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Interview with Elliot Chaves

Home > Designer Interviews > Elliot Chaves

Editor Frank Scott (FS) from DesignPRWire has interviewed designer Elliot Chaves (EC) for A’ Design Awards and Competition. You can access the full profile of Elliot Chaves by clicking here.

Interview with Elliot Chaves at Wednesday 19th of October 2016
Elliot Chaves
FS: Could you please tell us more about your art and design background? What made you become an artist/designer? Have you always wanted to be a designer?
EC: I knew in 1994 after seeing an Alexander McQueen runway show that I wanted to be a designer. I thought it was apparel but I now know it is product and development design

FS: Can you tell us more about your company / design studio?
EC: It is not a company, just my design alias for now and seeing if it sticks.

FS: What is "design" for you?
EC: Expressing myself so people can understand and see who I am as a person with each product or service that is created while staying true to the products purpose and end consumer.

FS: What kinds of works do you like designing most?
EC: Any products or services that I can relate to and be able to put myself into each design.

FS: What is your most favorite design, could you please tell more about it?
EC: It was a wedding gown I made. Of course I liked the beauty of how it looked but more importantly I liked that it was for my mom and how it made her feel. It was also a transitional period in my life and I learned so much while designing it both personally and creatively.

FS: What was the first thing you designed for a company?
EC: men's clothing

FS: What is your favorite material / platform / technology?
EC: I do not have enough experience in the product design world to know my favorite material just yet as it used to be textiles since I was an apparel designer. I can say I love the fact that we live in an age where if we create it in our mind then we can pretty much build it, no matter the medium.

FS: When do you feel the most creative?
EC: As creative's know the "creative juice" is not an on and off switch. So it is a difficult question to answer for me. That being said, there is no specific time, when you feel the juice, you don't stop creating until its gone.

FS: Which aspects of a design do you focus more during designing?
EC: the actual concept and end result.

FS: What kind of emotions do you feel when you design?
EC: purity, happiness and one of the extreme few things in life that allows me to live in the moment.

FS: What kind of emotions do you feel when your designs are realized?
EC: rush, creative high

FS: What makes a design successful?
EC: a lot of variables in that question but here are two answers: if you can feel it inside and know intuitively that what you created is complete than you must listen and trust your inner self. Also, when the client or end user is overwhelmed with joy and speechless with the results, that makes all the hard work worth while.

FS: When judging a design as good or bad, which aspects do you consider first?
EC: who and what is it for.

FS: From your point of view, what are the responsibilities of a designer for society and environment?
EC: to keep staying ahead of the curve and mastering your specialty while trying to be as sustainable as you can or innovate ways to do so.

FS: How do you think the "design field" is evolving? What is the future of design?
EC: I think I said it earlier when we live in a world that almost anything can be created so it allows for so many more options of creativity. I also think we are becoming a more creative world, a more competitive one and technology plays such a huge role, it is difficult to leave it out knowing how rapid the pace is now and I think it will only continue.

FS: When was your last exhibition and where was it? And when do you want to hold your next exhibition?
EC: never had one

FS: Where does the design inspiration for your works come from? How do you feed your creativity? What are your sources of inspirations?
EC: Everywhere, the world we live in. I get inspired from listening to a song or seeing a shadow shaped like something to different colors or something someone said to riding down a snowing mountain. I also love to learn about other artist in all fields as they can only push you and help you grow as their is so much talent out there.

FS: How would you describe your design style? What made you explore more this style and what are the main characteristics of your style? What's your approach to design?
EC: My design style I guess would be clean and simple. When designing, everything must have a purpose. You know it is complete when you don't need to take anything out or put anything in to it. I love nature and pretty much any vintage styles with just a dash of modernism. I am an intuitive creator. When I feel it inside and I know the feeling quite well, I just know it is the right direction to go. My approach is research, research, research. Once I am comfortable with the knowledge of the project, I let the right side of the brain take over.

FS: Where do you live? Do you feel the cultural heritage of your country affects your designs? What are the pros and cons during designing as a result of living in your country?
EC: I live in Campbell, Ca. I think the cultural heritage of any designer is affected by the country they live in on some level. Whether it is subconsciously or not. How can our surroundings and upbringing not affect us as a person? I think the pros are that skies are the limit here in the United States whereas other countries do not have that luxury. Meaning ones who don't have the option of being able to design even if they wanted to or come from such poverty that they view design completely different. The cons can be a double edged sword in the fact it is more difficult to set your self apart because there are so many designers now in the U.S. while it also pushes you to grow and push yourself all the time to become better at your craft as the competition gets stiffer.

FS: How do you work with companies?
EC: Like a marriage. It must be a harmonious relationship where both can learn and grow together.

FS: What are your suggestions to companies for working with a designer? How can companies select a good designer?
EC: Know what style and personality they are seeking because the more you know what you want out of your designer, the less you will have to manage them. The best relations are where you can simply give a designer a direction and let them run with it in a collaborative way. Know you can trust them.

FS: Can you talk a little about your design process?
EC: When I have a direction, I do as much R and D as possible until I feel it inside and know it is the right one. Then I mold it and tweak it over and over until I have the final result.

FS: What are 5 of your favorite design items at home?
EC: quill pen, peppermint oil, charcoal, smoking joe's racing tin box, red desk lamp

FS: Can you describe a day in your life?
EC: wake up around 6am, meditate and work out after listening to my morning motivational videos, eat a big breakfast, do what ever I don't want to for the day to get it out of the way then work on whatever projects are currently at hand, come home and enjoy a nice dinner with my girl and try and spend some quality time together before doing it all over again the next day.

FS: Could you please share some pearls of wisdom for young designers? What are your suggestions to young, up and coming designers?
EC: no matter how hard or long it takes, work at your craft and don't give up. Master your skills and be patient, your time will come. Make sure you believe in yourself, be confident and never stop learning.

FS: From your perspective, what would you say are some positives and negatives of being a designer?
EC: I get to create things for a living, I make things look better. It doesn't get cooler than that. Not many negatives but a small one is that there is not an on and off switch to creativity. When you have it, run with it until it stops because you don't know when you will get it back.

FS: What is your "golden rule" in design?
EC: Listen to my inside feeling.

FS: What skills are most important for a designer?
EC: knowing how to communicate. Knowing how to translate your idea to your audience.

FS: Which tools do you use during design? What is inside your toolbox? Such as software, application, hardware, books, sources of inspiration etc.?
EC: pencil, pen and paper to start. Illustrator/Photoshop, Autodesk Fusion 360 and other CAD software.

FS: Designing can sometimes be a really time consuming task, how do you manage your time?
EC: That is one of the ultimate questions. When involved in a project, that is all I think about 24/7 until it is complete.

FS: How long does it take to design an object from beginning to end?
EC: That is an unanswerable question as it depends on what you are designing.

FS: What is the most frequently asked question to you, as a designer?
EC: Where do you get your ideas from?

FS: What was your most important job experience?
EC: Working for a couturier.

FS: Who are some of your clients?
EC: don't have any yet

FS: What type of design work do you enjoy the most and why?
EC: anything to do with snowboarding or outdoor sports as they are my other passions

FS: What are your future plans? What is next for you?
EC: To work with a company where we can grow together and benefit from each others assets harmoniously.

FS: Do you work as a team, or do you develop your designs yourself?
EC: both

FS: Do you have any works-in-progress being designed that you would like to talk about?
EC: no

FS: How can people contact you?
EC: my website or email address

FS: Any other things you would like to cover that have not been covered in these questions?
EC: no


FS: Thank you for providing us with this opportunity to interview you.

A’ Design Award and Competitions grants rights to press members and bloggers to use parts of this interview. This interview is provided as it is; DesignPRWire and A' Design Award and Competitions cannot be held responsible for the answers given by participating designers.


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