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Interview with Lisa Winstanley

Home > Designer Interviews > Lisa Winstanley

Editor Frank Scott (FS) from DesignPRWire has interviewed designer Lisa Winstanley (LW) for A’ Design Award and Competition. You can access the full profile of Lisa Winstanley by clicking here.

Interview with Lisa Winstanley at Sunday 24th of October 2021
Lisa Winstanley
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?
LW: I’m originally from the UK and worked there as a graphic designer for around 15 years working with companies such as Cadbury, Vimto Soft Drinks and even the NHS. However, in 2010 I moved out to Kuwait in the Middle East and took a position as a lecturer of design. After eight years there it was time to move on and in 2018 I moved to my current position in Singapore. I think living in 3 different countries has given me a unique life view in that I’m far more culturally aware and my creative perspectives have evolved along with my travel. I always wanted to be a designer of some type and set out to train as a graphic designer in the UK. The day I graduated was the day I started my first job as a junior designer and I worked my way up through the industry from there to senior designer, art director and design consultant. No regrets!

FS: Can you tell us more about your company / design studio?
LW: Currently I'm assistant professor of visual communication at the school of Art Design & Media at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore. My work there is trifold, as I not only teach but I'm a design researcher and practitioner too.

FS: What is "design" for you?
LW: The definition of what design is and moreover what a designer is, has morphed and evolved over the years and in today's contemporary society I would regard design as being not only creative problem solving but problem excavating. Knowing which are the right problems to solve and positioning your work so its able to add value to society is something fundamental to my practice.

FS: What kinds of works do you like designing most?
LW: I love to work on many aspects of visual communication; branding, editorial design and poster design are all within my repertoire.

FS: What is your most favorite design, could you please tell more about it?
LW: I love the Big Book of Bullshit project I worked on. It was a 2 year labour of love and I really pushed some creative boundaries for myself within that project's scope. I created photography I'm really proud of and worked with unfamiliar mediums, resulting in some great experimental type and layout.

FS: What was the first thing you designed for a company?
LW: As a junior designer I worked at a small print shop designing business cards and stationery

FS: What is your favorite material / platform / technology?
LW: I love to work with my hands, my sketchpad is always my starting point. However, I tend to move to Adobe Illustrator or Indesign quite quickly to build my concepts. I then oscillate between sketching and developing on screen. I can't seem to 'think' on screen and my concepts are all created by hand first then translated into digital formats.

FS: When do you feel the most creative?
LW: I need to be 'in the zone' to create so a relaxed mind really helps but often inspiration comes at inopportune moments from a variety of sources so sometimes you just have to run with it!

FS: Which aspects of a design do you focus more during designing?
LW: Excellence in typography is very important to me and I am very driven for to achieve a visually stunning presence but perhaps more importantly, to me at least, conceptually the piece must be strong and routed in empathy for the user.

FS: What kind of emotions do you feel when you design?
LW: It's usually a rollercoaster ride of emotions. There is frustration, annoyance at not getting it right but then joy and pride when something works out well. I also love the feeling when something comes together through serendipity - that's a real driver for me.

FS: What makes a design successful?
LW: This could be answered by asking a series of questions. Does it meet the brief? Does it invoke Joy? Does it make the end user happy? Is it functional? Is it adding value? All of the above

FS: When judging a design as good or bad, which aspects do you consider first?
LW: I consider how the end user would benefit from the creative choices. Does it serve its purpose. Is there a better way this could be done?

FS: When was your last exhibition and where was it? And when do you want to hold your next exhibition?
LW: My last exhibition was at the Oculus in New York as part of the MvVO Ad Art show. I also have an exhibition coming up at The Bolivia BICeBé® Poster Biennial at the National Museum of Art in La Paz in November 2021

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?
LW: I currently live in Singapore where there is a rich cultural heritage from many ethnicities and backgrounds. I am originally from the UK where again my heritage is rich and varied. I also lived in the Middle East for around a decade and I'm married to a Lebanese man. So all of these cultural influences play a part in how I approach my design work. I think having this to draw from can only expand horizons and provide more dots to join!

FS: What is your "golden rule" in design?
LW: Do no harm

FS: What skills are most important for a designer?
LW: Empathy

FS: Designing can sometimes be a really time consuming task, how do you manage your time?
LW: I have become an expert in time management juggling teaching research and practice alongside my home life has been one of the most challenging aspects of my job but I hope I have found a balance that is sustainable

FS: How long does it take to design an object from beginning to end?
LW: How long is a piece of string?! This is really dependent on multiple factors. What it is you're designing. What deadline has the client given you and how well you plan. Sometimes the design process is quick and easy, the ideas flow and the work is well received by the client. Other times the ideas seem forced and the client doesn't respond well so anywhere from a few days to a few years is the answer

FS: Do you have any works-in-progress being designed that you would like to talk about?
LW: Yes, I have a new project coming out very soon. An online platform, a brand identity and a book - exciting

FS: How can people contact you?
LW: You can see my work and contact information on my website at www.lisawinstanley.com


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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