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  • Writer's pictureGurpreet

The Designer - Vanessa Maynard

I had the opportunity to interview Vanessa after working on the cover for STORM. I was very impressed to say the least by how the cover turned out. It was like Vanessa had synched with my brain to gather all the visuals I was seeing when it came down to what the cover needed to look like. Kudos to this lovely woman who brought my vision to life!

1. What inspired you to become a designer?

My grandmother was an excellent #artist. My father as well. I had talent, but it wasn’t like theirs—I was more of a visionary than an illustrator. My cousin introduced me to #Photoshop one day and I immediately took a liking to it. The talent required to create images in #Photoshop came very natural to me and I instantly fell in love with the process.

2. What does a typical day for you entail?

My job is quiet daunting. I work from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., working on projects, answering emails and calls, having workroom. There is much more to do and since being a designer in a design firm, you are your own boss and that requires that you fill positions like accounting, project management, and design of course. My days are very long but I do enjoy them.

3. As a freelancer, what's the most grueling part of being a designer?

The most grueling part of design is working with hard-headed clients. As a creative director of my own firm, I have a specific vision to create something that could potentially be brilliant. Sometimes clients don't see or trust you to deliver that vision, or perhaps have their own (which could be a terrible idea, but are attached to it nonetheless). If a client is stubborn, we run into conflict every day. My wish is that clients simply trust me to do the job that I know how to do best.

4. Working on the cover for STORM, where did you find the inspiration?

I really love how the book #STORM came out. The inspiration comes from many different things. Of course the information coming from the client is very important but also looking at other cover inspirations, such as #moodboards combined, the tone of the book, researching different images etc., sparked some sort of idea in my mind. I can't fit exactly where the inspiration comes from as it is something you can't really put your finger on. It just happens, like a bulb turning on. I immerse myself in the information and then pull back and look at the big picture. Going back and forth with this process, is the best way to find that key idea that is going to make your design strong.

5. Is there any specific piece that you're proud of?

I am particularly proud of my work on my website. There are so many more designs I have done that never make it there, as my archive is very deep. I do love what I do, but sometimes, as I said before, the clients are very hard to work with. Yet, sometimes the magic does happen. I'm very proud of some of the artwork I have given to clients that were just blown away and I know that I have designed it with integrity and thought.

6. If you could meet any author for lunch, who would it be?

Wow this is a great question. When I was younger, I was obsessed with Mary Shelley. #Frankenstein really hit home for me, but as I grew older, I evolved and now I’m interested in Charles Bukowski's work. There is much to absorb from him in my opinion. He strikes me with his words in a way others can't.


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