Ericson Luciano is a twenty-three year old web and graphic designer/enthusiast, specializing on print and logo design. Eric or Ewic graduated with a degree of BS Information Technology from City of Malabon University.
He used to work for a private firm here in Manila, now he currently works as a freelance graphic designer. He started freelancing way back 4th year high school via Odesk, to cover school and personal expenses. It also enabled him to decide whether to work in a corporate setting or to stick to freelancing. Most of his clients are referral of friends, from online freelancing sites, Facebook and even people he met on community events.
I’ve met Kuya Ericson via WebGeeks group on Facebook but we actually just met in person last year during Drupal Developers’ Day, where we both volunteer for PHDUG. I have always admired how creative Kuya is, despite how some people treat him because of his disability (which for me is a blessing in disguise), so I asked him to run an interview with me to share about his background, his experience as a graphic designer and his standpoint on some commonly asked questions in this field.
I love minimalist, clean, vivid colors, and darkish design…
How did you get into design in the first place?
When I was in high school, our T.L.E. subject was computer related. Towards the last quarter, we were involved in creating websites using HTML (tables) and CSS. I remember being proud of myself when I coded the basic parts like setting hyperlinks. Then Friendster Overlay Layout came and I used premade layouts to tinker with the code and images which led me to discover Photoshop and ImageReady. I studied those and was able to apply what I learned when we made a website for our school (for fun) since I was assigned to design the layout. But what I consider as the reason I really got into design was when I was a layout and design artist for a private company. I didn’t know even about bleeding, color separation and other technicalities when I started out.
Whenever I’m bored or hit a creativity block, I usually sleep on it and get back to work the next day.
What types of technologies, applications and the like are you using for your work?
I’m only using Windows OS and Mac OS, Adobe Creative Suite 5 and 6 (mostly I use Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign and bit of Fireworks), Dropbox for file sharing, Invisionapp for mock-up design preview (thanks to Nathan for recommending this), Corel Draw X6, pencil, notebook/paper and a lot of dot grid paper for logo sketching and Paper Browser for wireframe.
What is your daily routine and work process like?
My daily routine starts at night, since some of my clients are foreigners and we need to communicate on their time zone. Every 3 hours I give myself a break between 15-20 minutes: to make and drink coffee, to stretch and listen to music. Whenever I’m bored or hit a creativity block, I usually sleep on it and get back to work the next day. That works for freelancers like me since I work on my own time, unlike working in an office where you follow the company’s workflow and time.
How do you juggle your web design work + a bunch of projects + volunteering engagements? What is your secret to successfully managing all these projects at the same time? Maybe you can share some productivity tips and trick with our readers.
Time management is one of the important secret every designer (and non-designers) should have. It made me more responsible in maintaining a schedule or list of tasks per daily basis. I may deal with different tasks but knowing the target date/deadline can help you manage your time and avoid conflicts.
Another important thing is maintaining a good communication with your client, boss and even your co-volunteers. For me, TALENT and DEDICATION are very important: talent in designing and dedication to the people who believe in my talent.
Web design is a field with a steep learning curve. What do you think is the best way to teach someone the basics?
I was self-taught because I was shy and online resources helped me a lot but still, the best way for me is through mentoring. Having someone walk you through step by step and give you exercises to try out what was taught is effective. Also joining online communities like WebGeek, PWDO (Philippine Web Designers Org), PHDUG (Philippine Drupal Users Group), Filipino Creatives, forum groups and attending events/meetups can boost your willingness to learn and be inspired.
Where do you go for design inspiration?
There are lots of ways to be inspired but for me the effective way is to put photos of I want to achieve near my computer table: my dream gadgets, shirts, etc. I got this tip from Mr. Glenn Santos (co-founder of 199Jobs). But seriously here is my favorite site that you need to visit to be inspired and get valuable resources: Designer List.
What do you feel are the most important skills for a designer to have/develop?
There are different specializations for designers, like me I’m more on Print design. Whatever path you want to take, most designers say it’s important to learn about the principles of design first. In print design, I recommend learning Photoshop, Illustrator and inDesign. One should also familiarize him/herself with terminologies such as CTP, Negative, Bleed, Color Separation, and CMYK Process.
Lastly: self-confidence! (lol since this one makes me very awesome and I’m very happy with the results)
To close this interview, here’s my last question: how does your
disability help in your work output?
First, I really want to thank God for giving me a chance to live. It’s a blessing to work with other people even if you have a disability. It’s a given that design requires a keen on details.
When I was working at Limeshot Global Corporation, I met a lot of people with different attitudes towards me. One of my managers told me: “Bibihira lang ang taong masipag at magaling sa isang bagay kahit alam mong may kapansanan siya. Ang tanging paaran para mag work ito ay alis ang takot and make yourself proud.“
I agree. Remove the fear and face the reality. Being active in the community and events help me to feel better about myself. And never forget to be honest, be good and always pray for every blessing you receive. 🙂
Aside from design, Kuya Eric also dabbles on Macro and Motion photography, web design and web development. He is currently learning PHP and Ruby on Rails (we attended together with a couple of friends the free PHP training c/o Sir Chris Blanquera).
never forget to be honest, be good and always pray for every blessing you receive. 🙂
Thank you Kuya Ericson for spending time in participating in this interview and for answering my follow up questions! I hope I didn’t take much of your free time. If you need to see more of Eric’s work or looking to hire a designer, email him at [email protected] or drop by the following links:
Thank you for reading! This post is part of a new series that highlights some creative and technical folks. Think you (or a friend) might be a good fit? Send me a message! I’ll be waiting 🙂