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Q&A with Damian Miranda

Graphic Designer, Art Director and Photographer

My name is Damian Miranda and I'm a Graphic Designer, Art Director and Photographer originally from Australia but currently living and working in the UK.

What are your responsibilities as an Art Director? What projects are you working on now?

My time is split between disciplines, but almost all of my work involves working with brands and helping them both define and communicate themselves effectively. At the moment I'm working on a mix of projects including photography and filmmaking for a small corporate business, some self-initiated t-shirt designs and just recently I completed artwork for my friend's first recorded album.

What did studying at Swinburne / Konstfack Universities give you? Was the knowledge helpful in your career?

I undertook most of my studies at Swinburne University in Melbourne which was very much ideas and process led. I also spent one semester studying at Konstfack University in Stockholm which involved more hands-on processes such as screen printing, illustration and motion graphics. I found that university education best serves the purpose of introducing basic principles and teaching you how to approach problems creatively using different ways of thinking. It is without question that most of my learning experience came from actually beginning my career in a design studio and working with real briefs, real clients and real challenges. Working in the creative industry means you never really switch off though, and much of my learning occurs outside of the day-to-day activities which I then incorporate into my workflow.

Was it difficult to start working right after you had graduated? What steps do you have to take in order to make yourself known in the market?

Immediately after graduating I did find it a challenge to find work. My method ended up involving going through every single creative agency I found in the telephone directory and checking out their website to see which ones I felt like I could be a good fit for. I then approached all of them one by one to show my portfolio and eventually I was offered a position as a Junior Designer which I believe came down to 50% talent and 50% personality.

What has changed after your moving from Melbourne to London? What do you like about this city and what are the opportunities it can provide a freelance photographer and designer with?

Since moving from Melbourne to London I have continued to expand my skills and interests to offer a variety of services. In Melbourne you generally have to be quite agile and are expected to assume slightly different roles depending on the project. However I found that in London the creative industry is much more specialised with little crossover between roles and disciplines. I saw this as an opportunity to provide added value that was uncommon in the industry, by becoming proficient in a variety of areas so that I could offer a more complete package of services. The beauty of London being so large and international is that there are countless opportunities to apply the skills that you have learned over the years if you’re willing to go out and find them.