1.Tells us some background information,your education,what you do, how long you’ve been doing it.
I am David Misch from Sterling Heights Michigan, I went to Stevenson high school and graduated in 2003. What really got me involved in Graphic Design is one of my brothers friends had a mom who worked in the field. One day during my junior year. She had taken me along to two or three local studios in the area. At that time I had still had my heart set on becoming an automotive designer. I had always loved cars, racing and speed in general since I was young. Well come the end of my senior year I had participated in the 2003 Red Bull Driver Search at the local level and won the race at Kart 2 Kart. With much of my background in Karting and like I said, racing was my thing. I had the chance to race at South Bend Indiana among some of the best racers in the United States with one goal in mind, becoming the next American to become a Formula One driver after having a 13 year absence from the series. At the race I had met many great drivers like Boston Reid and the famed Danny Sullivan. From the beginning of the day to the end of the race day I had a vast improvement going a whole 3 seconds faster the last race from the beginning of the race day. Though I had realized my dream of becoming a race car driver was at that point gone with a finish of 25th of 32. I had been encouraged by the improvements in my lap times and that I was able to improve watching the best. At the end of the day Mike Speed (05 Toro Rosso driver: Scott Speed)’s dad complimented me on the improvement which was a huge encouragement.
2.What made you become an artist/designer?
While at the Track I realized hey I love art, drawing, sketching, etc. and had seen all the graphics Red Bull paid to have put on each Kart, the transporters, gear, and the list goes on. I thought to myself that would be an awesome job to be able to design for race teams and drivers. And from that point at Macomb Community College, I still pushed forward to become an automotive designer. Once I had realized that door had closed I decided to stick on the path of becoming a graphic designer and stuck with it for five years. And now having the bachelors from IADT in the short 3 years think it was a great decision.
3.In the beginning of your career how did you market yourself?
To be honest I am still figuring that one out, I know I had used the big influence of sports and autoracing in particular to launch myself into the freelance market. At the same time I tried to stay true to my roots in the Church and give back in a form of work when monetarily I may have been cash strapped. As far as full time employment I’d say be true to who you are and keep pushing forward, never giving up no matter how good or bad the situation may seem.
4.What tools do you use, software and hardware?
I am big on using photoshop, Illustrator I use ALL the time, and Indesign-Primarily. Though lately I have been using alot of Dreamweaver, Flash and hope to break into the After Effects and other such programs in the coming weeks and months.
5.How do you manage the business side?
Mac Freelance, Email, Facebook and Myspace and soon davemischdesigns.com. I’d say much like anything else persistence is a great starting point. Other than that, be sure to get everything in writing from both you and the client. It is so much harder to collect pay from clients when you do not have anything in writing to prove hey I will do this for this amount and what not, I know this from personal experience and it is a pain. People can promise you the world, say they’ll help with whatever, but unless it is in writing and signed don’t buy into it. Also talk alot with Tip Quilter, by far the most business acclimated designer I know. I wish he would have taught more of my classes.
6.where and how do you get inspiration to design?
I would have to say I am a little different when it comes to becoming inspired by design. As a designer you have to be aware of your surrounding, think about the cause and effect of design. Racing and the beach, the two most extremes from one another have had a big influence on my life as a designer. In autoracing the objective is to grasp someone, some where’s attention for a few seconds and get them to purchase a product or idea. So having very intense designs with flashy colors on and off the track are helpful and memorable. I’d also say since I have been to the Cayman’s and a big Kenny Chesney fan, that had also had a big impact on my designs being more a laid back, subtle, but attention grabbing with great use of vibrant colors.
As far as artists are concerned, Troy Lee is one of my favorites. He had done helmets for many of today’s great drivers in both Indycar and Nascar. He had also come up with the color scheme for the Panoz DP01 Champcar which made it’s debut in 2007 only to have the program terminated in 2008 with the merger of Champar and Indy Racing League.
I’d say something else that helps me come up with ideas and designs is talking with people and getting to know what they like, and what problems there are to overcome. Just because you are a graphic designer doesn’t mean you always have to live in the realm of designing logos and such. Design a car, design a shoe, play with movie software, get your hand’s dirty. It should be a fun job. Also while I am working, when I have free time inbetween cutting parts, I often sketch out ideas. Some are good, others are throw aways or ideas that maybe can serve a purpose later. As an artist getting the initial idea on paper is crucial.
7.What is some advice you can give to people just starting out?
Listen to your teachers. Get as much knowledge and become friends with them you’ll reap the benefits later. Also keep in contact with former classmates, friends from high school and so on…you’ll never know who you’ll see where in the future and they may know the right people to help you land the job. Also band together with classmates because they may have a part of the process nailed down that you are struggling over. I’d say that is crucial especially in a freelance condition. When it is difficult to get the money in for all the time and work you put out in order to help bring a boost to the client.
Thank you for doing this interview David. Check out Davids portfolio at http://www.coroflot.com/davemischdesigns
If you would like to be in the next creative spot email firstname.lastname@example.org