Month 16 | Spring
Emily Gillis | Graphic Designer
The beautiful visuals that most of us see throughout a day are structured and arranged nearly all the time by a graphic designer. They are the virtual world’s aesthetic creators. This often translates into their physical environment too and their offices/home environments can often feel like a pleasing print layout or book design.
The Pixel Trade with Emily was exactly that, shooting her clean-cut workspace which sits in the booming city of Melbourne. Emily focuses on branding and sitting with her for one afternoon already adds to the appreciation for what graphic designers often deal with and create. Another creative industry where normal work hours nearly never apply, especially if inspiration comes at 1am.
Interview with Emily
Describe your most memorable adventure as a child.
Too many good memories as a child…It’s hard to pinpoint one. I have vivid memories of camping down at Ocean Grove with my 2 best friends every summer. We would walk around for hours, talking in code language. We would share the tiniest tent and get petrified at night of the bushes rustling. Sunkissed skin, dirty fingernails, walking to the caravan park toilet at 4am on balmy nights, waking to the sound of the bakers bell and the surf. Take me back there!
What would you say was the biggest risk you’ve taken in your life?
Deciding to freelance straight from University. I decided I wanted to explore and expand my portfolio, therefore freelancing seemed natural, and didn’t come across as a conscious risk I had taken. Yet in hindsight I think it has been quite a big risk. It is definitely not as stable as working 9-5 for the man and it can be truly testing when dealing with all aspects of running a business.
Is there something in particular you enjoy about graphic design and branding?
I almost can’t sit still while researching, scared that I might miss something that will give me that ‘lightbulb’ moment. I think I love this stage of research and gathering of inspiration the most because everything is possible for the end result at this point, there are so many directions in which it can head, and working out which will work best makes me want to scream with frustration and sheer excitement.
Are there any secrets about the industry you can share?
Try and educate your clients. Providing a creative service can be difficult, as many clients don’t know how it works and how much work goes into it.
Where do you often look for inspiration?
I find inspiration in almost anything. From a crisp design book to a light filled shop.
Ever since I was young, I have been obsessed with magazines and books, cutting things out and hoarding them for later. Nowadays, my iphone is my best friend in documenting things I find beautiful and that I think I will want to refer back to. You can’t look past tumblr for inspiration. It’s forever changing and my finger can’t stop right clicking to save. I also find moving my room around and creating in a fresh space greatly inspires me.
What is something you haven’t told someone in a long time?
I don’t use soap. It makes my skin feel weird…OK stop judging.
Was there a time that you realised you achieved independents?
I think when I moved out of home at the start of this year. You really learn how to fend for yourself once you start buying your own groceries, paying your own bills, ensuring you have enough money for rent, cleaning the bathroom, cooking your own dinner etc. It’s all like ‘I’m hungry but I have to cook the food to fix it.’ It can be hard sometimes. I’m still a kid.
Tell me a dangerous situation you’ve been in?
Creeping onto ‘The ranger’ ride at the Melbourne show when I was too short for it and feeling like I was going to fall out protective cage. I cried through the whole ride thinking I was going to fall out.
If you could teach one lesson to any child, what would it be?
Steam your buns at McDonalds.
Describe your most memorable adventure as an adult.
Traveling around South East Asia with my boyfriend last year. We went for 2 months and hadn’t booked a single thing. Sounds like a romantic hippy getaway – but proved to be quite testing as we both aren’t great decision makers. We endured wet concrete floors under our bed, a screaming giant gecko laying eggs next to our bed, cockroaches crawling from our bags, rooms with no windows and one extravagant cab ride from Bangkok to Phuket, just to name a few things.
If you had to recommend a favourite music album, what would it be?
Antony and the Johnsons – Swanlights.
I find the album so calming to work too and so hilarious at the same time.