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Q&A with Andrew Kelsall

Creative designer and Illustrator from UK

Hi, my name is Andrew Kelsall, a creative designer and Illustrator from Northern England, UK. I run a few websites including Andrew Kelsall Design, Design Soak Magazine and Pure Christian Graphic Design. I mainly design Logos, Posters, Flyers and CD Sleeves, but I also undertake web projects and intricate illustrative work (like company presentation illustrations and schematics, plus large-format works as well). I also like to illustrate, and oftentimes include my own illustrations within my design work.

How did you get started in design? What is your background?

I’ve always been interested in design, and was gifted from an early age. I excelled in Art class in School, but at the expense of my English and Math grades, I must admit! However, after 'A grades' in Art and design, I re-took English and then studied Art & Design Foundation in Wakefield (a City nearby), before been offered an unconditional place for a Degree in Graphic Design at the Coventry University School of Art & Design.

When I graduated, with Honours, I worked in three design positions in various places for only a very short time, before realising that I did not want to work for a design company at all. I felt as though I was being rushed, and I like to take my time while designing. So, I started to freelance instead, and this suited me perfectly. At the time, I took a job as a supermarket full-time duty manager to pay the bills, and freelanced in the evenings.

Over the years, my I got married and had two children, and freelancing in the evening became harder due to time constraints. I thought about getting a full time design job in a nearly city, but my heart wasn’t in it. I wanted to spend time with my kids at home, so I ploughed on and as work became more frequent, I started to work part time and do more project work. It’s quite unorthodox, but it works for me. I can pick and choose what projects I want to work on while still paying the bills and having a great family life. I have no plans to change this setup.

What are you working on now?

The projects I work on can vary wildly. Sometimes I’m working on illustrative schematics and illustrating sensitive presentation material for massive corporations here in England, and at other times I’m doing a Christian-based projects for small companies and churches across the globe.

At the moment, I’ve just completed some work for a Nuclear Equipment Supply Company (sorry, but I can’t reveal more!), but now I’m just polishing off some changes to a Singer/Songwriting website, as well as design some foil-block cards for a USA based card company. Oh, I’ve just completed an CD Sleeve for a client who lives in Japan, and well as a client in Australia. I truly run a world-wide business!

What tools and software do you use for your work?

Like most designers, I use the Adobe Apps such as Photoshop and Illustrator, but I also like to sketch ideas in my notebooks, too. I also use a large Wacom graphics tablet with a 27” iMac.

What is your ideal work environment?

My ideal working environment would be sketching outside in the sun, which I sometimes I opportunity to do!

Where are your favorite places for art?

To be honest, I rarely go to art galleries, although I’m into museums much more. In regards to viewing other designers’ art, I tend to look on sites such as Behance and Dribbble.

Who are the designers, artists you admire most?

When I first started blogging on my main site, Andrew Kelsall Design, my main inspiration was a designer/blogger named David Airey, who was one of the first designers I discovered who had successfully dominated the blogger/designer sphere online. I like some of the work by Banksy, but overall, I’m terrible at remembering designers’ names — I just know I like their work!