After Andy McNeil, better known as A.MAC Illustrations, won our Creativity design contest, we knew we had to find out more about this designer thoughts on being creative.
“Being creative means everything to me. It guides me everyday, like my winning design says: “Creativity is my Compass!” If I’m having a bad day I’ll always have my paper and pencil and my imagination to put me in a better place.”
Find out more about our newest Ally to Watch below!
Tell us where you’re from and your occupation?
I’m from Longmont, Colorado. I work full time in the printed circuit board manufacturing industry and I run a coffee roasting business in my free time.
I heard Stephen King once say, “If I couldn’t write I would explode” and I feel the same way about designing, creating & visual arts. I have all this stuff in my head and if I don’t get it out, I would explode. Being a designer means freedom for me on many levels most importantly the freedom to express myself and the part about creating so I don’t explode is important too. LOL
How did you get started?
I’ve always had a creative spirit. Ever since I could pick up those oversized crayons, I was always coloring or drawing and over the past few years, I’ve delved into the graphic design stuff. I taught myself how to use all the tools and have never looked back, continuing to move forward and improve.
”Always improving” that’s my motto when it comes to designing!
I felt pretty proud of myself and was very happy that I won. But winning wasn’t as important as the gratification of creating something that I’m proud of; getting recognition is the added bonus. 🙂
How do you start your process for working on a piece?
I take walks with my dog, listen to music, and open my mind, that’s how it starts. Then I pull out the old pencil and paper and start doodling and sketching. Taking those walks really help me because I believe you have to put your mind in a good place before you can put ideas on paper.
What kind of contests would you be really excited to see?
What drew me to Creative Allies is that you work with musicians and any time I see music related contests I get excited. Especially if the contest involves heavy bands, punk and alternative rock bands.
Tell us about your design style. Where do you pull your inspiration?
My everyday schedule is pretty busy so I think my style reflects that. Lately, it’s been quick and sketchy over slow and meticulous but if I have the time I can do slow and meticulous as well. I’m pretty much all over the place with my “design style”. I’m still working on that.
I draw inspiration from graphic novels, art and design blogs, concert posters, nature, people, architecture and animals. Nothing is safe from me! Just about everything I see I could draw inspiration from.
Sketch pad and pencil is my screwdriver and wrench if I was a mechanic. Those are my favorite design tools. I’ll sketch, scan, and finish it using Photoshop.
Who are some of your favorite artists/designers?
I like the fact that it’s pretty wide open way of displaying your designs. Designers with various skill levels can put their stuff out there and have a shot at being recognized. I was able to sharpen my skills by using Creative Allies and I really appreciate the open format because it gave me the confidence to grow as a designer. I would’ve been pretty discouraged earlier on if some of my entries weren’t allowed to be posted because they “weren’t worthy enough”, so thanks Creative Allies. (Thank YOU, Andy!)