2 Dec 2010

Dave Will Interview: Lee-Ann Donaldson

Lee-Ann Donaldson is a design student based in Berkshire, UK. She is a designer and illustrator who also experiments with paper cutting and typography. 
 
How would you describe your work in 140 characters?
Experimental, I’m still trying new things and trying to find my own style. Most of my work is illustrated digitally in a vector style.

Did you study design at school/college/uni? what importance do you place on qualifications and certificates?
Lee-Ann's London Print
I’m actually still studying. I’ve just completed an Access year and am waiting to start my BA in Graphic Design at TVU in West London. I don’t think qualifications are a must – a strong portfolio is more important. But I do think doing a degree is good for people, maybe to build up a bit of confidence (which is my reason for doing it) and of course, I do think you can learn alot on these courses.
Whats the best piece of work you have ever produced and why?
I think my favourite recently was the London Print that I illustrated. Although, I didn’t like it when I’d finished it! On screen it didn’t look great; it wasn’t until I got the print home that my opinion changed. One of my favourite pieces from college was my “Don’t Stop Chasing Your Dreams” poster, which was to advertise the university and encourage people to get back into education.
Don't stop chasing your dreams

If you weren’t a graphic designer, what would you be?
It’d have to be something pretty good! Maybe a photographer – I couldn’t do anything that wasn’t creative in some way!

Spec work and crowd sourcing... good idea? Bad idea?
Bad! I feel quite strongly on this one – I really believe it devalues the industry. Someone once said that if you’re threatened by the work these people can produce for £40 then maybe you’re not doing good enough – but in reality, someone that is just starting out is going to be on budget, so will go for a £40 logo over a £200 one, regardless of quality and effort put into it.

Who inspires you and/or your work?
I went to see Javier Mariscal’s Drawing Life exhibition in London last year, and was inspired from his work to give in to and develop more on my childish doodles, which led me to work more on illustration. In general though, I’m inspired by alot of people/work, I don’t think there’s one person in particular.
Work by Kraggy

Who is the best designer you have ever worked with?
I haven’t yet, but there are a few I wouldn’t turn down! I love the lettering work of Chris Piascik, ( http://chrispiascik.com/ ) and I love the style of illustrator Kraggy ( http://kraggy.co.uk/ )– both of these would be awesome to work with! I’d love to work with people in the same position as me, where we’re just starting out and learning new things.

Jaffa Cake... Cake or biscuit?
Cake!

How important in your opinion is social networking? (Twitter, Facebook etc) Do you use it? Do you find it beneficial?
It can be a great tool if used properly. I’ve used both Twitter and Facebook – and Twitter more so is great to connect with other designers and illustrators, getting your work more notice and finding new things that you might not otherwise see.

Whats the best design related book you have ever read?
Hand Job: A Catalog of Type by Michael Perry. I’m a massive fan of custom lettering.

Which design related websites do you visit on a regular basis?
Abduzeedo and Design Milk, as well as the Design Forums. I’m also a fan of Tumblr; there are so many less-known talents on there.

Is the customer / client always right?
Not always – but they always get what they’ve asked for!

What are your aims for the future?
To graduate and get a great job in design! I also want progress with illustration and hopefully better myself and get myself out there a bit more in that field. 

A big thanks to Lee-Ann for taking the time to answer all of my questions. To see more of her work visit http://lee-anndonaldson.com/ and why not follow her on twitter @

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