Five questions for creatives

Rich Gemmell

Rich Gemmell has been a full time designer and illustrator for over ten years and has worked for The Guardian, The Sunday Times, Hodder publishing house and many others. His illustration work is mainly digital and focuses on travel, environments and food.

How did you get into the creative industry, and was there a defining point in your career that led you on that path?

Well Art and Design was always my strongest subject at school and I was always encouraged and supported, I was lucky. I didn’t really know how it could be a job so when school ended (2001) I initially did a years animation course but again the career options were limited so I enrolled on a foundation creative design course (2003) where I was introduced to all the Adobe programmes and learnt the basics of Design, Photography, mixed with a bit of web design and fine art. From there I went to De Montfort to do Graphic Design and Illustration which set me down my path to freelance Illustration and Graphic Design.

Is there anything you would change in your current career and if so why?

I honestly feel I have a good balance right now. I work on corporate branding and design all day then get to come home and draw and paint, I am very creatively fulfilled right now. I would love more freelance work and to get my digital painting seen at bit more.

Where do you see yourself, and your career in five years time?

Hopefully with a good body of digital painting work. My plan is to produce a couple art books of paintings based on my travels. I also hope to progress my design career a bit, maybe more into art direction.

Are there any rules or habits that help you do your job more efficiently?

I wouldn’t say I have any set rules really. Just always try to be kind and understanding, I don’t let stress effect how I communicate with people, I do not let work dictate my life and I draw a line between work and family time.

What tips would you give to anybody who is looking to get started in the creative industry?

Build a strong portfolio that you have confidence in. Be honest and kind and don’t let job descriptions put you off applying for a job, just give it a go. Ask for advice, and if given advice always say thank you.

You can see more of Rich’s work on his website here: