The ‘Quick Five’: Actress Erica Watson Interviews Graphic Designer Charles Aikerson

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Artwork by Charles Aikerson

Charles Aikerson is a Chicago based graphic designer who describes himself as “just a guy who loves print design.”  But he is much more than that.

He studied painting and drawing at The School of the Art Institute, then transferred to University of IL. in Chicago (UIC) studying Studio Arts and Graphic Design. After school he freelanced in the Chicago area getting better and better with each assignment.

Now with more than fifteen years of professional design experience, he is highly capable of managing and implementing projects from conception to completion. He possess a trained eye for color, brand cohesiveness and content, and a passion for creating crisp, clean, eye-catching designs utilizing bold typography and a strong ?color.

Charles loves to work with small businesses and has done a lot of work for female entrepreneurs which is why we are featuring him on DVD.

Read his story below and be prepared to be inspired!

1. How did you get you start as a graphic designer?

I got my start as a Graphic Designer in a crazy way. I married my college girlfriend because she join the Army for school benefits, after that Pres. Clinton immediately sent her to war in Bosnia. Two weeks later she sent a dear john letter saying she fell in love with somebody else and she don’t want to be married anymore. So I’m in military housing, with no wife, no job, no money. Looking through the paper I saw that there was an Art Convention coming to town with an Art contest with a cash reward. I spent my last on a ticket, won the art contest, (I drew Wolverine). and landed a job at Twilight Graphics in New York. God is GOOD!

2. When you are working with a client, what are the key things you need from them so that you can get the job done?

When working with a new client I need concise clear instructions, best in writing with my parameters. Lots of people will have an abstract idea that will take me through revision after revision, you lose time and money. So a competent designer will ask LOTS of questions!

Design work by Charles Aikerson
Design work by Charles Aikerson

3. What inspires you?

What inspires me is GOOD Art! Not only my media of Graphic Design, but music, movies, singing, etc. I love internalizing great art, I feed on it.

4. What other artists or people have influenced your creative work?

How has inspired me as a designer? Multiple people, First and foremost Dawn Kelley, a Chicago Graphic Designer and my former boss, hands down the best designer I’ve ever met. Out side my field, I’m inspired by tech giant Steve Jobs, film director Steve McQeeen, and musicians Ne-Yo, John Legend, and Maxwell to name a few. When I see what they do, I sit on my mac and create, it could be a catalog, logo design or anything, I am truly inspired. I LOVE GOOD ART.

5. And for fun…if you could have any super power what would it be and why?

If I could have a super power, it would be flight! I know it’s not very original, but it cost too much to park in Chicago.

Actress and Comedian Erica Watson interviews plus industry leaders and/or supporters in a column that she calls the Quick 5 with Erica Watson.

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