Hello Jonas, Thank you for joining us on Talking With The Pros, can you please gives us an introduction about yourself and how you got started in the design industry?
I got introduced to graphic design, film and photography during my three years at high school. This was a great way for me to learn the basics and being creative. I immediately jumped on an education on new media design and learned more about the business and improved my technical skills. Once I got a degree I started my own business and did some freelancing for some heavy Swedish brands for a year. I felt that I needed to have the experience by working at an agency so I got hired at an agency that specialized in web services only for the music industry. Where I got to work with companies like warner, sony bmg and Universal, as well as music groups and artists like Madonna, Guns n Roses and Green Day. After a couple of years I got back to freelancing and have had the luck to work with big clients like Coca Cola, Adidas, Samsung, Chevrolet and many more.
You have done work for some big name clients such as Universal, Warner, Sony, Lincoln – 3M and more. How did you receive your first big contract?
The first real big brand I got to work with was Lincoln via Psyop LA. This was a mayor step for me and of course a lot of fun. Psyop had been keeping an eye on my work online and decided to give me the opportunity to do a few motion boards for their client Lincoln. It was also an challenge for me to be working with a large agency as Psyop as well as an non Swedish agency.
What do you think is the most challenging part of your job?
Since this is my job and at the same time my hobby its very difficult to find a good distance to it. My life is almost all about work these days, and its hard to find time to do the things I really should and need to do. Its easy to get stressed out and its not very healthy. I try to get away from the computer as much as I can which is important and crucial for my creativity.
What would you say is your favorite illustration you have done to date, and why?
I would say its the concept design for the iPad driven synthesizer 76. The concept design got a lot of attention and it is now under development. The graphic and layout is being redesign at the moment though its not perfect and it need to work with the code behind it. I love doing personal projects and bringing things to life, its exciting to see other peoples reaction to it and to form an idea from scratch.
When would you say was your breakthrough moment in your career?
I’m still waiting for it.
Can you give us a brief walk-through of your process?
Usually I get a brief, and wire frames if its an interactive project. If there’s a creative director involved we usually have a long talk about the brief and how to get things started. Its not very common I get a change to work from scratch which is a shame, and also a huge downside as being a freelancing designer. I try not to browse around as much for inspiration before I start with the design since I want to keep things as original as possible. If I get stuck I might browse for solutions but I always try to keep it within my style.
Every designer deals with design blocks from time to time? How do you end up dealing with it and bringing it back?
It’s easy to get creative blocks when working too much. When I feel like things are going nowhere I usually try to get away from the computer and doing something that reboots the creative thinking. I’ve found out that going out for a run is a great way for dealing with this, since I always feel refreshed when I get back. Traveling is also a great way to get the creativity back, unfortunately its hard to find time for this.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
I’m not sure if I will be doing freelance or hired at an, hopefully awesome agency, working with interesting projects. Creating work for major brands is not that important to me anymore since I’ve had the opportunity to do this already. These days I find it more pleasant to be working with projects that requires me to think and do things in different ways I’ve done before. Which is necessary for me to grow as a designer.
Thank you for giving us the opportunity to interview you, do you have any final words for our readers?
Work hard but not too hard. Be original and find your own style, do personal projects and always think in new ways to develop your creativity and skills. Try to see inspiration in everything and have an open mind.
To view Jonas Eriksson’s portfolio visit www.erikssonjonas.com