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Interview With Evan Leake (PaleBird Design Studio)

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How long have you been designing?
I started making art (if you can call it that) on the computer (MS Paint) in jr. high school. So I was around 11? 12? When high school started I discovered photoshop and started making really bad graphics while learning the program. I learned some techniques and got into web design soon after. I had my own website for about 3 years of high school and ever since. About 1 year after graduating high school, I developed PaleBird. I got my first PaleBird job in May 2003. I’ve been doing palebird full time for about 2 years now, ever since I graduated from college in december 2006.

You have an interesting company name. How did you come up with it?
You know, I came up with the name while sitting at mediatemple’s signup page. It came to me fairly quickly, I liked it and I still do. I don’t see myself getting tired of it or wanting to change it. Thats probably the only aspect of my company that will never change.

Where did you go to school?
I have a degree in graphic design (BFA) from Western Illinois University. It was pretty nice since they allowed me to turn in client work for grades. It allowed me to build my business while I was still in school. Toward the end of my college career it was hard for me not to just drop out and take palebird full time, but I was able to get enough grants to actually make going to school profitable so it didn’t make sense to quit.

What motivates you to come up with new exciting designs?
I usually get some sort of theme from the client. If the client doesn’t have a theme, I pitch them some concepts and they pick one. My ideas usually develop as I work on a project. I definitely don’t have everything written down before I dive in because you never know how things will start looking.

What do you enjoying designing more? For the web, print or logo design?
Print work is more rewarding, but it takes much longer than web work. I would love to do work for a movie, dvd/bluray cases, etc but the opportunity hasn’t presented itself yet.

What would your thoughts be for designing buttons? Any tips?
Try to keep your text big and your colors bright. Those suckers are small!

What has been your favorite piece of artwork that you designed?
I think my favorite piece I’ve done, to this day, is LoveHateHero – Just Breathe. The printing turned out great and the whole thing still feels good to me. That being said, I have something wrong with just about everything i’ve done up until now. I’m usually sick of a project pretty soon after I’ve completed it. Maybe because I stare at it for so long while working on it?

Who are some of your favorite designers?
Some of my biggest inflences are the artists Shepard Fairey www.obeygiant.com
Aaron Horkey www.burlesquedesign.com
Another artist I really like is Dave Kinsey www.kinseyvisual.com.
Lately I have really been in awe of T. Hanuka www.thanuka.com.

What are your favorite websites?
www.digg.com
www.gigposters.com
www.google.com

What music are you into these days?
NIN – The Slip / Year Zero, Saul Williams – Niggy Tardust, Lil Wayne – Tha Carter III, Misery Signals – Controller.

What have you been watching lately?
FLIGHT OF THE CONCHORDS (over and over), Rambo, Tim & Eric Awesome Show Great Job!
Looking forward to Wall-E, & Batman

Any words of encouragement for new and upcoming designers?
Do what makes you happy.

Be sure to take a look at PaleBird

Thanks Evan For your time!

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