The release of the film Beat Street (1984), featuring New York hip-hop culture, is what inspired me to be a graphic designer. Along with the earlier film Wild Style (1983), it was the beginning of a new counter-culture back in the late 1980s, which combined many artistic forms – from graffiti and DJing through to music and lifestyle – all of which are still very relevant and even mainstream in today’s culture.
I found myself immersed in the world of the amazing technicolour letterforms being created by graffiti artists. After discovering Ray Gun magazine, followed by End of Print, both by David Carson in the early 1990s, it made me realise that you could have the same energy and artistic expression with type and photography in the commercial world of digital design.
This culture stands for freedom of creativity and not playing by the rules. I’m currently feeling this freedom again with the launch of my own bespoke consultancy. I believe that there are no boundaries to creativity and I can take the same influences from Brooklyn to Bejing to Mumbai.
I still get just as passionate when I start a new project, and feel the same freedom and enthusiasm as I did when I was first inspired.