working for?
Family can sometimes be a slippery slope.
How do you calculate budgets for a design project?
I factor in the clients personality for one. Do they seem like a client that will leave it up to me or will they nick pick everything? Do we have 4 weeks or 4 days? Lastly, I factor in my experience. Because it might have taken Picasso a minute to sketch something amazing on a napkin, but in actuallity it took him 50 years.
Which professionals in your field -contemporary or past- do you most admire?
Norman Rockwell and Rea Irvin (the man did it all).
Which software applications do you most utilize in your work?
Adobe software. Mostly Illustrator and Photoshop.
Up to what point do your designs reflect your personality?
This is a great question, because they definitely do. You can see how much I love illustration and traditinal art. My love of Walt Disney and Chuck Jones is there always, I think.
How do you distinguish passing fads from mainstays in new trends?
I think fashion has a lot to do with this actually. What were wearing and who it's being marketed to starts in fashion and trickles down to music and products we use. I don't think anything is mainstay. Everything has a natural cycle and moves on to appear again some other day.
If you weren't a designer, what would you be doing?
Pushing up daisies. Not to say I would off myself, but I can't imagine working at something and not being creative. I took a test in high school that told me I was suited to be a fork lift operator. It crushed me, because I imagined being this great artist. Years later, during a difficult period, I drove a fork lift in a warehouse. The realization hit me like a ton of bricks. The memory from high school motivated me to find what made me happy.
At this moment, what would be your dream job or project?
I would love to be a modern Rea Irvin. Doing anything and everything. I love the idea of doing web cartoons, children's books, vinyl toys, and my own line of t-shirts forever.
Can you see yourself in this field twenty years from now?
I hope so. Design will always be needed. My hope is to stay connected to what's popular and relevant so that I can design and service my clients around it. It's important to have your finger on the pulse.
Which design resources online do you frequently visit?
http://designiskinky.com, http://ww.howdesign.com, http://www.skottieyoung.com
Dennis Salvatier / Salvatier Studios
Los Angeles, CA
|| ||Duncan Reed Illustration & Design|| |