Saturday, June 25, 2011
Leanna White of REDEMPTION DESIGNS Interview (by D)
WELCOME TO TRANSYLVANIAN FOREST E-ZINE!
How are you doing, Leanna? Would you like to start by introducing the readers on your graphic design business, Redemption Designs?
I'm doing great, thank you!
I founded Redemption Designs with my ex-boyfriend in winter of 2008-2009. I had been planning to start my own business for quite some time, and after I spent a few weeks reviewing Sons of Nero's work, a design team who've done work for bands like A Life Once Lost and Dillinger Escape Plan, I decided to create a site of my own. With me on graphics and my boyfriend at the time on web design, our site went up fast and we started spreading the word.
A lot has changed since Redemption Designs started. We initially worked from MySpace, but with the growing population who used Facebook instead, we knew it was time to transfer. As of late, I am now working on my own, and I couldn't be happier. My design business has become a household name in the area, and I'm hoping to spread my coverage even further.
My primary mission as freelance designer is to create and personalize unique, professional work for my clients. I am capable of designing personal webpage layouts as well as band webpage layouts, logos, album artwork, fliers, brochures, merchandise, banners, specialized graphics, photo edits, and more. In comparison to professional design agencies, Redemption Designs offers up-to-par designs for a much cheaper price.
What influenced you to get into graphic design and art in the first place?
Graphic design has always been one of my strongest skills, and I honestly can say that it's my calling in life. My father was an artist before he became a pilot for United Airlines, so I think I inherited most of my creative abilities from him. When I was only in middle school, I would reproduce informational books on horses by duplicating the text in a program on my computer, printing it out, and drawing the pictures in the spaces provided. I don't know why I did it, but I really enjoyed doing it. As I go older, I started taking interest in The Sims games, particularly The Sims 2. At age 12, I was capable for creating custom hair, clothing, skins, etc. for the game. The creativity I gained from that is what influenced me to pursue my interest in graphic design. I started doing small, free projects for kid's bands at my high school, as well as graphics for MySpace (remember when that ol' thing was popular?) functions like groups and “trains.” It was then when I realized that this is something I truly wanted to do, and that I shouldn't do it for free.
(VERY METAL LEANNA :D )
Can you name any influences you had growing up listening to music?
After my parents got divorced in 2005, the happy-go-lucky kid I once was went under a major transformation. I spent the years listening to heavier and heavier bands until I made my breaking point into the metal world. I truly admired the grungy, gory styles that many death metal bands prefer, so a lot of my work became concentrated on those designs. While I still enjoy designing themes such as these, I've expanded my skills to infinite and beyond.
What favorite talents of yours do you have, and how is your work involved in your daily everyday life? Do they both go hand in hand?
Obviously, my favorite talent of mine is graphic design. My other talents include but are not limited to modeling, writing, drawing, horseback riding, cosmetology, and death metal vocals.
Graphic design majorly ties into my every day life. It's enough to drive anyone crazy, really. I'm taunted by bad design almost everywhere I go. Instead of spending time choosing what I want at a restaurant, I spend most of my time unintentionally finding all the flaws in the menus and place mats. It's gotten worse since I've completed my first year as a graphic design major. Not only does it apply to graphic elements, but design elements in general. I'm a very detail-oriented person, and it definitely shows.
What has it been like working with bands then and now?
I've learned over the years that working with bands can be absolutely ridiculous. I've worked with people who did not cooperate well at all. If you ask someone for their service, it's only appropriate and professional that you follow through. I've had some very difficult times getting all of the information/pictures/etc. in a timely manner; extending projects that should only take a few weeks to a few months. I've worked with bands who strategically removed watermarks off of previews I sent so they could avoid paying for their graphics. Most people don't understand nor appreciate the time and effort put into graphic design, and it's offensive for any graphic designer when an individual wants a large project for free.
But as of recently, I've been working with bands on their best professional behavior, so everything's running smoothly.
What programs do you use and how many years have you been using them for?
As a designer, I use many programs. Adobe Photoshop is my number tool in my trade. I know that program like the back of my hand. I've been using it for almost seven years now. Another important program I use is Adobe InDesign. InDesign is more based on textual work such as magazines and newsletters. I've only been using InDesign for about a year now. I recently made a band logo in Adobe Illustrator, and while I don't have much experience with it yet, I can already tell it's going to be a big part in my design process. Adobe makes Creative Suites with a bunch of different programs, and the Design Suite is what I, along with my other fellow designers, find most useful.
While I'm talking about the programs I do use, I may as well mention the programs I refuse to use. My number one program that I wouldn't be caught dead using is Paint, or any software similar to it. It's incredibly obsolete to say the least, and I don't recommend using it at all if you plan on creating something remotely professional-looking. Another program I avoid is Gimp, a free, downloadable rip-off of Photoshop. I've reviewed it in the past, and it just doesn't provide the options nor the quality to create standard-level design.
What do you think of the metal underground today?
I truly appreciate the underground. It provides us with talented artists and music to enjoy without the fear of ever selling out. It provides me with steady clientele and an endless supply of design possibilities. I enjoy promoting underground bands with my work, and for those who want to succeed higher than the underground, my work will surely help get them there.
Are you all for the mp3/ipods, digital age or are you for the art and old style of music production? Ipods seems like a bit of a mind fuck to me. Since people can't sit their and listen to albums like they use to, they always listen in for 5 secs and shuffle to something else.
Because I was only born in 1992 and my music taste didn't really start until I was 13, I never had the chance to appreciate older forms of music production. I'm in the generation of the iPod. While many people use their iPods for more things other than music (apps, internet), I use mine solely for music. I have the first generation iTouch, so mine doesn't come with all the fancy gadgets that the newer generations have. I enjoy using it because of the availability of music at my fingertips. I drive a good hour and back to college every day, so I find it very useful to plug into my car.
What is your area like and has any good bands come your way?
My area is not the best, but certainly not the worst. I live in small town in the middle of the woods, and there's only one local band from this area. In order to see anything remotely spectacular, I normally have to venture up to Albany. I saw Ensiferum at Northern Lights a few years back, and I really regret not knowing them at the time because they're one of my favorite bands now. I was supposed to the vocalist of a death metal band in Troy, but between lacking band members and college, I never found the time.
What do you think of the end of the world / day of rapture rumor that was going on?
I do not believe it whatsoever, especially the rumor that the world will end in 2012. I understand that the Mayan's calendar stopped at in 2012, but they weren't the only civilization to have a calendar. Even though we follow their calendar, other calendars counteract the suspicion that the world will end so soon. And besides, if the world really IS supposedly supposed to end, science could easily prevent it, and would be working on a prevention system right now.
What do you think is your greatest feature or something about yourself that you like?
I think one of my greatest features is how much care and effort I put into everything I do. I'm a major perfectionist (the after-effect of working with a very temperamental, strict college professor), so all of my work is done to the best of my ability. I've been told I'm very keen on detail, and my professors have admired me for it. I'm an animal rights activist, and if an animal is being mistreated, I will go the whole nine yards to secure it with safety. When I'm shopping for gifts, I will do everything in my power to make it the best gift I can afford. I'm a very caring, considerate person, and those traits have carried me far in my life.
How many artists have you worked with? Are you limited to just artists such as bands or do you work with other outside sources to get your work out there?
I can't recall how many artists I've worked with, but the number is always growing. From local bands to bands from states away, I've worked with plenty. That being said, my clientele isn't limited to only bands. I've done work for other clients such as the CSEA, Schoolhouse Pediatrics, and the Ashokan Center. As I'm gaining more coverage with Redemption Designs, I plan on stopping by local businesses from Kingston, NY to Poughkeepsie, NY handing out my custom-made business cards and reviewing my design portfolio.
What do you think the people and readers of Transylvanian Forest Zine should know about you and how they can get a hold of you for art and web layouts and all that great stuff you work hard at? How to contact?
I thank you all for taking the time to read my interview, and I'm currently open to any and all requests for design work. I strongly recommend anyone, interested in getting work done or not, to visit Redemption Design's Facebook page (Facebook.com/RedemptionDesigns) to check out my online portfolio. While you're there, be sure to 'Like' the page so you can provide me with some feedback! I truly appreciate all the support I can get. For those who are interested in having some design work done, you can reach me at my design email address, RedemptionDesigns@live.com. As earlier mentioned, while my work is not free, it's well worth the money spent.
Xan, the owner of Satanica Productions (New Zealand), really likes your flyer. Would you like to continue to do flyers for him, or help him design web pages? I can send you his contact info.
I would love to help Xan with any of the design work he may need. While I'm not a webpage designer, I can sure help with the graphics for his webpage.
What lies ahead of you for this summer, and I can't thank you enough for the time out for this interview. If you like to give any shout outs to people, do so now! :) And thank you for the flyer, I enjoy it very much and should help spread more notice of my band around and help out with cd sales. You got the goods. :) -Danny
Thanks Dan :D
My summer is booking fast between the graphic design work and modeling jobs I have. I'm currently working on a logo for a local band, and I see plenty more jobs of the like in my near future. I'll also be doing more commercial designs which should go smoothly. As I previously said, I'm going to spread the work about Redemption Designs to all of the local businesses in the area, so more work should be coming out of that. As for modeling jobs, I'll be hair modeling for a Paul Mitchell cosmetology student, modeling as a pin-up girl on the cover of an album, as well as for casual photography. Vacation-wise, I'll be heading to Wildwood, NJ- a vacation way overdue.
Again, thanks to all who took the time to read this interview! I'm very privileged to gain this kind of support, and hopefully this will help my business out. If anyone needs anything or knows someone who does, don't hesitate to email me!
- Leanna White, Redemption Designs