Interview: Sam Underwood
Sam is a graphic designer and photographer. He has currently graduated from university studying Media Production. I was lucky enough to have an interview with Sam about his career plans and design work.
Hello Sam! Thank you so much for letting me interview you. How are you?
I’m great thank you!
Describe your style.
Hmm, well I always try to be as versatile as possible, but my go-to style is definitely designs with a gritty aesthetic.
I adore your work. What inspired you to start doing illustrations and design?
Thank you! Before I went to University I never considered being a graphic designer, but my course (Media Productions at Lincoln University) gave me the chance to try it out and I’ve enjoyed design ever since!
Have you always been into illustrations, design and art?
I was always in bottom set art at school, so I never even thought about it. I’ve always enjoyed the more creative subjects, but University is when I really started to get into it.
How did you manage to learn and hone your craft?
I enjoy experimenting a lot with the Adobe software and that’s how I’ve learnt a lot of things to begin with. Anything I was really stuck on I would look up a tutorial on how to do that certain thing.
How has your creative process changed since the start?
My creative process when thinking of ideas and concepts usually always differs from each piece. Sometimes ideas can come randomly while in my car or playing a game. However, when I’m trying to refine them I usually go on websites like Pinterest and just do some browsing to see what other people do and their ways of approaching a certain idea.
What equipment do you use for your work?
I mainly use the Adobe Creative Cloud to do all my work, but I also use the scanner in my printer a lot to create glitch scans that can be applied towards my designs.
Why has social media been an important platform for you to use?
Social media is great! It provides a good platform for showcasing work and getting feedback. Also, networking is a big part of social media too as it’s so easy to find other people in your field and connect to them.
Who inspires your work?
I like to take inspiration from anything and everyone. If I see something I like, I tend to think to myself: “How can I do that and how can I adapt this technique/visual aesthetic to my own work?”
Do you have any favourite pieces of artwork, design or illustrations that you adore at the moment?
I have a skateboard zine I picked up a while ago in Manchester, but it’s probably still one of my favorite things. It’s called Grey Skate Mag and I have: Issue 2, Volume 3. This zine has definitely inspired me a lot with my style on Instagram, as I love the gritty aesthetic throughout it.
What do we hope to see in this up and coming year for your Instagram and Facebook page?
More content definitely! Also, recently I created some designs for a band called Savor the Silence and their new EP, but you’ll have to keep an eye on my page for when that EP drops and I can show you those designs, haha!
What are you currently working on?
Right now I’m just experimenting a lot and attempting to refine my typography skills, as I eventually would like to create my own one day soon.
What inspires you on a day-to-day basis?
Anything can inspire me to be honest, whether that be images I see on the Internet or some graffiti on the streets. Inspiration is everywhere; you just have to keep an eye out.
Do you have any advice for anyone who would like to set up their own Instagram?
Definitely push yourself to post throughout the week and don’t be afraid to hashtag a lot as it’s the best way to get your images seen. Just be active and enjoy the process!
Do you have any advice for designers and illustrators?
If you’re ever out and about, then always keep a look out for things that catch your eye and don’t be afraid to take a quick photo or note of it too, as it helps to keep your creatively engaged and inspired.
What are your career plans?
I would just simply like to be in a job where I can create designs and enjoy it. If any employers are reading this, I’m available for an interview, haha!
Where do you see yourself in three years time with your designs and illustrations?
Ideally I would like to be in the industry, surrounding myself with creative and talented people that inspire me to design and achieve greater things.
Since finishing university, what have you been doing?
After University, the first thing I did was look for a job. It was a case of securing any job that would help fund me, as eventually I would like to move out of my parents’ house.
Has it been hard to find a job within design since graduating?
I feel finding the right job that suits your current situation is the hardest. A lot of places require some experience in the industry, which means internships are the best way in, but they’re usually unpaid and it’s something I can’t afford at the moment which is why I have a regular part-time job.
What's the best piece of creative advice you've ever been given?
If you think your designs can be made better, then push yourself to do it!
Please give Sam a follow on this Facebook page Sam Underwood Design for exciting photography and design updates ‘www.facebook.com/SamUnderwoodDesign’. For other updates please see Instagram '@Sammy_u'.