BackGround – Mark


Mark, with his bike-bag prototype. Mr bike-bag won a DIA award. So there.

Everyone, meet Mark.

Mark, meet everyone (I’m aware ‘everyone’ only probably constitutes 6 people at the moment, but you have to start somewhere).

Mark is an industrial designer, web designer, graphic designer, applications engineer, and all round computer-whisperer.

Mark has kindly given  his time and experience in order to help solve the I-really-want-a-design-job-but-I’m-only-a-graduate-with-no-experience problem. All this out of the goodness of his heart. How lovely. Anyway, read on for insight, intrigue, and inspiration.


Can you recall any situations or environments or objects or animals or people which/who have inspired you to create?

Thomas Parel is a major inspiration to me. He seems to be able to flawlessly balance a pragmatic approach with creative excellence in all his designs, something to aspire to. I also find that having free time and a healthy lifestyle inspires me to create.

Do you have a set methodology for coming up with new ideas, or does your pure amazingness allow you to just happen upon them during the course of your day?

I find that I can think creatively by working with my hands.  My creative moments come from being in the workshop and playing with material, the experimentation lets an idea mature into a decent concept.

What do you do (or where do you go) to open your mind?

Design blogs. Behance, Core77, Design Boom

Is it constructive to dream? (YES!)

Do you carry a notebook, or voice recorder, or camera (actually, a phone can do all those things…) wherever you go?

The camera on my smartphone lets me record moments where I see inspiration in objects. I should sketch more but I’m more of a digital guy.


Do you remember anything from your first job hunt: feelings, interviews, resume, method of contact…

I remember not knowing what the perspective employee would say or expect from me in a work environment.

What would you suggest is necessary for a successful design/arts job hunt?

A great portfolio, being confident and having a diverse skill-set to differentiate yourself from other designers applying for the same jobs. I think it is really important to know what type of designer you want to be (e.g. design engineer, concept designer, furniture) and then to upskill yourself in other disciplines to put you closer to your ideal job.

How do you execute a great job interview?

Be prepared.

Prepare for typical questions.

Understand my strengths and have some answers or phrases prepared.

Not to be cocky and be likeable.

I take some time to understand the company; visit their website to get an idea of what they do. Do some manufacturing research on what they do, e.g. cast parts, read up on casting before the interview.

How much sleep is enough sleep?

8hrs but I normally get 7

Do you embrace new technologies in your work?

Every day

Have you won any awards?

DIA Encouragement Award

What are some of the most powerful/memorable lessons you learned on the job?

Someone always knows more than me – learn from them.

Never assume things.

Time Management and communication is key.


What are some of the most powerful/memorable lessons you learned while studying?

Nothing substitutes hard work.

Do you learn best by doing, seeing, reading, hearing, or a mixture of some, or all of them?

Doing (keep note of how many designers and artists answer this question with ‘doing’)


What was the greatest animated series ever made?

Ghost in the shell

Can you explain to me what the hell happened at the end of Akira?

Kineta got way too cocky so Akira had to come back from the dead and f@#k sh!t up. (YEAH! Now I can retire this question)

What are you listening to?

Frank Ocean. Royce Da 5’9. Thundamentals

What are you reading?

Bills in the letter box

How do you feel about puppies?

They’re cute but they poo in inconvenient places.

Aaand, finally – is there anything I missed out, something which you feel is important in the search for artistic and design-y excellence?

I really think it is important to mention that in this industry climate, times are tough, especially so for industrial designers.  My opinion is that if you want to be influential in the design industry, it is important to get experience in as many industries and skills as possible because people will hire you, pay you and give you responsibility based on what you can bring to a company and so the more you know, the more valuable you are.

Thanks a bunch, Mark!

Be well,



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