Heath Killen

13, junio 2014


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My background is long and winding – but I’ve always had a strong interest in art and design. Strangely enough my path to design really began while I was working at The Wilderness Society. Through that experience I met a group of people who were producing zines and collage art – and something about their work really switched a light on for me. I found the idea of recycling culture and self publishing extremely exciting and I quickly started producing my own work.
My ambitions quickly outweighed my technical skills – so I went searching for formal education and ended up in a Sydney art school. Design was actually a very small component of my course, but it was thing that made most sense to me.  I started freelancing at the end of my second year – and have really learnt just about everything I know now from making countless mistakes along the way!
Where might we have seen your work?

I seem to have a lot of work shared on Tumblr these days – which is lovely. Around my home town of Newcastle my work for Tantrum Theatre over the last two years is probably my most visible. Beyond that I’d say some of the work I’ve been doing with digital design studio The Nest – including my contributions to the Sydney Festival website. Oh and I helped design the Grafik relaunch issue cover.


What does a typical day at work involve for you?


It really varies day to day, week to week. Being a freelancer some days are just taken up with trying to hunt down new jobs. My schedule can be sporadic, and tends to bleed into nights, weekends and holidays –  but over the last six months or so I’ve been trying to separate my work and home life more, and stick to a 9-5 type schedule. Of course I’m still prone to getting ideas in the middle of the night and working on them there and then.


My process is pretty typical I suppose – starting off lots of coffee, reading blogs and Twitter, and daydreaming – but when I get into it I am very focused. I do lots of research, sketching and thinking. I tend to spend a lot of time agonising over very small and seemingly inconsequential details. Music plays a big part in my process. I always have something on in the background.


Which other designers, artists or creative people are you inspired by?


There are too many to mention. Julian House. Kim Hiorthoy. Mark Farrow. Neil Kellerhouse. Ben Drury. Isidro Ferrer. TDR. M/M Paris. Tomato. And that’s just a few names off the top of my head. Adrian Shaughnessy is a huge source of inspiration too.


I also love Australian design and illustration . I think we have an amazing industry. So many inspiring studios and people. Kate Banazi. W$YK. Racket. Zawada. The list goes on and on.


More recently I’ve been drawing inspiration from other fields. Ferran Adria’s crazy molecular gastronomy. I’ve been getting into architecture too. But mostly I’ve been focusing less on visual inspiration and drawing from ideas. Philosophy. Nature. History. Folkore. Anything unusual or interesting.

Este fragmento es una entrevista por Lucy de Design Files, aquí el resto.

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