Beautiful images have always lit a spark inside me. While I can take a decent photo, I can’t create combined visual and text elements that strike an emotional fire within. This series is by graphic designers who have extraordinary talents. They create work for their clients that motivate and inspire, yet have the ability to teach you without you realising. This is the first in our series of getting to know graphic designers.
My name is Jacqui Gleeson. I’m a 22 year old graphic designer. Born and raised in Bendigo I always wanted to stick around town so made the choice to go to Bendigo LaTrobe and study a Bachelor of Graphic Design.
My passion began well before my time at uni. As a kid, I love dabbling in photography with my parents little film camera, it seemed visual things always took my fancy.
In my early tweens I began playing with photo editing and creating graphics (very ugly I’m sure) on my basic version of Photoshop for poor souls I met on the internet.
My dream to become a graphic designer began before I even knew such a thing existed. Slowly I moved into doing odd jobs for family and friends and even started a little magazine at my youth group. I began to actually create designs that looked nice and as my experience grew my talent did with it.
By the time I reached uni I had already begun freelancing on the side and this just grew and grew with the help of uni filling in my gaps of knowledge and of course, a lot of practice.
Early 2014 I registered my little business and with the support of my wonderful clients things have really flourished. Each day I’m so blessed to wake up, work for amazing people doing exactly what I love from the comfort of my own home.
Describe your perfect job.
My perfect job is actually not too far off my current job. I absolutely love working for myself and the flexibility that gives me. If anything were to be any more perfect, which I do hope to do in the next couple of years, I’d love to travel a little more whilst taking work with me. I love that I have that option with freelancing and I hope one day to make that dream a viable and livable reality.
What medium/software do you prefer?
Being a strictly computer based designer I really do love (and rely) on my software. Sadly the drawing, painting, anything-hands-on gene didn’t come my way, but in this era I can still be a successful designer without that hindering me in any way whatsoever.
To pinpoint a specific program that I love the most though is hard. I almost always have Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign open simultaneously.
Frequently going back and forward between them – each program has so many little things I love and make my work so much easier!
What’s your favourite part of your work process?
My absolute favourite part of my work process is actually the client’s response. As a graphic designer I see my main goal as making a clients dream a reality – as corny as that sounds.
People often have a rough idea in their heads of what they want but they have trouble explaining it let alone creating it themselves.
I love that I’ve been blessed with the skills to create something that reflects them in their business in a way that actually brings a smile to their face – it honestly makes my day!
Do you have a practice that’s just for yourself?
I wouldn’t say I really have a practice that’s just for myself. I’m not your usual creative person…I can’t draw, paint, write, sing…I can just move things around on a computer so that it turns out nice. I love creating with a purpose so I don’t usually last long creating something just for “fun”.
That purpose can be quite broad though I guess, one of my favourite things to do is to create graphics for friends, like perhaps making a design around a quote or verse I know they’ll really love.
Which of your pieces is your favourite and why?
To pick a favourite piece for me is almost impossible. Almost as hard as picking a favourite movie, song or human being. I find my favourites are reliant on other peoples opinions (as I usually design to please the client). And I tend to grow tired of a design pretty quickly so one design doesn’t usually stay my favourite for long.
Having said that, I know if a design stands the test of time and I still like it months down the track, it does move towards the top of my list and to be honest, at the risk of sounding narcissistic, I really love my business cards.
I was quite nervous to create a logo/card for myself (knowing how unlikely it was that I’d continue to like it down the track) but I am really quite proud of it. It’s simple but eye-catching and I love that you don’t see business cards quite like it around all too often.
How do you describe your style?
I would describe my style as quite typography and image focused. I use simple colour schemes and strong imagery. Many of my designs are quite feminine (however due to my client base this is understandable).
It is quite hard to pinpoint a style as I do aim for my designs to meet the clients needs, and not necessarily to match my aesthetics and taste.
Favourite down time activity?
My favourite downtime activity is probably to capture memories. I hate the idea that my life will just fly past without me noticing so I’m almost addicted to taking photos and snippets of video of everyday life.
This year will be my third year of documenting my life in a photobook where I take a “photo-a-day” and I’m in my second year of creating a “life video” crammed with snippets and memories from every day life.
Words to live by?
Words to live by: On a serious note…Love others unconditionally, genuinely and actively. On a not-so-serious note…Always have a to-do list!