Nam of Gakemi Art + Design broke out onto the Minted scene in December 2008, and has since then, been a steady presence in design challenges and the forum, offering her fellow designers constructive feedback and warm wishes. We’ve long been admirers of her too-cute-for words children’s designs and delicate, pretty flower illustrations and thought it’d be fun to reach out, and take a peak into the life of one of our designers in the great white north (hi, Canada!).
How did you get your start in graphic design?
When I was in grade 3, I remember drawing people, flowers and objects from encyclopedias. I was always interested in art, and people who knew me, knew me for my art. Growing up, our family didn’t have much and asking my parents for things like art supplies was unheard of so I drew and doodled on any surface, covering the inside covers of books and pages in those encyclopedias. I took visual arts throughout high school and sold my first two drawings: a picture of goats and one of a house – all for $200. Not bad when you consider it paid for all the paper and pencils I needed for art classes. I didn’t really consider design as a career until I returned to college and graduated from architectural technology which gave me tremendous exposure to AutoCAD, 3-D Viz and Photoshop. From there I taught myself Illustrator with the hope of grasping typography and creating my own fonts.
I’m curious to know about how you taught yourself Illustrator and how you have developed your typography skills.
The first time I used Illustrator was to convert architectural floor plans from AutoCAD into marketing materials in Illustrator and InDesign. Most of the learning was through reading user guides as I go, and practicing through trial and error. Soon after discovering the Minted Design Challenges, I taught myself by reading website illustrator tutorials, Adobe Creative Suite WOW books and watching video tutorials. When I’m confident with the skills, one of my goals is to design my own fonts. Unfortunately I haven’t been able to find the time to create them, but when I do, I would love to use it for the Minted Design Challenges.9 COMMENTS