Devin Kelly

Northfield, MN | 

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What made you want to become a graphic designer?

“I've loved art since I was little. After high school, I didn't know what I wanted to do. After two years as a history major, I realized art was what I wanted to do all along. Graphic design seemed like a viable avenue-- a good mix between fine art and commercialism: it fit my lifestyle.”

What are your favorite aspects of being a designer?

“The creation of something from nothing-- I like that freedom. I think it’s interesting, the life of a designer: I’m excited to experience it.”

Do you think school has helped prepare you for entering the real world?

“Maybe, but it isn't really realistic: the fact that for most of the projects, you can do whatever you want: that’s not usually how it works in the real world. I think it's better for learning time management-- which is good, because I’m horrible at that. It is fairly grounding, too, having other people critique you.”

How would you describe your process when working on a project?

“I always start on paper, sketching, and then executing. My thesis definitely gave me the most problems, because I knew what the end result was gonna be, but the process of getting there was the most frustrating thing. I think that’s part of it: you teach yourself to overcome your own problems.”

Would you say that you have a personal design "style" in your work?

“Reductive, more simple designs are what I enjoy: quiet, austere. I don’t like busy design. I really like German design from WWI to 1950: it’s really clean and elegant, and a lot of it is hand-drawn, which I like; I like using my hands.”

For designers, do you believe it's more important to work on projects you're passionate about or take whatever work is available?

“It’s a fact: you’re going to deal with people you don’t want to deal with-- it goes for any job out there. It’s something you have to get past. It could eventually work out for the best, like having to do something that’s outside of your comfort zone. I really don’t want a corporate job, but I might have to endure it for a while.”

The graphic design industry is doing more digitally-based work these days: are you excited about the evolution of design, or do you like more traditional mediums?

“I don’t mind computers, but to me they’re more frustrating: my skills aren't there yet. Web design is overwhelming, especially knowing that your skill sets need to be as good as they can be when it comes to a lot of technology.”

Do you have any favorite designers, artists, or resources you like to get inspiration from?

Abduzeedo.com-- it’s sort of like ffffound, but it’s more geared towards designers. It has a lot of the same images, but it goes more in-depth and has lots of tutorials and stuff. It’s good inspiration, but it’s also uninspiring, too, 'cause you’re looking at the best of the best and it’s hard to live up to that-- but it’s always something to work towards.”

What are your plans for the future?

“I hope to be designing as a career: it's something I'm passionate about, but I will never lose sight of my other artistic pursuits. I hope to be designing while incorporating some of my other artistic passions.”

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