Discover a new type of digital art, that brings a conceptual freshness to the Caribbean artistic scene. Lively portraits, “exotic” places and houses by the talented Nicholas Huggins. This graphic designer from Trinidad & Tobago, is multi-skilled : branding and package design, social media content to brochure design and illustration. He appropriates various Pop art codes : by using celebrities, international icon, while imbuing its vibrant culture.
C – You’re currently a self-employed graphic designer. Can you explain me your career path ? Are you in currently in Trinidad ?
N – I am currently based in Trinidad, however I am in Colombia at the moment as I just worked on a design and strategy project here connecting local farmers with viable customers. As far as my career path, my first job out of school was working as the in-house graphic design for Burger King Trinidad. After that I became a senior art director at McCann Port-of-Spain where I stayed for 2 and a half years. I then decided to leave McCann to freelance full time.
« Color usage in the Caribbean is definitely one of my biggest inspirations. »
C – What inspires you? What is your main artistic inspiration?
N – I take inspiration from many things. I particularly love how people communicate ideas, so for example in Trinidad & Tobago there are a lot of hand painted signs which are easy to read both to drivers and pedestrians with a bold use of color. Color usage in the Caribbean is definitely one of my biggest inspirations.
C – 2 years as a freelancer. Is it complicated to work as a graphic designer on an island? What are your better and worse experiences about it?
N – I imagine being a graphic designer on an island is similar to being a designer anywhere. The benefit is that because it is a small place, it may be a bit easier to make a name for yourself once you work hard. My best experiences is always at the end of a project and seeing the client happy with all the work that we have put in. As far as bad experiences, I think once you have a good contract with your client, it limits those bad experiences.
C – You have a big community on Instagram : 12,6k. How social media reach your work? It permits you to develop your sells or projects? N – Social media is a really useful tool for any business. For me personally, it has widened the audience that sees my work which has given me a lot of opportunities with brands that may have never seen my work had it not been for instagram. I don’t sell much on social media, but I do make connections with brands who hire me for various projects.
C – How do you start your own T-shirt brand?
N – T-shirts for me are the most diplomatic form of design. T-shirts are for everyone…not everyone may need a logo designed, or packaging designed, but anyone can wear a t-shirt. T-shirts are a nice way to make design accessible to everyone. In terms of how I got started, my business partner (who is one of my best friends) and I decided to create the brand in 2013 when we got back from university. It was a way to work on non-work-related projects, and to see if we could get the public to support our brand.
« I’d say my dream client would be a beer/alcohol company as it is something that I have not yet had a chance to work on »
C – What are your main creative tools ?
N – My primary tool is adobe Illustrator, and I usually work with a Wacom intuos pro. I’ve also recently started using the iPad pro and apple pencil. Other than that, photoshop and indesign for other jobs.
C – I saw on other interview that you said, you’ve got dream client. What was your favorite project ? N – I’d say my dream client would be a beer/alcohol company as it is something that I have not yet had a chance to work on. As far as my favorite project, I’d say this project that I just wrapped up in Cartagena. Apart from being a very collaborative project with many other designers, strategists, illustrators…it was also a project that was about social change and empowering the lives of farmers in Colombia. It was a great project executed with a great team of people.
C – What is the favorite artwork you’ve made? Why?
N – This is a tough one! I’d say my favorite thing that I’ve ever made was probably the packaging for Gina’s Midnight Hummingbird Chocolate. It was a project that was very well received in Trinidad, and it is something that I am still very proud of.
A beautiful discovery made in the Caribbean, It’s pleasure to show you the talent of our islands. If you need a Graphic Designer, you know who to contact!
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