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Interview with Luke Feldman

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Photo by Matt Botsford on Unsplash
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t has been said that Luke Feldman is to digital art what Tim Burton is to cinema, or Dr. Seuss is to children's books, his distinctive unmistakable design style, has landed him jobs with Coca Cola, Apple and Disney to name but a few. This is Luke Feldman Interview with The Graphic Design School.

Luke's style is an inspiration to all designers. We needed to know what makes this guy tick. His candid and open approach left us charmed... Thanks Luke!

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Welcome to The Graphic Design School Blog. Tell us a little bit about yourself. A brief bio...

Luke Feldman, the creator of SKAFFS, is an Australian multimedia designer who creates for a multitude of platforms. Inspired by childhood experiences and a vivid imagination, his illustrations and animations are distinctive with defined lines, elaborate detail, and intensely vibrant colors.

SKAFFS is a collection of work made up of art, animation, games, giant vinyl adhesives, skate decks and collector toys.

Luke's vast technical experience and skills developed working in numerous mediums. He studied Visual Arts and Multimedia in Australia and has worked in the gaming, education and animation industry; his work ranges from graphic design, illustration, computer animation, Flash interactive, mobile media, website design and functionality, character design, installations and advertising.

While the scope of his work is extensive, it is bound together through his unique and dynamic style; a style that has led to a number of awards, exhibitions and collaborations with high profile artists including Theodore Geisel and Maurice Sendak and companies such as Disney, Coca-Cola, Facebook.

Luke Feldman's artwork blends the classic stylings of 1950s Disney with a modern design sensibility to create something both cutting edge and timeless.

Andrew Farago, Manager & curator, San Francisco Cartoon Art Museum Gallery

Indeed, one might contend that Feldman is to digital art what Tim Burton is to cinema, or Dr. Seuss is to children's books, as each artist has a distinctive, unmistakable style.

Hans Fink, Los Angeles' Skinnie Magazine

Luke Feldman's instantly recognizable 'Skaffs' creations comprise a heady mix of bright colors and razor sharp style mixed with an underlying, almost tangible naivety that make his illustrations easily identifiable in a world where originality is not as easy to find as you might think..

Jo Spurling, author and editor of Desktop magazine

We are a blog for beginners and graphic design students. Can you share with us the most enjoyable moment, subject or lesson that you had while studying?

Interactive design was probably my favorite subject as I got to learn all about Illustrator and Photoshop and how to 'mock-up' designs. One of my most enjoyable moments was an electronic design project whereby I had to concept, design, and develop a computer game and present it in its finished form including packaging.

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How did that moment, subject or lesson shape what you do now?

This project helped me see the big picture and demonstrated what is involved in developing a product from concept. Being a creative director consultant, my work today is predominantly taking a project brief and fleshing it out into a concept, then a finished design to a full functioning product i.e. game, mobile content, Flash advertising.

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Describe your style of graphic design in a few words. What kind of advice would you give students who wish to excel in this style?

My style is based on symmetry, flow and vibrant colours. My advice would be to develop a unique style, perfect it and experiment with your style by adapting it to as many platforms as you can.

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Do you use hand drawn techniques to help you develop a design. How important is this in your process as a Graphic designer?

Everything I do starts off as a hand drawn sketch. It's very important to be able to translate your ideas into physical form. Freehand drawing is an important skill as it is often the first thing you show future clients and you need to win them over with this concept to land the job.

Do you keep an ideas journal? If so can we have a sneaky peek?

I have a trusty sketch book that I carry around with me at all time. Ideas can come to me at any time of the day and it's important for me to be able to jot these ideas down before I forget. These books also come in handy when thinking of concepts to pitch to clients. Below is a sneak preview.

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What are your favorite websites at the moment?

My favorite websites would have to be:

Flashkit

Kirupa

Cold Hard Flash

Vector Tuts Plus

Who are your 5 all time favorite graphic designers?

Some awesome graphic designers would include McBess & James Jean.

Mc Bess also featured in The Graphic Design School European websites.

James Jean

What typefaces do you use the most in your designs?

I change fonts depending on the design brief. But, my most commonly used fonts would be century gothic, swiss 721 and avant-garde. I have also been known to create my own fonts here and there to better complete a project.

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What about your job do you find the most rewarding?

Developing a concept into a finished product would be the most rewarding part of my job. I also like the challenge of being able to adapt my style to various platforms from print, to broadcast, to mobile media to wall installations.

I have been fortunate enough to have written and illustrated my very own book through San Francisco-based publishers, Immedium. The book is called “Chaff n Skaffs: Mai and the Lost Moskivvy”.

In this project I completed all the graphics in which each page is a finished piece of artwork, and I did all the text layout and graphic design. I have developed giant wall installations for LA stores and have developed my own product line of skate decks, artwork, collector toys, and iPhone applications.

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A moment to brag... who are your most prestigious clients?

I've worked with some great companies. My most memorable projects and clients would be designing the 2007 advertising campaign for Coca Cola, the 2008 Apple MAC world 1-storey conference booth, animation design concepts for Disney and developing Flash content for Facebook.

Where do you see your career in five years?

I would hope to continue to grow as a multimedia designer and to continue to work with great companies on fun and challenging projects. And to continue to develop my SKAFFS line of products.

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What advice would you give to graphic design students around the world. About shaping a great portfolio?

A great portfolio is important. Definitely take time out to put together a great selection of work. Ensure that your work has a distinct style but show diversity in how you apply your style. Be confident about your work and don't give up.

A question on everybody's mind... Billy Elliot feels on fire when he dances ... how do you feel when you are designing?

Designing energizes me: It's as if my design field is frenzied and the world around me stops; I don't feel hungry; I don't feel tired; I don't feel thirsty.

Thanks for taking the time to share your experiences with us... any famous last words?

Thank you!

If you would like to learn more about Luke you can visit his website Scaffs and Luke's new book Chaffs and Skaffs

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Luke has kindly contributed a tutorial for you to have a crack at vectoring one of his adorable characters entitled ’How to Create a Finished Vector Character“