KunleOlat, Freelancer

What’s your relationship to visual design?

My first major interaction with visual design was creating music art for customers back when I ran a studio in the University. I wasn’t doing anything exceptional, just using images from the internet and editing it in Canva. I felt I could create more visually appealing graphics so I decided to learn Photoshop. Demand grew so I decided to delve into logo design which made me learn Illustrator.

I found out there was more to logo creations (which became my niche at the time) so I learnt branding.

While trying out web development, I learnt of the term UI/UX and I feel in love with that. I have since sharpened my skill in that and I currently focus on Branding and Product Design.

Is your visual design skill set where you want it to be, compared to where you are in your career?

I believe there is a lot of room for improvement. Besides when I was learning for passion, most of my visual skill set has been born out of necessity (considering the current project I’m working on or the feeling of imposter syndrome when I see other people’s work).

Being self taught makes you feel there’s a lot you don’t know.

How do you learn new things about visual design?

Youtube, design blogs, and online courses.

What do you find hardest about visual design?

For me, I’d say not being able to bring some of the ideas I have to life as I envision them in my head.

Can you talk more about what happens when you try to do that?

The two major reasons are sometimes it doesn’t align with the project goal and other times I don’t have the necessary skill to pull it off. I usually try to learn or collaborate to bring my idea to life but I would love to reach a stage where I can pull off my difficult ideas with ease.

How do you know what you don’t know?

You encounter problems that make you learn or come across designs that inspire curiosity. Also, books and blogs enlighten you. Finally, conversations like this help inform you.

If you went back in time to when you started, what would you tell yourself?

Focus on design. I never saw design as a career choice, maybe because I’m Nigerian. I started learning visual design in 2017, decided to focus on product design in 2020.

Is there anything practical you’ve learned about visual design that, back in 2017, would have surprised you?

A lot. The major one will be designing websites and mobile applications. I didn’t think they were designed. I always thought they were just coded.