12 Questions: Meet Bryan Blue S. Cuevas (Philippines)

In our 12 Questions blog series, we feature interviews with someone from the crowdSPRING community. For these interviews, we pick people who add value to our community – in the blog, in the forums, in the projects. Plainly – activities that make crowdSPRING a better community. Be professional, treat others with respect, help us build something very special, and we’ll take notice.

We’re very proud to feature Bryan Blue Cuevas (crowdSPRING username: blueii) today. Blue lives and works in Manila, Philippines.

1. Please tell us about yourself.

There’s something about interviews that unnerves me but WOW, I’m being interviewed. That’s so cool!

Hey there! My name’s Bryan Blue Cuevas but you can call me Blue. I’m a quarter of a century years old living in Manila, Philippines. I graduated with a degree in Fine Arts where I majored in Advertising. The odd thing is that art and design were never my first choices. I’ve already finished a year in medical technology before I shifted to Fine Arts where I realized that designing is my passion. It gave me perspective on what I wanted to do as a career. Moving on… I’ve worked at a couple of design/advertising agencies where I learned the ropes of the trade. After which I went to a large FMCG corporation where I worked as the in-house designer for their packaging, labeling and other collateral. I stayed on for a year then I started my freelance practice at www.bluescue.com. On to a more personal side of myself. I have a girlfriend of 4 years and 2 toy poodles (yep, I know. Very manly huh?). I love japanese and mexican food. I hate waiting in lines.

2. What is the design industry like in the Philippines?

I couldn’t really say much since I’m just one of the thousands and thousands of creative people that make up the whole design industry here. But in my own opinion, it’s getting better now since a lot of the agencies and schools of design are opening their minds to different styles and not just focus on the trends.

3. Which of your designs are your favorites and why?

Hmmmm… my favorites would probably be the Pink Flamingo Farm and my personal logo design. The Pink flamingo Farm because it looks so simple yet professional. It’s going to be included in a book that will be published in 2011 and has been acknowledged in a number of design websites . My personal logo is also a favorite of mine because as a designer, it’s always hard to create and pick out your own logo. Like every designer would say, the best critique is yourself. And so far, I’ve been pleased with my personal logo.

4. Who/what are some of the biggest influences on your design work?

A really big influence on my design work would definitely be my surroundings. I get inspirations in everything I see all around. From my hand to the clouds, from the lifeless screwdriver set on my table to the beautiful and colorful plants outside my window. Basically anything that my two eyes can see.

5. How do you come up with ideas for concepts after you read a buyer’s
creative brief?

Concept brainstorming is a very important aspect of my design process. It takes me a couple of read-throughs of the brief or sometimes I leave the project and just come back and read through it again before I see what is needed by the client. I usually start off with a few sketches of my thoughts on the project. Sketching is quite important because it frees your mind and leads your hand to anything that you’d like it to do.

6. Mac or PC?

The much asked question to every designer. Well, the Mac is a great invention of our time. I used it at work before and it was so easy to comprehend. But when I decided on my own machine, I opted for the PC since it’s compatible with a lot of programs and that I am very much familiar with it. I’ve used PCs since I was still a kid playing those 2D games with electronic sounds. Geez, makes me wonder what happened to those. So yeah, I choose PC over Mac but if you give me a Mac Pro, I’d drop my PC anytime.

7. How has technology affected your work?

Technology, I like. I’ve got the new Windows 7 installed in my PC. It operates perfectly and so far I haven’t run into a bug of sort. I use a lot of Adobe software, like Illustrator, Photoshop, InDesign and LightRoom. Technology has greatly increased my productivity a hundred-fold, maybe even a thousand. I am now a slave of it. But the old-fashioned pencil and paper will always be an important part of my desktop.

8. What are your favorite websites for inspiration or learning about
graphic design?

My favorite websites for inspiration would be logopond.com, logomoose.com and logooftheday.com. These are very helpful in seeing trends and comparisons. I also get really good critics from their members. That is always very helpful in designing since you can never be too objective of your work.

9. Please describe your typical work day.

Typical work day? Ummmm…. I’ll outline it to be clearer because it’s kind of wayward in a sense that it’s not quite organized. LOL

– Wake up, check on the dogs, clean their poop from the newspaper, wash-up.
– Check emails, work a bit, contact clients, send-in files
– Cook lunch for both me and my girlfriend, feed the dogs, eat
– Check emails again, work a bit, watch tv, maybe take a nap, number 2
– Go to the gym, go home, shower, either go out and have fun or just stay at home (depends on the day)
– Cook dinner or grab food, Feed the dogs again, play with them, walk them
– Check emails again (yep, I keep checking my emails), work, work, work, work some more, watch TV, sleep

And do it again. Although things may change since I am not a robot but yeah, this is a typical day for me.

10. What are the most challenging and rewarding aspects of being a
graphic designer?

The thing I find most challenging is the competition since designers are a dime a dozen especially here in the Philippines. You’ve got to really harness your talents and skills to be able to go somewhere. Another would be finding work and clients. But despite all the challenges, the rewards are sweet. Recognition is the best thing that could ever happen to me and seeing my clients’ faces light up when they see my work.

11. How does your degree in Fine Arts and Advertising influence your design?

It influences a lot of things since I can apply different design principles I learned into my craft. Aesthetics is one thing, but knowing the technicalities is also another and that it makes a huge difference. Both factors come together to create a working design that will stand.

12. What do you do with your free time?

Yes, free time!!! I always make sure I get enough of this to avoid breakdowns. My girlfriend and I love to watch the movies, go everywhere and just take photos, walk the dogs and do anything. I also watch TV a lot. I play video games when I get bored or get stumped on a project. I basically have fun yet get serious when I need to work.




Maraming salamat, Blue!