The past two weeks flew by for me, so before I knew it, it was time for my next interview. An interview with a designer I follow for quite some time. This guy has, in my humble opinion, the potential to become a very big designer and therefore I’m proud to introduce to you….Prekesh Chavda, Prekky for friends. Fasten your seatbelt and “take the trip” with me!
Welcome to Iconpaper Prekesh, let’s start with an introduction. What is your background and what do you do?
Hey! Glad to be here! Well I’m 19 and still in school studying Art, Design & Photography. I’ll be here for another year and then I’ll be off to university! I’m quite a weird person so expect my answers to be a little strange, haha.
Where did you learn your skills? Where do your creative instincts come from?
I’ve always been interested in art from a young age. I used to draw everyday for hours and hours, whether it be stuff around the house or anime characters. But I stopped drawing for a few years because I didn’t have the time nor did I study art in school (I wanted to but I didn’t get in the class because it was already full). When I was 14 I was introduced to Photoshop by a thread on a forum, some members were making each other forum signatures. So I thought I’d give it a shot. I downloaded the Photoshop 7 trial and that’s when I became fascinated by digital art, and it’s almost ‘limitless’ possibilities. I really never did any tutorials because I’ve always learnt better teaching myself and learning from my mistakes. I got into icon/interface design after getting into the ‘customisation’ scene when I got my MacBook in 2008, and now I’m addicted to icon design! haha.
Can you give us an insight into a typical day in the life of Prekesh Chavda?
Typical day in my life? Haha well this is pretty boring…
Even when don’t have school I usually wake up quite early, get out of bed and do some work around the house. I very rarely eat breakfast so by 9.30am I’m usually at my desk and checking my e-mail and twitter. Usually at this point I would open Photoshop and start working on a project and watch a movie or something while I do that. I usually forget to eat lunch too, so I’ll work throughout the day and then finally remember to eat something, haha. I usually take a break around 5pm till about 10pm, but start work again at 11 and I’d usually work till around 1-2am. I think I spend too much time on Photoshop, although most of the time I’m just drawing and practicing new techniques with my wacom. I also occasionally go out and take photos with Gabriella, since I have an interest in photography!
Altough Iconpaper is a website dedicated to Mac, iPhone and iPad customization, I really wanna know the answer to my next question from you as a designer. Are you a Mac or a PC and of course why?
I’m a Mac! Although I’m not what you’d call a ‘fanboy’, I hate seeing people masturbate over Apple products. I use Windows when I need to and I was a ‘PC’ till around 2008 when I got my first Mac. Why am I a Mac? Well I really like OS X, it just works. I’ve never had a problem with it like I did whilst using windows. It allows me to stop worrying that my computer will break and let me focus on my work.
What design tools do you use? Which tools would you suggest to fellow designers?
I use Photoshop (latest version, where possible) and my Wacom Intuos 4 tablet. I occasionally use Illustrator but I’m still learning how to use that beast properly. To fellow designers: don’t use/buy tools just because other artists use them, you should familiarise yourself with a range of applications just to see what works best for you and then choose one or two apps to master. You’re going to need to master a raster based app (e.g Photoshop) and a vector based app (e.g Illustrator) sooner or later if you want to do commercial work.
Most designers get inspired by whatsoever. Where do you get your inspiration from or go for inspiration?
For inspiration I usually watch Star Wars or anything Sci-fi or fantasy, I must have watched Empire Strikes Back more than 400 times, haha! If it’s not a movie then I listen to music, usually some old school hip-hop. I have this weird obsession with listening to one song over and over and over again, haha!
You’re currently have a exiting Star Wars project in the pipeline? Where does your facination for Star Wars come from and can you tell us more about this project and when it will be ready for release?
I just love Star Wars, the original trilogy are my favourite movies of all time. I won’t explain why because that’ll take too long haha. I have always been fascinated by Natalie Nash’s (pinkyvonpout’s) amazing character icons, so I decided to try making some myself! Since I’ve always wanted to do some Star Wars art, this was the perfect opportunity. I think I’ll be finishing the icon set in the next couple of weeks and releasing it for all of you to use!
What’s the first step you take after you get an idea for a design and how does your process looks like afterwards?
When I get an idea I usually open Photoshop and sketch my ideas out using my Wacom or if I’m not at my computer I just draw it on whatever or keep it in my head. Then after I have a decent basic sketch i’d start tracing the sketch using the pen tool. Usually I sway from my original sketch but that was a great example of sketch haha.
Most designers have unusual quirks. For instance I find the best collaborator is myself and often talk to myself to brainstorm ideas and solutions. What are your quirks?
This may be quite weird but I don’t think I have any unusual quirks while I’m designing, but when I’m not designing I can be quite weird! Haha, you may know this if you follow me on Twitter.
I really like good food and drink. Therefore I’m very interested in what your favorite food and drink is?
I don’t really have a favourite food or drink. I’m one of those few people who eats to live, rather than lives to eat.
I’ve looked at your works and I can tell you: Prekesh, ma bukee. Bargon yanah coto da eetha (translation in English: Prekesh, my boy, you’re the best). What do you think is your best work (so far) and why?
Oh shut up you’re too kind, but I’m far from ‘the best’. My best work so far? That’s a tough one and I’m not really sure to be honest. I think my Star Wars icons are quite good, I’m having a lot of fun making them. But then again, I always think my current project is my favourite project haha.
I have a favorite designer and I think most of our readers have. Can you tell us who your favorite designer is and please tell us what’s so special about him/her?
Favourite designer? has to be Mr. David Lanham. I really like his unique style. His icons are fantastic, but his illustrations are even better. I’d really like to illustrate and design in the future and Mr. Lanham does it perfectly.
Please tell us what’s the last song you’ve listened to, the last movie you’ve watched and last videogame you’ve played or we should listen, watch or play and do you have any good tips for us?
Music? well I’ve been listening to DJ Shadow’s Entroducing, particularly track 13, Midnight in a Perfect World. Movie? you guessed it, Star Wars Episode V LOL. Okay okay, a real movie… Hmm I watched Inception recently, amazing movie. Video game? sadly, I don’t own (can’t afford, haha) a games console or games so I don’t really game at all. Although I’d really love to buy a PS3 just to play the new Star Wars Force Unleashed series.
Have you done any commercial work already? If so, how was the experience? If not, would you (like to) do commercial work?
Yep! I have worked on quite a few client projects in the past few weeks! It’s quite fun since I get to work on new projects which aren’t what I would usually work on, plus the money is a real bonus
Thanks again for providing Iconpaper with the opportunity to interview you. Can you at last share some pearls of wisdom for up and coming designers in the field.
No no, thank you for giving me this opportunity! Advice for up and coming designers, well, since I’m still an up and coming designer myself I’ll stick to something simple; Learn as much as you can, and put in 110% in everything you make. Don’t get discouraged when you can’t design something and learn from your mistakes. Try not to get into client work too early since you may encounter a project that is too big for you to handle.