Top advice from Artists and Designers


The advice from over a dozen artists and designers from across the globe each with their own thoughts and advice that they have kindly shared for those wishing to become like them.

Remeber, the full articles can be seen in the interviews section.

The Question:

“What advice would you give to would be artists/designers?”

“Make the most of your time at art school and take all possibilties you can take to spend some of it abroad (if possible). I often feel I didn’t make the most of my time studying”

- Mattias Adolfsson

“Don’t ever compromise your vision.”

- Yeva Babayan

“Keep your mind creative, love and take an interest in all around you.”

- Tung Le

“Make sure you believe strongly in your own work and do just what the worlds greatest living artist told me to do… “Trust yourself”.”

- Guy Sargent

“Let it become your life, be passionate, work harder than the next guy. Oh and use the Internet, it has become a second university for me, get involved with forums, visit, write your own blog, you will learn a lot, all for free.”

- Jase Cooper

“Do something else…” (very funny guys!)

- Space Invaders Design Group


“Don’t be afraid of anything. More impudence and freedom in creation. The more you’ll try the better the result is.”

- Alexander Ovchinnikov

“be original and believe in yourself”.

- Abhijeet Kuma

“Reach beyond your grasp.”

- Matt Huynh

“Remember to embrace your personal experiences and your own unique and fresh design vision”

- Yoann Henry Yvon

“In the words of German techno group Scooter: It’s nice to be important, but it’s more important to be nice.”

- Cecilia Levy

“If you have an ace up your sleeve, just don’t keep it long. If you keep it for too long, it’ll go rotten. Just show everything you have to people, listen to what they say. You’ll be able to create something much better, to learn how to show your ideas to people, and to make your community.”

- Mac Funamizu

“Get out there and get your work seen by as many people as possible. You should never be afraid to show people your work. You maybe the best designer/illustrator in the world, but if no one sees your work, you won’t get commissioned”

- Rod Hunt

“It depends on what you want your career to be and what kind of person you are. If you wanna work at Disney you must bend your mind to the “Disney way of life”, I suppose. From my point of view I’d suggest: do your best to develop YOUR art and style. Nowadays it’s very difficult to be completely original but strive to put your mark in your work. Client work tend to leave you with little or no time, but try to keep some to do new experiments with your art.”

- Leonardo Sala

“..believe in the work you do, and make the best they can in everything you do. That’s the best attitude to have in relation with all areas.”

- Luis Porem

Get inspired. Have fun. Keep it current. Get a Mac. Go probono. I can’t preach this any louder. Young designers get so mad when you tell them you gotta start doing some freebies. Do it because you love it. They all think their work is worth so much money already haha. I started emailing people if I could do a site for them for free. I just loved designing and growing my skills. It takes a lot of hard work and dedication to be a good designer. Also have lots of resources. I had a teacher (who was once the creative director for MTV) tell me that you are only as good as your resources. Pretty much sums that up.”

- Dann Petty

I started my own firm at a very young age. sometimes I wish I had worked for some of the architects that I admire prior to going out on my own.”

- Jeff Kovel

Interview with Jeff Kovel – The architect of the Cullen House (Hoke House) from twilight.


When I wrote the original Cullen House article I never imagined it would gain the popularity it did. As promised, I have been in contact with Jeff Kovel from Skylab Architecture and have prepared the following interview/bio along with a few more images for all the mad fans!

“I am in architecture, development, and rock and roll.”

- Jeff Kovel

Jeff Kovel grew up just outside of New York City and lived there until he attended Cornell University’s Architecture school. Since then he has made his way to the West Coast and in 1996 he finally settled down in Portland, Oregon. However, it was while growing up in New York that Jeff realised he wished to become an architect. His family had begun work on a new home and a young Jeff thus developed a new fascination for both building and design.
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Dann Petty Interview – Web and graphic designer



Take a look at this entertaining interview with the very talented, hard working, mac-loving (no..dont judge..) inspiring web designer, Dann Petty..

Check out some of his impressive work and the interview with the man himself here!

Tell us a little about yourself, where are you from and where are you living now?

I’m a 25 yr old dude from a small town in Tennessee called Tullahoma. It’s tiny. Have you ever heard of Jack Daniels Whiskey which is made in Lynchburg, TN? Yea I went to school right beside it. I practiced baseball in cow patties while enhaling the somewhat nasty smell of a mixture between the cows and JD’s distillery or whatever that was. I was an hardcore athelete. I played every sport available baseball, football, basketball, track, golf, hockey you name it. Baseball was my passion though. I always thought I was going to be a professional pitcher so I never really thought about my career as anything else. I even played in the junior olympics.

I went to a design school in Franklin,TN called O’more College of Design which is right outside of Nashville. Google it. A lot of designers don’t go through school these days but I have to say it really helped out. It helped me see how how other students are thinking. How to give presentations and stuff. I wouldn’t say you learn design at those schools though. I think that just comes all natural. Also I was lucky to get a sweet internship at Anode in downtown Nashville through that school. They really pushed my skill sets. I did so much flash work and design work it was crazy. So far my favorite art director was from Anode, Adam Goleniewski.

I’m now living in San Francisco, CA. Talk about a transition right. Growing up in the south is totally different than here. I love it though. It has been nothing but a rad adventure. I always knew I’d move out to California. It just felt right for me. I’m a very driven person. I’m always looking for that next big thing. I fell like I’m working on 100 start-ups of my own right now. I need programmers! If your a programmer let me put you to work haha.


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Luis Porem; Industrial and Furniture Designer – The Trico Chair


Following my earlier post on the RGB glasses, I have been in contact with design Luis Porem and have some more of his impressive work to show,

In particular Porem’s newest addition to his already impressive folio, the Trico Chair

Wood, metal and textile, in three different colours, are the caracteristic that lift the Trico Chair. Joining the three materials it is possible to get a distinguishable simplicity and harmony.
The fact of being able of pile the chair and work with different materials make the Trico chair a functional, versatile object, with is own character.

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Bonnie So and ‘this is’, Young Australian Designer

s-Mobius in-use

Bonnie So is a Melbourne based recently graduated designer, making her mark in the design world.

I first saw Bonnie’s work on display at this year’s Design Market in Melbourne -

Bonnie is a creative entrepreneur and has already founded her own design brand and name, ‘this is‘ at only 22 and 1 year out of uni!

Check out some of Bonnie’s amazing products and designs and help support this aspiring young designer (all of Bonnie’s products are available to buy) along with an accompanying interview with the designer herself!

Tell us a little about yourself, where are you from and where are you living now?
Born in Hong Kong in 1986. I moved to Australia for education in 2001. During my Bachelor of Design (Industrial Design) in 2006 I spent a year aboard at Hochschule Techknic fur Wirtscharft in Dresden, Germany where I further develop my passion and found my purpose for design. In 2007 I graduated as an industrial designer from Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT) University. On the same year in 2007, I established the brand, ‘This is‘ after designing a homeware product, This is a Trivet. A product that is about re-purposing waste. I first showcased ‘This is a Trivet’ at the Melbourne Design market during the Melbourne Design Festival in 2007. After the success I have also exhibited at the Salone Satellite, Milan International Furniture Fair in 2008. Sine then I’ve continued to further my practices to in design and continued develop ‘This is’ in Melbourne.

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Leonardo Sala, Illustrator and Artist – The Mannequin

inside burning

Today we have Leonardo Sala who has kindly told us a little about his emotive pieces from a series called ‘The Mannequin

“With ‘The Mannequin’ I wanted to create a style to quickly illustrate concepts, with a bit of a surreal atmosphere. I like very much to put constraint in my art process too. For ‘The Mannequin’ the constraints were: clear concepts, minimal style, draw directly with a pen. Feeling a strong emotion while creating is another essential part of the process.”

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Rod Hunt – Freelance Illustrator and artist behind ‘Change the world 9 to 5′


I was fortunate enough to get in contact with Rod Hunt, freelance london based artist who has successfully represented the likes of BBC, Maxim, FHM, Orange and Vodafone..

As well as the cover art for widespread publication ‘change the world 9 to 5′

We have been kindly given a taste of Rod’s retro styled isometric work along with a bit of background and some great advice for up and coming artists.
Rod stresses the importance of knowing your rights as a working artist, along with the need to just get out there and show your stuff to the world.

So without further ado, the much appreciated and insightful interview with Mr Rod Hunt!

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Mac Funamizu and the future of Internet search?

future search1 petitinvention

Can you imagine a window..? A window that you could carry with you in your pocket and could give you the power to search for anything and everything you see, when you see it?

Well so did Mac Funamizu Born and bred Tokyo Japan, in-house web/graphic and industrial designer.
“This is what I wish the internet search will be able to do with a mobile device in the NEAR future. Touch screen, built in camera, scanner, WiFi, google map (hopefully google earth), google search, image search… all in one device. Like this way, when you can see a building through it, it gives you the image search result right on the spot.”

“You can even see flowers that are not actually blooming.”

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Cecilia Levy – Illustrator and Artist.

portrait cecilia

Perhaps a better title would have been “Cecilia Levy – Globetrotter, wife, mother, artist”

– Cecilia Levy is an amalgamation of many different things who believes that “In the words of German techno group Scooter: It’s nice to be important, but it’s more important to be nice.”

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Interview With Kate Bezar Creator of Dumbo Feather, Pass it on.

Well loved Dumbo Feather Library

Following my short article of Dumbo Feather, Pass it on, that i’d found at the Design Market
Comes an excerpt from the interview with Kate Bezar via

Well-loved Dumbo feather library

I get the feeling Kate Bezar is a bit of a dynamo.

It’s not just the incredible success she’s had with her stunning independent publication Dumbo feather in a fiercely competitive market….. (a magazine she started single-handedly five years ago and with no journalism experience, mind you). No, mainly, it’s the fact that just a few seconds of googling brings up so many varied accolades and creative collaborations that I begin to wonder if there might be 25 Kate Bezars.

But no, there’s only 1. And she’s here, here, here and even here.

And of course, she’s here! [] Read on for an insight into the inspiring world of ‘editor, publisher & dreamer’, Kate Bezar. Thanks so much for your time Kate!”

Thedesignfiles: “Tell me a little about your background – what did you study and what path led you to what you’re doing now?”

“I’d almost bet I’m the first person with a Chemistry degree to grace your blog!

I think, like a lot of people, I never really knew what I wanted to be when I grew up. So, when I finished school, even though my best marks were in English and Painting, I thought the more sensible thing to do would be to study Commerce and Science. That lead me to a very sensible career as a management consultant working on projects for companies like banks and airlines, both of which I also used a lot; I flew ridiculous amounts and was paid ridiculously well. That was pretty seductive, but on some really fundamental level I knew it wasn’t what I was meant to be doing with my life, it wasn’t what I was passionate about.

I was volunteering at art galleries on weekends just to get my ‘fix’. Eventually I walked into a newsagent one night wanting to buy a mag but just couldn’t find what I wanted. I wanted to read about real people who’d found what they were passionate about in life and how they’d gone about pursuing it. When I walked out of that newsagent and I hadn’t found a mag but I had found what I was going to do. I was going to make a mag for people like me.”


See the rest of the interview here! at Lucy’s blog

Yoann Henry Yvon – Industrial and Product Designer


You know someone who subscribes to the belief that “design is a language and the designer the translator” is something special. Yoann Henry Yvon, a freelance product and interior designer based in Milan, possesses an earnest desire to “create iconic designs using pictures of symbols that[...]develop a special relationship between products and people”, bringing something new to design.

Though born in 1983 in Nice, France, Yvon lived in Spain for twelve years. There  he studied at the University of Economy in Valencia before graduating with honors in interior design from the Istituto Europeo di Design in Italy in 2008. Now, instead of study, his days are filled by working on freelance projects and constant communication with a few different designers . A typical day includes scouring the net for new and exciting design blogs to keep himself up to date which what’s going on in the design world, administrative work, sketching and creating 3D models aiming to “make a rendering as realistic as possible”.

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Matt Huynh – Illustrator and visual aritst


I’m very happy to finally present to you some Aussie talent, we’ve gone far too long without a little creative input from home.

“Huynh’s experimental graphic novels span a diverse variety of genres from surrealist fantasy to polemical essays, dramas and autobiography. His inky, energetic brushwork has appeared on everything from magazines and prints to clothing, accessories, health resources, tattoos, film, performance projections, vinyl toys and dolls. When he’s not at the drawing table, he can be found conducting instructional workshops, public presentations, exhibitions and live art demonstrations as a member of Popperbox artists’ collective.”
(via Matt Huynh Bio) 

Midnight Morning is a limited and handcrafted publication combining the distinct work of Haline Ly, Matt Huynh and Will Loeng in a new and never-before-seen illustration series celebrating shared experiences of love and devastation.

Matt Huynh is a self taught Sydney based comic creator and illustrator; already an old hand at all in the field of visual arts, from editorial work to advertising, visualising to toys, tattoos, to publishing and graphic novels. You name it, Matt’s done it. Huynh’s work is imaginative and emotive but clearly expressed through his fine detail and a clever use of colour, dull or vibrant where appropriate

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Abhijeet Kumar – Industrial Designer


The 'Welcome Chair'

An “industrial designer by profession” Abhijeet Kumar, based in Ahmedabad, says he was initially inspired by his family: “It was quite natural since my uncle was an artist and I saw him draw all the time”. However, it wasn’t until he discovered the work of industrial designer Raymond Leowy that he decided to make his creative passion into a career.

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Igor Pinigin – Product Designer


Anemona is the brainchild of Ukrainian Industrial designer Igor Pinigin -

Anemona The unbalanced, visually unstable lamp creates an amazing lighting solution – limitless in terms of configuration and mobility. The fact that each lamp in itself is a separate entity is well thought out, free from messy wires, users are given full freedom of how they set up their own lighting, and can be constantly changed.


Igor has kindly described for Design Tavern his idea of the ‘visually unstable lamp’

I am glad to present you ANEMONA – visually unstable lamp.
The main idea behind this concept is that the lamp is able to change its position, this complete mobility creates a visually unstable effect. The equilibrium position of this lamp is produced through the shape, construction and also the presence of heavy glass balls that fill the bottom of the lamp – the full mobility of Anemona allows for the assembly of dynamic figures. The prototype was produced especially for exposition at SaloneSatellite Moscow 2008 and was presented as a mobile wireless lamp with LEDs powered by accumulators located inside. The shape of prototype looks different from planed original and will be continually be changed from its original shape, adding to the unstable concept.

check out Igor’s work here
Or his personal blog (ukrainian ) here

Alexander Ovchinnikov – Digital Artist/Photographer

Born and raised in Moscow, Russia, Alexander Ovchinnikov – The well travelled artist, photographer, t-shirt designer and all round creative being has travelled the world and documented his findings along the way..

part of which have been filed into a folio he calls the ‘Black Album’


For the Black Album  I used the pictures of  people taken in the streets of different cities such as: Moscow, Rome, London, Capetown, Brisbane etc. (I like to turn ordinary photos into the conceptual pictures about life, death and the other magic).   I shot and turned into Photoshop Brushes a lot of objects and textures , further retouching and composing were done in Adobe Photoshop as well.”

Alexander has worked as a TV animation/motion designer, magazine art director and free-lance designer, he offers that he was lucky to see the revival of design, TV and magazines in Russia after the Soviet time.

Alexander is now the creative director and co-owner of MILK creative agency, and are working hard on a T-shirt design series that will be availble for sale soon.


to aspiring designers alexander offers this..

“Don’t be afraid of anything. More impudence and freedom in creation. The more you’ll try the better the result is.”

A huge thanks to Alexander Ovchinnikov for allowing us to show his impressive work, and best of luck getting your t-shirts out there on the streets!

To see Alexander’s other creative work please visit: