Featured Illustrator

Aidan Ryan

July 2018

We've noticed heyaidan's work popping up all over the place in Brisbane (including my neighbours living room wall) so we decided to have a chat with the cool dude himself, Aidan Ryan about finding like-minded doodlers to boost your motivation, developing iMessage stickers, and of course — skateboarding 🤙🏼🤙🏼

Give us the elevator pitch on what you do.

Alright well starting on the ground floor, my name is Aidan and I go under the alias heyaidan. Shoutout to squarespace for suggesting that as a URL haha. Going up to level 1, I am an Illustrator and Graphic Designer based in Brisbane. Coming up on the second floor, you can find me at the skatepark or in the streets mucking around with an analogue camera of some kind. On the final floor, I immerse myself in all things colour! Whether it's what I'm wearing or drawing with, I love a good colour palette.

What are some of your earliest creative memories and what lead you into design?

Some of my earliest memories of creativity was when I was in primary school, I would just be doodling in all the sides of my books. Just drawing fun little characters and a lot of skateboarding related doodles haha. Soon after I stopped drawing, pretty much because I was getting more and more obsessed with skateboarding. Towards the end of high school I tapped back into my creative side and started to pursue photography. It wasn't until halfway through my degree I decided I was done with taking snaps and wanted to jump into graphic design! Then funnily enough, I picked up the pens and started doodling again in my final year of my bachelor. Since then I've been doodling non-stop and loving it.

How did you develop your style as an illustrator and what tips would you have for others?

First things first, surround yourself with illustrators you aspire to be. For ages I was following all the illustrators who did super detailed, realistic sketches of faces/animals etc. This convinced me that I was no good at illustration. As soon as I found some like-minded doodlers, I was more motivated to illustrate. As far as developing a style, I was just drawing anything and everything. Experimenting with different directions and figuring out what I was most comfortable with. It was definitely a lot of food based doodles at the start for some reason. I found them easy to work with because they were compiled of simple shapes. For me, simple execution was key because I could focus more on fun, quirky concepts.

"

For ages I was following all the illustrators who did super detailed, realistic sketches and it convinced me that I was no good at illustration. As soon as I found some like-minded doodlers, I was more motivated to illustrate.

"

Any passion projects/collabs you would like to share?

Passion projects are my life! I try to keep something on the side to keep things fresh and fun. At the moment, I run a little brand called HEYA. Basically an excuse to give life to my illustrations through caps, tees, zines and most recently, pins! I'm not trying to be the next big hit with it, I'm just here to create stuff I would wear and rock. Hopefully you guys too! I also recently collaborated with an app developer and I brought out with my very own iMessage stickers which was a super fun experience and they turned out great. You can find them here.

What advice would you give students starting out?

My advice would be is to just have fun with whatever you're pursuing! I changed my mind at least 3 times because I wasn't satisfied I had learnt enough of all the good stuff. Which brings me to my next tip. Don't just box yourself in as a "designer" or "illustrator". Be both or more! Everything can become hand in hand.

Website: heyaidan.com

Instagram: @heyaidan_

The
Design
Kids

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter and join our design community of emerging graphic designers around the globe.

The
Design
Kids

Add a job!

Price ($AUD): {{ job.boosted ? job.type.boosted : job.type.base }}

What you get:

  • TDK Job board posting for 3 weeks (website, newsletter)
  • Guaranteed instagram post (179,969 followers), facebook post (15,646 followers) and tweet (10,304 followers)

Please note:

  • The image we’ll use on Instagram will be curated by us and loosely linked to your company to get the best results for you from our audience. Sit back and relax, we’ve got this!
  • Internships are free to post, but please be respectful! This is is not a free design service. Our student and graduate following is of the highest quality and we want to honour their talent. Please respect the students and other commitments they might have time/money wise when submitting your ad. Thanks!
  • We love jobs! And so does our audience. Because our following is mostly students and graduates, the best jobs to advertise are for junior and mid weight roles. Specially graphic design, digital design, typography and illustration. Please note these are paid full time or part time roles, so if you have a one off project to advertise, put it under our Freelance jobs dropdown instead. Thanks!
  • (Please note the image we’ll use on Instagram will be of our choice and no necessarily from your company, but will be loosely linked to your ad, it will be the highest of standards and one which you will get the best results from our audiences with. Trust us, we’ve got this!)
  • Welcome to our new section for freelance one-off jobs! To keep things simple, we want to connect you with the talent by advertising what you need, and encouraging people to email you directly with an example of their work. You can choose who to work with from all the submissions you receive. Everything is done online, and you can expect a designer to be dealing with you remotely. The good news is you won’t be limited to talent locally - this is advertised in each of our cities, meaning you will get a much higher standard of work to choose from. Picking a budget is very hard - we do not encourage work for a fiver like some websites, because you will end up with something worth a fiver!

    Our community is full of the best emerging talent, and a average price should be around half of that of a professional. Our community is full of the best talent, and a average price should be around $65 p/h.
  • (Please note the image we’ll use on Instagram will be of our choice and no necessarily from your company, but will be loosely linked to your ad, it will be the highest of standards and one which you will get the best results from our audiences with. Trust us, we’ve got this!)

  • {{ invalidInput() }}

    Successfully submitted job!

    Your job listing will appear on the site after it has been approved by our team.