GRADUATE SERIES – SELINA KIDD

Since completing Designworks’ full-time graphic design course in August last year, designer Selina Kidd is making leaps and bounds in the running of her Currumbin-based home studio, Selinakidd.com.

After graduating, Selina jumped into an internship with a marketing agency and though found it interesting, quickly realised she wasn’t being entirely fulfilled.

“I’m 50 this year, and I want to do what I want to do,” says Selina of her idea to start her own studio.

“I don’t want to climb the ladder for years – I’m on a deadline to enjoy my work.”

Spending twenty years on the Gold Coast, Selina has built up a supportive network of businesses and friends, many of which have since become clients.

Realising every business’s need for some level of graphic design, Selina says she is starting to feel her way and becoming more confident in the design industry.

“It’s just about knowing people and talking to them – sharing what you’re really interested in, and in my case, that’s creating great solutions for people who enjoy my work.”

Selina’s offering includes full brand identity creation and development, rather than focusing solely on logo design, creating a visual voice for each individual business.

“I want to let a brand’s voice be heard through creative thinking, as opposed to just creating pretty pictures,” says Selina.

No stranger to owning a small business, the newly-graduated designer says she loves the freedom of working her own way.

“I work ridiculously long hours – it’s my own level of personal expectation.

“If I’m in the zone, I will just work for 24 hours straight – I really enjoy it.”

Having a solid business plan and consistently evaluating your growth as a designer are key to the success of a self-contained studio, says Selina.

“I’m still developing my technique and understanding of design, and I’m still growing and will continue to grow.”

Stepping out of Designworks and into the design industry, Selina says she was well equipped to handle the pressures of real briefs.

“I’ve realised the pressure at college is actually just normal pressure – but now, it’s real and you’ve just got to get it done!” says Selina.

“I’m constantly referring back to the steps Drew taught us – I’m really impressed about how on the ball he was with pushing us, and making sure we did achieve a certain level that’s expected of you on a real brief.”

The designer notes she has loved working closely with business owners on each project, and driving more direction with the briefs.

“I ask about 20,000 questions, and I always reflect back on them – I try to really critique my work,” she says.

Selina’s currently working on a number of websites and proposals for local businesses.

Collider

Sydney-based film and design studio, Collider, has worked with huge names such as Telstra, Acne Studios, OPSM, Sydney Theatre Company, QANTAS, Scanlan Theodore and many more, along with winning numerous awards for their critically acclaimed short film We Have Decided Not To Die.

The founding partners met while studying at the University of Technology, Sydney, and after deciding there was gap in the Australian market for multi-disciplinary studios, established Collider in 2001.

Creative Director and Co-founder Andrew van der Westhuyzen says he has always loved moving between different forms of design.

Thats one of the reasons, for me, why I started Collider – there were no companies in Australia at the time merging processes in this way, he says.

Or at least not in the ways we wanted.

Working on both film and graphic design projects, Andrew says though the problem solving component to the work is often similar, the design process between the two varies greatly.

Film briefs are often defined with the outcomes specific in form, budget and schedule, while the end result for design projects are sometimes unknown, resulting in a different level of creative freedom.

The film work I do is exclusively animation and motion work, Andrew says.

I do this so my design process translates. The visual ideas with both, follow a strand of much of my work, which is to introduce physicality and movement into the idea. This goes for whether it is print, experiential, brand or motion.

Collider aims to approach clients with a collaborative partnership and spark a level of enthusiasm for a proposed idea.

Im hoping they will come for the ride, he says.

I try and make an idea as clear as possible in my head before I share it with others. You should be able to show and talk about it fluently, and from all angles.

Through his experience, Andrew has learned to trust the ability of his craft and follows a tried-and-true process strategy.

Outcomes and tools change but the starting points are much the same, he says.

Drawing is still a huge part of my work and always will be.

Collider is guided by the belief that a creative company is only as good as its operational philosophy and practice, and through a business-minded Partner, has focused on doing good work instead of a lot of work.

This meant a very slow growth, but I think, a good foundation to support the developments of Collider, and attract the people that make it what it is today, says Andrew.

With a small team, finding the right person to join the studio is imperative to its success and though doesn’t happen often, Andrew says he likes to look for less practical things in a new employee or graduate.

Having a strong idea with a sense of humor; doing more with less; creating a narrative; being incredibly focused on something; being a broad thinker is also interesting; people who don’t use the standard tools are interesting as are people who are technical geniuses, he lists as being positive characteristics in a recruit.

There are so many holes to fill of different sizes and shapes, the only common attribute that is global currency for creativity is to have passion for what you do and do it a lot. Don’t do it if you don’t enjoy it and don’t be afraid to put forward graphic art design ideas that are fantastic and overwhelming.