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Jay Lall on flattening the learning curve

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Can you believe the image above is a 3D render of a converse shoe?

Neither could we, until we read the project description by freelance designer Jay Lall. With over 15 years of experience in the industry, you can tell from the interview below that Jay is extremely proud of his Converse work, and we can definitely see why.

According to Jay, there is only one way to go – and that is up, learning as much as you can, experimenting and finding your own identity. For this Member Spotlight, we are getting to know a determined professional with ardent passion for his work and craft. Also an excellent football kit template creator, apparently.

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How did you get into the industry?

My creative design career started at college where I did a Art & Design BTEC 15 years ago. Since then, I’ve been freelancing mainly doing graphic design and then progressed to product design. I found that I enjoyed product design the most purely because I like problem solving and making products from scratch – from blueprint to post-production. I’ve done work for many top brands including Puma and Nike to name a few.

Can you explain your creative process?

I’m a huge Converse fan and recently decided to do a 3D model on my favourite Converse design. The process took several weeks to complete. I started off by a line drawing of the blueprint that was created in Photoshop – this was my unique design.

The blueprint was then imported into 3DS Max to create the model from scratch. The first stage of the creative process is to develop the overall the shape. The second stage is to add the detail and then the final stage is to add the textures and scenery. After, I am fully happy with how the design looks I then will render out a raw image in 4K resolution. This then the product then goes into Photoshop for post-production.

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How has technology affected the way you work (if at all)?

When I started my career 15 years’ ago I started using Photoshop which was a very basic programme back then. Using paper as a form to design and to express your work was the only way to fully transfer your ideas and imagination to a real vision. Technology has moved on so much in the last 15 years. Software like Photoshop and 3DS Max has played a vital role in the way designers can convey a strong message to the outside world and take an idea to a real life form.

What’s your secret to staying inspired and motivated?

Keeping up to date with online creative communities, such as  Creative Pool, behance.net, artstation and cgsociety.

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What’s the work achievement you’re most proud of?

I would say that I’m most proud of a few pieces of work. The 2d football kit template which is free download on my behance.net page. This template helps creative beginners interpret their own design by giving them something they can easily follow. To date the template has had over 60,000 views; clearly demonstrating a valuable need to the newbies in the design world!

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What advice would you give to other aspiring creatives looking for work?

My experience to date has been a massive learning curve. My advice to aspiring creatives looking for work would be to experiment with different format. For example, don’t just stick with doing work on Photoshop because everyone else is. Be different and try traditional line drawing, fine art painting, as well as Illustrator. This will give you a board range of experience and understanding to help develop your design skills in the industry. I feel it is also important to be brave and try things our of your comfort zone, as well as lean new software to enhance your creativity. This will certainly help build your confidence and portfolio.

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If you could change one thing about the industry, what would it be?

I have experienced the negative side of the design industry – in particularly when wanting to progress your career to the next level. I have found there are a lot of fake businesses that advertise for design roles that do not really exist. These businesses want a way to get free design work by asking you to do an online test. Once the work is completed the business doesn’t make contact again. This area should be regulated in some shape or form; mainly the responsibility of the recruitment sites to ensure these roles really do exist.

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