10am I joined the rest of my studio peers in room CM-11 where Sara welcomed each individual. The room was filled with excited smiling faces. Most of us were overwhelmed after receiving our first choice of studio. Sara handed out the task sheets which introduced us to the tasks set for the day. Independently we made our way to Hackney Wick to visit a small studio, home to Illustrator and Designer Lewis Heriz. The studio stood opposite No.90 Bar & kitchen a beautifully painted building, I was fascinated by the design which had been hand painted onto the detailed brick work.
The story behind the designer.
The area of Hackney Wick is pretty industrial, full of old buildings, some refurbished and decorated beautifully. We arrived late & to make matters worse we were lost. We finally found our destination with the help of the man himself Lewis Heriz who shouted down to us from the top floor of the building. Lewis’s studio stood out from the rest with a dull sign using three different fonts, I wasn’t impressed by the sign, a wave of uncertainty come over me before entering. The building was cold and echoed as we walked up the stairwell to the top floor. Finally we reached the room, a cosy, intimate space filled with designers work.
Task 1 & 2
The studio space consisted of 6 different designers from different areas of the creative industry only costing them in total £680 PM. I feel the space is a pretty relevant size for those who work here, every designer has their own design space and being an open studio helps them to collaborate easily as well and communicate on a daily basis. Every studio space differs, some larger than other. Every designer has the right space for them for example, Lewis is right by the windows, the natural lighting is best for a designer/artist, where as the animators are placed in the centre of the room with just their books and computer screens, natural lighting would not work well with their style of work as they are constantly using screens. The space is decorated in their own styles yet very busy, every designer has their work or work in progress pinned up on the walls. There is a lot of inspiration dotted around the room and is organised each to their own.
I couldn’t imagine working within this studio space only because I like my area to be clean cut, all white walls, pretty neutral. I would be tempted to redecorate the space. There is nothing wrong with this studio space it is just simply not for me. The studio stands with no identity as all designers living here are still finding their true brand identities. I feel the studio is successfully run however needs a few tweaks to make everything perfect. The studio doe not have a website, they each have their own websites and social media pages, keeping all contact separate which works quiet well. Lewis’s website is designed nicely and is easy to navigate.
Fashion – Animation – Editing – Illustration – Graphic Design
Lewis quotes “working this way is much better than having a collective as everyone has their own style. Every designer and artist within this studio space has a lot of individual client work still using their free time to interact with one another.”
Lewis introduced himself to us humbly, he quoted “I call myself an Illustrator but really and truly I don’t know if that is the right word…” His down to earth character had everyone feeling relaxed and ready to learn about his journey of becoming a successful Designer and Illustrator.
He had studied English at University and after graduating had a change of heart after doodling every once in a while. Deciding to take a completely different route Lewis became a freelance Illustrator. He had created his own basic Wordpress page where he posted his drawings. His first client approached him expressing the love he had for his artwork. The majority of his work is based around branding and enterprise, mainly poster design, and album cover art for existing record labels.
Lewis Heriz’s Creative Messy Haven – Photographers by Author
Most recent projects
Lewis was asked by a successful coffee roastry business in Dubai to re-design their entire brand identity. A beautiful new build, a trendy warehouse space with it’s own in house record store and cafe where Lewis’s record sleeve designs along with the music are being sold. He has also designed a beautiful 3d installation; an inventive light box creating silhouettes through out different times of the day. The cafe is not open just yet but is soon to be.
Taking us step by step through the stages for his design work for this new project inspired me to start working a lot more outside my comfort zone. The nightjar is a type of bird with suspicious looking eyes. It’s feathers having very similar details to autumn leaves. His simple first step sketches and second step edited sketches were interesting… following this system helps him to work to the best of his abilities. Expressing to us that digitally you can do anything and understanding why some artists follow this path Lewis likes to have some kind of constraints and feels working in an analog way can give you more opportunities, helping to push each project further. The nightjar is a surreal design with strong intricate details. The birds included in the design are cutting out the letter N using their wings, an inventive professional design idea shaping a new brand identity.
“I am currently working with many start up businesses and individuals, I don’t earn a lot of money however, I’m enjoying the type of work I’m doing and have learnt a lot. I know there is definitely room for improvement within my design work and you may say I’m know as too nice but I enjoying helping others, having a good heart can get you places” – Lewis Heriz
50+ Record Sleeves
Lewis has worked on over 50+ record cover and sleeve designs over the years of becoming a freelance designer, he has chosen to use a different technique for every cover he’s produced boosting his portfolio immensely.
“Develop your own style.”
Lewis expresses his love of designing for music, he has worked along side a friend working in the music industry and prefers to work with small labels. This has inspired me to continue working alongside people in the music industry and friends of mine working within the creative industries. Helping others to pursue their dreams can also help to build yours.
“I enjoy using softwares such as photoshop, Lightroom and Illustrator. Illustrator seems much more intense and delicate to use, where as photoshop is slower and works best for creating my style of work.”
Lewis works in a very similar way to me, preferably with photoshop, I can relate to his methods and reasons as to why he prefers to use photoshop for his style of work. Since working as a freelance designer and student, Lewis is the first artist I have met who prefers this way of working. I have learnt a lot today about the struggles and adventures of a freelance designer, the highs and the lows. Which ways to follow and how to work with clients and other creative individuals.
“When you work with a strategy you get an idea of the things that you want and the things that you need.”