Andrew Kolb is a designer I have desired (read: envied) for a while. I came across his design for a 'Walking Dead' poster a long time ago and have stayed up to date with his work since. Then I discovered he was contributing to the 'Silver Screen Society', a monthly film poster collective whose back catalogue has been used as inspiration for many of my projects, and figured he was exactly the type of designer whose career I would love to emulate.
The poster below is just one piece of his work that I admiregreatly. Much, much more can be found here.
Sent: Thurs, February 2, 2012 8:45:07 AM
Subject: RE: Quick Interview?
Hi Robyn, Thanks for writing and I'm honoured that you'd approach me to help you with this. I hope other illustrators that you've gotten in touch with (if any) have been open to help too and all I ask in return for answering these questions is that you help students when they come to you in the same position (after you've made it big and blown all us little fish out of the water!)
So, questions and answers! I wrote the responses in amongst your email to keep it all organised (also so I don't ramble). If there's anything else please feel free to let me know!
What’s your background?
I went to school for graphic design (college for a diploma and then University to continue on for my Bachelor of Design). After a few years of illustrating for design studios (when I wasn't already designing) I decided that I should pursue the part of the job that I dug the most, drawing.
Describe a typical working day.
Well I don't necessarily have a typical day of work (some days are very drawing-heavy and others are almost entirely taken up by emails and other administrative nonsense). When I can control it, I do try to do a few specific things. I usually start with emailing for half an hour. If I don't get to everybody I need to then I get back to them after lunch. I try to keep emailing/invoicing/and that admin stuff I mentioned to specific blocks of the day. It helps me get into a groove and then I can stop thinking about it while drawing. With that said, I always live a little admin stuff to do so that I can go back to it if I'm having an illustrative block. Sometimes the drawings just don't come. If I'm on a deadline then I'll push through it but usually I can take a break and the change of pace is the sort of recharge I need to be able to get back into the groove. Does any of that make sense? Uhhh...I don't think that answered anything.
What’s the most challenging part of your job?
Well from peers I've talked to the biggest challenge is self-managing. Freelance, in my non-illustrator friends' eyes, means freedom all the time but I find it's quite the opposite. So for some I would say it's sticking to work and not getting distracted. Though for me I find the most challenging part of this job is to trust that there's always going to be more work if you keep at it. Everyone runs into lulls and it's only just recently that I've gotten better at recognising this (and not thinking that my career is OVER!)
And what’s the most enjoyable?
Ha. Well I would say pretty much all of it. Layout, character design, getting positive feedback from clients, it's all wonderful! Though I think what I appreciate most (aside from the crazy awesomeness of the fact that I draw for a living), is the sort of direction I get. I don't know many jobs where an email will say "his head isn't square enough" or "Let's make his feet longer and knees more knobby". I love it. What do you hope to achieve in 2012? Oh gosh! Well I'm working on a few personal projects over the summer that are quite ambitious for me. So I'm hoping those catch and find someone who's interested in them. I know that's vague but I'm a sneaky ninja.
Thank you again.
Oh hey you're welcome!
Andrew was also incredibly speedy with his responses, and I couldn't ask for more in regards to what he said. It's still scary building up the courage to contact people, but when they're as friendly as Matt and Andrew have been it gets a little easier. Plus it's crazy to think that designers whose work I adore so much have taken the time out to answer me, but hey I'm not complaining.