Luke Morgan is a freelance Graphic Designer who also dabbles in rather cool 8-bit-themed T-shirts. We first noticed his work when we featured a poster of his in our blog, Design Inspired by Concorde; then we found out Luke was a Solo user and well, it seemed only right we got to know him a bit better.
Tell the people at home a little bit about yourself.
I am Luke Morgan, freelance graphic designer and t-shirt artist based in Hobart, capital city in the Australian island state Tasmania. I have lived here my whole life, besides a 6 month stay in Hamburg, Germany where I traveled around much of Europe and the UK. When I’m not designing I’m cooking curries, playing video games or playing with my cat and wife.
What type of work do you do and in which sector?
I design for several local and national clients and run my own t-shirt brand 8-bitty, which pays homage to old school video gaming and pixel art. My design work is typically for small businesses, many of whom are tourism based. I recently had the privilege to work as a designer at MONA (Museum of Old and New Art), which was a most excellent experience.
My t-shirts for 8-bitty are made up of giant colorful pixels, typically covering the front and back of the t-shirt, and include zombie designs, a couple of pop culture references, skeletons, a mummy and more. Most of my sales are via the 8-bitty website. I’ve just started to do a few markets and pop culture conventions, which are all lots of fun. I’m tending to focus more of my energy on my t-shirts now and less on my freelance design.
Who’s your favorite artist or designer?
This tends to change for me quite frequently but right now I’m loving Jason Edmiston’s pop culture paintings, I’ve always loved Scott Hanson’s warm aesthetic and I’m closely following street artist Clogtwo.
How long have you been freelancing?
I started in my first year of Art School, in 2004. I had almost no design experience when I started my Graphic Design Major – I was accepted into art school with a folio of a few pencil drawings and picked up graphic design as an elective, it was only a few weeks before I realized that graphic design was for me. I decided that I would take on anyway work I could – which really paid off.
What’s the most useful tool or technique you use?
This one is tricky for me, I don’t think I have a set technique or approach to my work. I approach each job differently to keep it (and me) fresh – perhaps this my most useful technique?
Have you seen any work recently that excited you?
I recently found this clip by Rino Stefano Tagliafierro on Vimeo, it’s beautiful and I’ve watched it many times.
Is there a font you’re guilty of using a lot in your work?
I get hooked on particular fonts quite easily, which I think is a bad habit. Lately I’ve been using Lato, it’s a nice clean sans serif but I think it’s time to go hunting for some new fonts!
Name a design-related book you highly recommend?
I think I got the most from design books when I first started out as a designer. Early on I took an interest in Typography and I found Ellen Lupton’s Thinking With Type very useful. Besides that I love sitting in the sun flicking through illustration books such as those by Semi Permanent.
If you weren’t a designer, what else would you like to be?
I often wonder what it would be like to be a video game designer, I think I would love that. I think being able to use my imagination is my key. Otherwise, recently a Facebook quiz suggested I should have been an astronaut.
What’s been the highlight of your career so far?
I think so far the success of my 8-bitty t-shirt design, the 8-bit Zombtee. This was a design I almost sold to Design By Humans but at the last minute decided to keep and develop a brand around the concept of putting giant pixels all over a t-shirt. Seeing photos of people wearing the design, seeing it blogged, reviewed and written about has been incredible.
What’s your favorite tool or feature in Solo?
For me the best thing about Solo is its look, interface and simplicity. I mainly use Solo to track my time, which it does wonderfully.
Do you have any secret tips or advice?
I’ve often find that with design jobs, and my t-shirt designs, I’ll be working on a concept that appears to be going nowhere. I reach a point where I must decide to push on or leave it. I’ve learnt over time that pushing on with a concept that seems dead quite often leads on to something amazing. It just takes a bit of patience, faith and perseverance. Of course though there is the odd lemon that just can’t be saved.
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