Why one pro designer swapped freelance life to start his own studio

I felt inspired by this fearless thinking and generally by anything that can challenge somebody’s sense of perception. We want people that we work with to be passionate about testing out innovative ideas and techniques, and we believe it’s important that they feel comfortable in their environment. We’ve just got an office space for our in-house team. Before I changed the name to Dazzle Ship I was essentially operating like a studio, I   just lacked the studio space and   the new   name. Photographer: Rosa Maria Koolhoven
Head over to the Dazzle Ship website to check out more of the studio’s work, follow the crew on Twitter and Instagram. Here, he explains why he closed the door on seven successful solo years for studio life, and the advantages that come with establishing a tight-knit creative team… What advice would you give to others   thinking about   setting up a studio? This summer, motion designer, art director and long-term Computer Arts collaborator Alex Donne-Johnson (aka Vector Meldrew) gave up a healthy freelance career to form his own design studio: Dazzle Ship. Right now we’re doing a fair bit of work for fashion brands, creating branded content and commercials. For a brief period at the start of the 20th century, warships were works of art. What made you ditch freelance life to head up Dazzle Ship? Ultimately, I felt I could be more effective as a creative director with   an overall vision for a studio. It’s a highly competitive area and involves constant hard work, so it’s not to be taken lightly. Words: Sammy Maine
Sammy Maine is staff writer at Creative Bloq. Adidas, for example, once let me loose on a whole campaign idea involving an art exhibition with projection mapping and a marketing strategy based around a documentary series of branded video content. Towards the end of my freelance period I   had built up a good amount of trust with some big clients like Adidas, Activision and WaterAid, which allowed me to pull together bigger projects. Alex Donne-Johnson in his new studio spaceFirst things first. This article first appeared in Computer Arts issue 233, a special issue (with a photochromatic cover) revealing the UK’s top 30 studios, plus how to craft the perfect folio and make more money as a student… What’s the main focus of Dazzle Ship? This forced me to start operating more like a studio, which in turn allowed me to take on bigger projects. It’s all about creating the right kind of environment to inspire creativity.

Updated: 04.12.2014 — 16:52