30 Dec

About Me

Right, I’m Dave. I am 50 years old, father of four and happily married!

Ever since I was a kid I’ve always been arty. The smell of crayons is still one of my favourite things. All my life I can’t walk past a stationery shop without wanting to buy pads, pencils and pens. I used to make my art with Letraset, cutting letters out of magazines and newspapers and gluing everything together to make my own comics and artwork. I would buy comics and books with my pocket money and even did a paper round to pay for all my art stuff, never saved a penny!!

This love of art and graphic design (as I learnt it was called as I got older at school) never goes away. I still love books, fonts, print, logos, packaging etc. I never went to art school, college or university. I actually left school at 16 and worked in engineering for 9 years. You’ll be amazed how much you can learn about art in engineering. Precision and finish were critical in my job and it was the best 9 years start I could have had. All through those years I continued to spend hours making stuff, i worked on fanzines, artwork for my brother’s band and anything else I could find to do.

And then computers came! I had a love for DTP (Desk Top publishing) and was lucky enough to get to play with early Macs and Quark XPress and then any other free software I could grab from computer magazines to make design work on the early PCs. I also found Paint Shop Pro, now I could make photographic artwork and use it in my design work. Eventually I was ‘given’ a ‘copy’ of Photoshop 5.0. Sorry Adobe! I started to use Macromedia products (through my, then, job) and the rest is history!

My skills evolved through self taught learning via magazines and books. Then one day I found a US magazine called MAC DESIGN. I had no idea who was behind it but I loved it. Turns out it was a magazine founded by Scott Kelby. I then found Layers Magazine and subsequently Photoshop User magazine and became aware of NAPP.

Without boring you with all the bits in-between, I found my ‘home’. I have learned so much from Adobe and NAPP (now KelbyOne) and in 2009 I contacted NAPP and requested that more was available for UK members. The end result of that was me becoming the official UK Evangelist and attending my first ever Photoshop World in las Vegas, 2010. (There’s a lot more about all this over on Scott Kelby’s blog here)

Fast forward to today and I have now worked full-time and freelance in the design and marketing industry for over half my life but always been in love with graphic design for as long as I can remember.

I have attended 6 Photoshop Worlds, recorded two classes for KelbyOne on InDesign (in 2015) and looking forward to teaching my first live class at Photoshop World in July 2016.

I got to design my first ever book cover for a #1 best selling book on Amazon, The Photoshop Workbook by Glyn Dewis on Peachpit (thank you Scott Cowlin and Ted Waitt). The amount of things I have experienced and the friends I have made through my connection to KelbyOne make me want to pinch myself everytime they happen. I am a very lucky boy indeed! I’ve had my face on the front of two photography magazines and inside a few other top Photoshop and Photography titles. I’ve created artwork for comedians and tv/radio people. I still create artwork for a football fanzine for free. And my book collection is starting to annoy my wife….but its an awesome collection!!! (Special thanks to Sara Jane Todd and the Peachpit team for assisting with that!)

A huge shout out to Scott Kelby for believing in me and becoming a close friend. Nancy Massé for getting me onboard back in 2009. All the KelbyOne team for making me feel part of the family. Jon Bessant at Certitec for being an awesome tutor. I am inspired by so many great people and designers, you are never too old to keep learning! I am also a very proud Adobe Influencer!

A huge thank you to my wife for being super tolerant and giving me two daughters who are already following in my artistic footsteps. My mates, brothers from other mothers, Glyn Dewis, Aaron Blaise and Alan Hess. There are so many people who have made memories for me, I could make lists! Special thanks Mike S, Rob E, Bam, Paul C!

And Mum and Dad, Alan, Mark and ‘Chukle’ Paul. You are awesome 🙂

Before I go, check out these people if you love Graphic Design, branding, logos and type!

Aaron Draplin

Jessica Hische

Von Glitschka

Kim Brockie

and my ‘go to’ design resource Design Cuts

The adventure continues…