5 Questions with…Elliot Jay Stocks

If you visit inspiration websites you’ve probably seen Elliot’s work! Each website seems to contain an element of surprise. Some noteable clients would include EMI Records, The Beatles and Trojan Records. Elliot was extremely generous in allowing us to interview him. We hope you enjoy this edition of 5 Questions.

1. Your speaking engagements seem to be filling up your 2009 calendar. In the last year or two you’ve been doing more and more . What is it about these events that keep you flying all over the world?

Well, getting flown around the world for free is always a good motivation! ;) But seriously: I love being able to meet so many people working on the web, but in a real-world setting. Sometimes it’s easy to forget that we’re all real people and not just email addresses or Twitter aliases! Our industry is a global one, and it’s great to talk to designers and developers with such a range of experiences and specialisms. Getting on stage and talking about subjects I believe in, and finding that other people feel just as passionately as me… well, there’s a lot of gratification in that.

Elliot Jay Stocks

2. You left Carsonified 1 year ago to embark on this freelance journey. What was the most surprising thing you had to learn quickly in order to stay on top of things now that you are your own boss?

Probably that so much of my time would be taken up with project management! Even though it’s usually just me working on a project, I underestimated how much of my time would have to be spent in iCal, Things, and Mail, booking things in and rearranging project schedules. I think I’ve got it sorted now, and actually it takes very little time at all, but it’s something that caught me unawares when I first started.

3. What one piece of advice could you give to a new web designer or developer that might help them in their new freelance career?

Try and plan ahead, and use your calendar wisely. I’m usually booked for about three or four months in advance, and if anything changes, I can see it from a long way off and re-shuffle work where necessary. Of course, being booked far in advance has its downsides too, but it’s far better to be turning away work than not being able to get enough in the first place.

Elliot Jay Stocks

4. We all know you’re a big music lover since you’re working on a new EP and blogging about it, so how important is music while you’re designing or coding? Will it affect your mood thus the design?

If you’d asked me that a few years ago I would’ve said music has a huge effect on the kind of design I do, but that’s not so much the case now, and rightfully so, I believe. I listen to what I love, but if a certain genre made me design a certain way, that’d be bad, since I’d only be responding to my own feelings and not the brief the client gave me!

I will say, though, that my slightly more obscure musical tastes are indeed reflected in my sometimes obscure approach to design. Ultimately, music was responsible for getting me into design in a big way, since my first proper designs were for my own CDs. With this new EP, I’m just as excited about the design of the packaging as I am about the creation of the music, so nothing’s changed!

5. Elliot your portfolio is full of gorgeous designs. Since all must be a labor of love, can you select your favorite and tell us why it’s your favorite?

Thank you – that’s very kind of you to say. Not all were labours of love, though! But it’s definitely true to say that the better projects were the ones that I enjoyed the most. One of my favourites was the site for Massive Attack’s ‘Collected’ album – working with one of my all-time favourite bands was a great experience, and I’m still really proud of that site, even though it’s over 3 years old.

Elliot Jay Stocks Portfolio

Bonus Question – PC or Mac?

Mac all the way! :)

6 Comments on "5 Questions with…Elliot Jay Stocks"

  1. Dan says:

    Jeez, number 2 was a loaded question wasn’t it!? haha

    I gotta say that massive attack site is a favourite of mine as well. Good interview.


  2. good interview thank you for post..

  3. Love you Elliot :D (Not literal ;) ). Great interview guys.


  4. John says:

    Nice interview and great to read as I’m just about to embark on the journey myself, though I’d imagine it’ll be a lot less glamorous!

    (great to see commenter links turned on now too!)

  5. Glad everyone enjoyed the interview. @John, we’d be happy to interview you as well! Maybe you have tips to share when you get your freelancing up and running!

  6. Frank says:

    Photoshopped Image Killer is a tool that detects Photoshopped images through a series of components. Some components focus on the image’s metadata which others focus on the internal information structure. It’s not limited to Photoshop though, images manipulated by other image editors can be detected as well.

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