Interview with real people, knowing true stories and learning from a fellow creative, this is UCreative Spotlight.
This month of February, we're back with another new creative. You may have already come across his Fb and Twitter page or read some of his design tips. You may have also already heard his name since he is also well-known in the graphic design blogging community. Join us as we welcome and get to know Ronald Bien, and discover the real persona behind naldzgraphics.net.
I. Graphic Design as A Career
How did you start your career as a graphic designer?
I officially started my career as a graphic designer way back in 2007, 3 months before I graduated. It was the time when I was still confused which path to take after college. Then one day, I stumbled upon a forum wherein I found people who are in need of graphic works done. So I started offering logo and banner design services. Time passed by until I realized that it was my passion, though it was really a risk since I already spent a 5-year course in college not related to graphic design. But it didn't stop me to reach my goals and ambitions so I kept on learning to adjust. As we grow, we start to choose what's best for ourselves and I think what I have chosen is right for me.
Have you experienced some major setbacks while pursuing your career? How did you manage them?
Yes, I have. Once was when I was still in the midst of deciding what to choose, to be a Graphic Designer or to pursue the course which I’ve finished in college. But what I did was to keep on believing in myself and be really optimistic. Though I'm not yet that successful, at least I know that I'm on the right track. And the most important thing is, I love what I'm doing.
Who are your influences/inspiration in graphic design?
As a kid, I loved drawing anything that inspired me. I grew up with animés and video games and that influenced me a lot.
As for inspiring artists, there are too many to mention, but in general, I mostly find them on deviantart.com.
How did you come across blogging and what made you decide to incorporate it in your professional career?
I like being a graphic designer because it is my passion, but my goal in life is to have a career that will give me freedom, less pressure, stress-free and allows me to do whatever I want with my time. That was the day when I started blogging with the topics that I'm interested in. I also consider myself lucky as I think I started the right time.
Your site has a wide following especially in social networks. How do you maintain an international readership and make sure that your posts are relevant to the international design community?
I'm a perfectionist for a certain reason and I always keep telling myself that quality is more important. I keep on updating myself with the latest trends and news there is in the design community and that helps to make every post relevant.
You cover a wide range of topics in your site. How do you choose which topics to discuss?
I feel what my co-designers and design enthusiasts are looking for, their interests and needs. That's where I start to solve their problems by providing up-to-date resources. For deep topic research, we also keep in touch with our readers from time to time using social networks and ask what they want to see on naldzgraphics.net.
What are your personal mantras or rules when designing?
I'm a vain person and when it comes to designing my first rule should be cleanliness. Both workstation and workflow should be clean and smooth so it won't distract my attention. I'm also very meticulous with the details of every project I'm working on.
What has been your greatest achievement in your field so far?
I started small and the fruit of my hard work has been owning a successful blog that serves as a venue for me to grow not just in the graphic design field, but also as an individual. Being able to inspire readers and offer valuable resources to my fellow designers is already a great achievement for me.
II. Up Close and Personal
When do you think are you most creative?
My creativity comes mostly at night or after a vacation. I feel like these are the moments when I have all the inspiration I need to get things started.
What movies have you watched recently? How did you find them?
I watch movies a lot. This is my other way of looking for inspiration while chilling at the same time. I watched Sherlock Holmes: a Game of Shadows and Alvin & the Chipmunks 3 recently, and I found them cool. Also, I'm into After Effects lately and this motivates me to watch more movies with special effects that don't suck.
What do you think of traditional art vs. modern art?
For me, traditional art is talent plus available resources, while modern art is talent plus technology.
Do you think graphic designers need to have graphic design degrees?
I think it's not necessary these days anymore. Especially that nowadays, the internet provides all the resources you need to learn from basic to advanced without a cost. This question makes me remember my college years -- attending my subjects which I'm not interested in, rather than staying at home, searching for online tutorials that I'm craving to learn.
As long as you have the passion and determination in life, you'll have a better place in this world.
Any weird quirks or habits?
I keep on disappointing myself on something on purpose. Like ‘Ohh, this is good but I hate this; there's still much better than this’. I find it weird but it helps me to jump outside the limits.
What are you today if you weren't a graphic designer?
I imagine myself as a typical person. Waking up early, going to my office, sitting the whole day and complaining about the mistakes I have done on that day and in my life. And that goes on and on every day, same routine. That would be the negative side. Meanwhile on the positive side, I might be an architect or a musician or a businessman with commitments. :)
III. Take it from Him
What do you think makes a good graphic designer?
Let's get this straight. More practice, being able to adapt to the changes in this dynamic world, being unique and different from others, and learning how to market your designs. Period. :)
Complete the sentence: Designing is ________.
...Innate to every individual. But it only becomes a skill once it is developed overtime.
Success doesn't come overnight. And this story of Ronald Bien proves how much being of a risk-taker and hard work can take you far to that long and winding road to finding and pursuing your passion.
Stay with us and keep posted for more interviews with creative professionals here at UCreative Spotlight. Who knows, it might be you who have the next best story to tell.