Welcome to Designer Unlocked, where GSHQ brings you the best independent t shirt designers.
This week, we have a designer originally from South Africa grew up in Scotland and now lives in London so he does get about abit!!! 🙂
His designs always seem to have a little thought to them with a pun hidden amist the designs, when I came across Scott on Twitter, it was his Dead Famous Heath Design that caught my eye paying homage to the late Heath Ledger.
A Talented Designer…. Geek Shirts HQ Welcomes Scott Neilson, The Latest Designer To Get Unlocked.
Can you start by giving some background about yourself? Where you are from? What is your background? How did you get into design?
I grew up in a small Scottish town in Fife. I used to live in South Africa when I was really young then moved over here.
I played a lot of console games (and still do) I remember drawing all the time and I remember drawing all the characters from the abes oddysee's instruction manual, I also used to record cartoon network on vhs and redraw the red guy from cow and chicken.
I originally wanted to be a concept artists for videogames after watching the Silent Hill 2 making of dvd and after seeing Sato Takayoshi's beautiful character sketches I knew I wanted to be a designer.
Where do you get your inspiration for your designs?
It sounds really corny but I usually have a good idea of how I want it to look when I visualize it in my head. Mostly movies and video games or drinking with friends and we make a joke about a movie and then in my head I think hey there is a tee in there!!
I always think going with the first idea you have is the best way because its the most easily identifiable way to look at a tee shirts composition, that's me trying to not sound douchey about it 🙂
When you create a new t shirt design, what is sort of process do you follow?
1.Google the idea!!! I cannot stress enough how annoying it is doing a full design, draw, sketch, finalise and idea and then realizing someone has beaten you to the punch.2.Pun, there has to be a pun or joke that people can get while looking at the tee3.Composition sketch it out and make it pretty loose, the sketch shouldn't be final because its just a guideline.
4.Choose a program illustrator or photoshop I usually prefer photoshop because its more lucid and free but for this I chose illustrator. Then trace your sketch and neaten it up with line thicknesses etc.
5.Then I take it back into photoshop and apply textures or halftones and any other lil touches it needs.
Looking at your own portfolio what is your favourite design and why?
It has to be the Tis But A Scratch design. I just love the Black Knight as a character and I drew it in my Art School's hall during my degree show so it reminds me of the good ol' days 🙂
What current projects are you working on now? And can we get a exclusive peek?
This is a Hulk inspired design it is in the early stages but it should turn out nice. I am also doing another Monty Python design but that's top secret 😉
Who are your favourite designers?
Enkal Dika, Alex Solis, Winter Artwork and Stephen Bliss
Do you try to convey any message in your designs?
In my tee shirts its more of a joke usually an "IN JOKE" with fans of a show or movie but with my graphics work yeah sometimes like this typography piece which I think all designers need to take on board.
Star Wars Or Star Trek? Which Do you prefer
Star Wars its just more fun BUT I think star trek I have produced better stuff for
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Doing your wif…. 😛 Nah I honestly don't know. I'd like to say screen printing my own t shirts and selling them directly to people 🙂
It looks like a lot of designers place a lot of importance on social media sites like facebook and twitter, are these important to you promoting your designs?
Totally, its all about exposure and you have to take what you can get!
I have my own website www.scottneilsonconcepts.com but I prefer updating my redbubble and facebook because it's linked directly to people who wana see my work.
What do you prefer designing wearable art or printable art?
Wearable art defiantly!!
Someone said to me that t shirts are amazing art on a shit canvas and I totally agree with that, I collect t shirts like vinyls which has been said to me before!!
What other interests and hobbies do you have when you’re not designing?
I play the guitar which is a fun pastime always cool to sit and mess around with that I have a ej200 jumbo acoustic. I also love gaming on my xbox and catching up with mates online.
Living in London I get to go to more gigs and art galleries which is always fun 🙂 in fact the first thing I did when I came down here was went out to find a Banksy!!
Do you have any advice for budding designers?
Develop thick skin not everyone is going to like your work when you first start and its part of being a designer to take criticism well.
Do coursework to pass University or School and get a degree.
Do design you love and enjoy doing it in your spare time to develop your skills and land a job.
Sounds corny but keep at it, your never going to get better by giving up.
Anyone you want to give a shout out to?
Big thanks to Luckies Of London who employ me to design their packaging for their cool range of gifts and products, check them out
Sjem from GeekChic tees hes awesome and so is his work check him out
Also if any designers are on Dribbble can you invite me I've been trying to get on there for aaages 🙂 I'll give you a free tee!
Where is the best place to find your designs and buy some of your shirts? And of course get in contact with you
One last question, when you going to design Firefly shirt as I am a massive fan? 🙂
HAHA when the pun comes you shall be the first to know 🙂
Thank you Scott for an excellent interview.