Dave Kirkwood – Designer

Dave Kirkwood founded his art and design practice, DaveKirkwoodStudio, in 2007. Alongside their client work they develop experimental working models for generating unique solutions to core brand visual communications problems. Their commercial work is underpinned by a body of self-initiated projects and stimulated by the teaching they undertake. Previous projects include 3hundredand65 – a graphic novel created on twitter in aid of Teenage Cancer Trust.

As creative people we value our ability to think through problems, to innovate, to capture inspiration and turn it in to something made. We know that the skill to think arrives through practice and that this applied thinking of which Hughes talks is one of the most important skills we work on.

Or do we? How fresh and relevant is our thinking. Are we changing things for the better or regurgitating old ideas? How would we know? Do we even care or are we just as lazy when it comes to thinking as everybody else?

What was your first memory of creativity?

Winning a competition to design a logo device for the Whitehaven Amateur Operatic Society at the age of 10.

What was your creative journey to get to where you are?

Foundation course in Carlisle, degree in Preston, practice in London and Manchester, and Post-Grad Teaching Certificate.

What impact have big name clients had on your career?

It helps your reputation and recommendations that come from ‘C’ level can’t be beaten.

How do you establish your own style over a period of time and still stay relevant?

My work at the marketing end of communications and branding means I have had to adapt. This question is timely because I am right in the middle of a process that will establish my own fiercely independent and uncompromisingly individual practice.

Does your process develop thematically, or is it more distinctive and random?

Process is structured, challenge and content random depending upon the client, outcomes targeted project by project.

Who has been the biggest influence on your work?

My clients – unfortunately.

What inspires you or provokes the motivation towards creativity within?

I have always believed that design is ‘change for the better’.

Which artists and designers do you admire or inspires you the most?

Rick Bartow, Cecily Brown, Paula Rego, Ted Hughes, Alice Oswald, Fritz Scholder, Hamish Muir, Simon Browning, Moving Brands, Vim Crouwel, Peter Doig, Sauerkids, FIELD io, Taylor Dupree.

What is it you love most about what you do?

Getting paid to use my imagination and switching people on to the power of design.

Dave is hosting three of our Conversation in Creativity events. Find out more on our main page.