Where do you live: Abbotsford, B.C., Canada
Known for: Creating bold brands that cut through marketing noise.
Currently actual with: Circle Graphics and Design
When did you realize that you were going to work in design?
In 1994, I bought a computer and started experimenting with images and designs. I was instantly intrigued. I saw a virtual world with endless possibilities. Entrepreneurs no longer needed great amounts of money to buy machines and tools. You could succeed with a new currency: creativity.
If you could choose one place only to live, where would that be and why?
The Fraser Valley, which is where I was raised, and my family’s here. It provides an amazing lifestyle amongst nature.
How would you describe your creativity?
Functional and purposeful.
How and when did you start to work with this in a serious manner?
In the mid-1990, I immersed myself in design and technologies.
What do you do at the moment?
I’m the Founder and Creative Director at Circle Graphics. I enjoy doing work hands-on because I love solving problems and establishing opportunities for clients through design. However, as a business owner, I also guide and strive to inspire my colleagues to do their best work. I work with a talented group, and we’re able to bounce ideas around and feed off of each other’s ideas.
A recommendation for those who think about starting and running a creative business?
Make sure you love what you do. If you don’t, you’ll get bored and miserable fast. If you tap into what you love doing and are good at, you’ll set yourself up for long-term success and fulfillment. When you have that positive energy, it’s contagious, and you attract other creative types, which helps sustain that desire to keep exploring and learning new things.
Tell us how it all started.
My first few projects entailed simple projects like coupon books. Due to my curiosity and keenness, I was way ahead of the curve and kept taking on bigger, more complex projects. In fact, we designed apps years before they were called apps, providing business all sorts of innovative solutions, from digitalizing cookbooks to electronically managing professional golf courses.
What is the most important thing in a workplace/studio for you?
Healthy corporate culture and a good project manager. As a creative type, I tend to focus on creative elements. That’s my strength. I leave managing tasks, milestones and deadlines to a valued employee, who always has my back. It provides me creative freedom.
What is your favorite film?
Who would you like to invite for a dinner and why?
Douglas Adams because it would be entertaining.
How do you like to spoil yourself?
Golf, golf and golf. That’s a big reason why I founded golf course software called iGolf Systems — it brought my passions together.
What is luxury for you?
Vacation in Caribbean.
What is the nicest compliment you’ve received for your creative work, and from whom?
I get all sorts of kudos about our design work. But I also get compliments about my enthusiasm and transparency. Clients say they want to work with me because I am passionate about my work.
What do you fear most?
Technology will supersede creativity. Will ‘learning machines’ one day soon outperform humans? Will computers begin to form artificial scientists and artists? It’s unfathomably complex, and something I’d happily explore over a bottle of wine.
What is a happy life to you?
Perfect work/life balance.
What does a regular day look like for you?
Emails, follow up with clients, time with staff reviewing projects, brainstorming new project ideas, meetings, quotes, long-winded debates, sprinkled with Facebook time. 😉
Tell us about your dream project.
Work with U2 to rebrand for an advertising campaign. The chance to be completely free and creative.
Who is your professional role model/inspiration?
Mark Wardell, an international business coach based in Canada. He started with a clear, lofty vision some years ago, and has since invested thousands of hours creating systems to help entrepreneurs around the globe realize their dreams. He helps me ensure everything I do is done with purpose, which helps keep my design firm on the right track.
How would you describe your work style?
Casual, self-motivated rather than over managed.
Which is the one thing you can’t live without?
My cell phone and golf clubs.
What inspires you?
New technology and good design work.
A book that has changed/made the most impression in your life?
“Type and Layout: Are You Communicating or Just Making Pretty Shapes” by Colin Wheildon.