1. Design & Illustration
  2. Inspiration

Interview With Artist and Designer David Waters


David Waters a talented artist currently residing in Moscow, Idaho. He is a freelance designer with an extensive clientele and is in his final year attending the University of Idaho for graphic design; David is also part of the DepthCore collective. In our interview we break down a few of David's best pieces, and the readers get some interesting and valuable advice from a seasoned designer. So lets get into another great interview.

Q Welcome to Psdtuts+, please introduce yourself. Could you tell us where you're from and how you got started in the field?

Hello Emil, thanks for having me!  My name is David Waters.  I'm 23 years old and currently living in Moscow, Idaho, attending the University of Idaho for Graphic Design.  I started using Photoshop around 2001 creating web designs.  This led to more of an interest in graphic design and print work and eventually I moved more into digital illustration. 

Q You are currently in College studying graphic design, how would you convince those that say they are better off as self taught designers to attend college?

You can certainly learn all of the technical knowledge of the programs and processes outside of school, but what has been beneficial to me is the relationships you form and how one matures and grows in a University setting.  Who knows what will inspire you, but I find most of my inspiration lately has come from the people I have met and the area I am living in.  

I have been introduced to a lot of new film and music, much of it local, and that has been most inspiring for me.  Overall my experience with school has been humbling.  In addition to the critiques from professors and students, I've also been able to attend portfolio reviews with professionals through the AIGA chapter at the University of Idaho and this has provided me with valuable insight to my work. 

Q Illustrations like "The KDU" & "Gabriel" are perfect examples of you bringing harmony to pieces that have many different elements to them. How do you know when you are finished after adding so much to you're art?

It's really hard to say and it varies from piece to piece. These two pieces are very heavy on detail and for these I understood when I was finished when the details started to become a bit overwhelming.  With these pieces in particular I was working mostly while zoomed in and I've come to realize that you need to step back often and analyze how your pieces are developing as a whole.  

Q From your perspective what would you say are some positives and negatives of being a freelance designer?

The advantages of working freelance are that you are essentially your own boss, but along with this comes a lot of responsibility.  You have to be disciplined to work on your own and establish your own hours as well as maintain a level of professionalism and organization.

Working freelance can be a very enjoyable experience, but you have to remain confident in yourself and your ability.  The income and flow of work can be discouraging because there will be months when not much work is coming in and then there are times when you feel overwhelmed.  You really must maintain a balance and have a clear understanding of your strengths and weaknesses.

Q The imagery seen in "We Tigers" is phenomenal, can you please tell us what we are looking at and how you created this piece for the latest DepthCore pack?

'We Tigers' was mostly an exploration of a new style of work for me.  Before I was working mostly with photographs and stock images and lately it has been very liberating to get away from that for a while.  I purchased a digital tablet a few years ago and with each new piece I've been trying to use it more and more and rely less on images.  My more recent work is becoming almost entirely illustration, but I feel this is how I work best.  The final image has a lot of incorporated texture and colors, but the core of the image was illustrated with my tablet in Photoshop and I used photographs for reference.

Q What would you say is the most important lesson you have learned in your life as a graphic designer, and how do you apply it to your art?

It's important to realize that with graphic design communication is everything.  With design the most important quality is communicating a clear and strong message and this is in no way correlates with details or effects.  When I was first starting I would tend to get lost in the details and if these details don't enhance the message then it just becomes clutter.

Q If you could go back in time and tell your old self one bit of advice concerning design what would you say and why?

It's cliché, but never give up.  It's easy to get discouraged by critique and opinions, but what is hard is to use this insight constructively and become a better designer.  Take everything with grain of salt and don't lose site of what you enjoy and what motivates you.

Q Thanks again for providing Psdtuts+ with this opportunity to interview you. Any final thoughts for our readers

Thanks again for this opportunity! I hope that my insights may be helpful for others!  

Where to find David on the Web

Looking for something to help kick start your next project?
Envato Market has a range of items for sale to help get you started.