THIS WEEK IN OUR “INTRODUCING” SERIES, WE AGAIN LOOK ABROAD AND CHECK OUT ANOTHER CREATIVE TALENT AND MEMBER OF THE THE PALACE ‘ALUMNI’. SHAHIN HAGHJOU IS A SWEDE, BORN IN IRAN, AND CURRENTLY BASED IN BARCELONA WHERE IS LESS THAN A SEMESTER SHORT OF A DEGREE IN GRAPHIC DESIGN AT THE EUROPEAN DESIGN INSTITUE, IED.
To say that he’s a “natural” might seem like a cheesy way of describing a person’s talent, but for someone that is yet to complete his degree Shahin has a lot to be proud of. The first time I met him a couple of years ago, he already had several stunning freelance projects as a designer under his belt. He was also commissioned by IED to do some of their ad and print campaigns, already during his 3rd semester. Shahin has also worked with us on a couple of impressive projects, most recently the Hebe Media branding, including the logo and graphics for the website and prints!
Since then he’s developed his skills towards motion design and print, with some of the most notable freelance projects being; Jamon Barcelona for the legendary San Francisco skateboard label For The City, FTC, and more recently; video and motion project Vamos a la Playa together with the Catalan videographer and photographer Hector Ferreño. (They are also rumored to be launching their own studio soon, but don’t tell anyone!)
I had the pleasure to catch up with Shahin, so I asked him about a couple of questions on creativity and the future of graphic design and art direction. Here’s what he had to say.
What is your ideal environment to be creative?
My ideal environment would be my balcony, normally when I'm stuck with something or if I have run out of ideas I'll go sit there for 15 min or so, and nine out of ten times the ideas come. The good thing about my balcony is that it's facing a wall, so there's no distractions. I'm very easily distracted, so it might as well work with a pair of those sleeping glasses you get on the airplane, haven't tried it yet but might just work!
The second best would be anywhere where there's likeminded people that you can share your ideas with, the space itself doesn't really matter, it could be at the local bar or in the park, as long as you're with the right people the creativity will flow.
What is important for an aspiring art director/graphic designer today?
I think it's really important to try to get work constantly and not to be picky. Yes, some jobs might be boring as hell, but you'll always learn new things. Try to work for or with people that have experience and do not expect to learn everything just by signing up for an expensive design school. You might learn a lot from going to school, but you'll always learn more from real life situations. Keep your steam up and work hard, cause as we all know by now, if you snooze you lose! And finally, never think you already know everything, not even if you have been working all your life.
Why is the future in motion graphics?
I honestly don't know how to answer this question, I love motion graphics and think there's many opportunities within it, but I don't think you should limit yourself to just one specific thing. Cudos too those who can earn a living from drawing the same thing over and over again. Either you have the skills to do that, or you try to broaden yourself which in the long run I think is more satisfactory.
We wish Shahin all the best, and we strongly recommend keeping an eye out for whatever he’s up to next!