Getting to Know Movetic’s New Designer: Daniel Wells
Last week, Movetic welcomed a new team member, designer Daniel Wells, and we couldn’t be more excited to have him on-board.
Daniel grew up in a town in Western Michigan called Grand Rapids. When talking about where he grew up, he said “I believe Michigan is one of the most underrated states.” Daniel spent his childhood outdoors in his home state – summers were spent at all the beautiful beaches and lakes and he began snowboarding at the age of 10. His love for snowboarding played a big role in his decision to attend University in Utah in Salt Lake City. Initially, he didn’t attend university for design. But around his third year there, Daniel developed a major passion for designing after taking a few classes.
Before finishing at University of Utah, Daniel accepted a job as an associate designer at a fashion technology startup called Stitch Fix in San Francisco. As much as he loved his experience with his work and life in the city, San Francisco’s unpredictable weather drove him down south to San Diego and Movetic was lucky enough to snag him. Daniel said, “I live right around the corner from the office and about 2 blocks from the beach. Life couldn’t get much better.”
I wanted to ask Daniel more about his work, inspirations, creative process, advice for creatives and designers, and more…
When did you realize you wanted to be a designer?
I’ve always loved drawing growing up and was interested in the digital media classes in high school and eventually became an editor for the school newspaper. I don’t think I realized I wanted to be a designer then, but I think between that and always wanting to put art on snowboards as a kid – everything kind of fell into place.
You were sponsored by Monster energy drink for snowboarding, right? What was it like on the team?
I was just flow for them and Salomon in University. Filming snowboarding was mine and my friends everyday activity then. We would wake up everyday and go to the mountain or film in the streets. Such an awesome time. The freedom and lack of responsibilities is something I took for granted then I think. But I look back and value it so much now. We also probably drank way too much whiskey chased with monster.
That’s awesome. And, what did you do for Stitch Fix??
I was an associate designer for Stitch Fix. I was brought on about 2 and a half years ago before we had a men’s side of the business. I worked super closely with my director to build the men’s brand. Everything from packaging, branding, art direction, casting, to the blog look and feel started with us. It was an awesome experience to see it the men’s side launch a year and a half after all the work that was put in. Aside from that I worked closely with the product development team, creating and branding our Exclusive brands. Which is our in-house clothing labels. I think I created a full trim package for about 4 or 5 brands. It was super fun to get that kind of work while working at an in-house company.
What’s your creative process? Do you have a routine or is it sporadic?
It varies depending on the project. But I normally research and gather a bunch of inspiration that seems appropriate for the project at-hand. From there, I doodle and sketch for about an hour. Once I get a rough idea of some of the attributes I want to portray, I start to bring that into Adobe Illustrator. From there, I just try and get as many ideas out as possible. Good and bad. Most of the time, I get about 30 ideations down and from there pick about 4 or 5 that are decent and pursue those from there.
Selections from Daniel’s portfolio, pre-Movetic. Check out more of his work at http://www.danielgwells.com/
What are some brands you admire the most?
Patagonia, Filson, La Croix, Hidden Valley Ranch.
Who or what inspired your creativity the most growing up?
My sister definitely had an influence on me to do art when I was younger. Aside from that, I really looked up to Matisse, Picasso, as well as a lot of Egyptian pottery and greek art. Symbolism has always played a big role in my process.
What’s your favorite piece of advice that you’ve gotten?
You can’t receive what you don’t give.
What’s your favorite part about working with the Movetic team so far?
The people and culture is awesome. Creative freedom and exploration is a super important thing and everyone really values that here. Work hard play hard.
What do you believe is the future of design?
It’s hard to say, technology and trends change so much I don’t really think we can predict the future of design. But if I had to I would probably have to say something along the lines of personalization of reactive design for user experience.
What would you say is your strongest skill and how have you honed that skill over the years?
I think I am pretty mediocre at everything. But I really love to draw things in a minimalist fashion. I started out just doodling in a notebook and eventually I bought a tablet and started transferring things into a different medium. I used to get super frustrated that things never turned out how I wanted them to. Eventually I got to the point where I was satisfied I guess and other people appreciated the work as well. So that was pretty gratifying but I still don’t think I have quite honed in my skills to where I want them to be yet.
What are you currently fascinated by and how is it reflect in your work?
Design wise – I’m fascinated by pottery, and experimental design. I am also really into all of the things happening with typography. A lot of cool and quirky typefaces are being produced and some crazy cool applications.
Is there any specific routines, environments, or aids that get you in your “zone”??
I find i’m most creative after doing some sort of physical activity. Music also plays a big role. I probably listen to music 85% of my day.
What are you passionate about outside of design?
I enjoy being outdoors as much as I can. I like to surf, snowboard, camp, travel, bike, and spend time with my friends and family.
What’s your personal motto?
Great time to be alive!
Do you have any tips for aspiring designers?
I feel like anything I say is going to be cliche, haha. First of all, take my advice with a grain of salt. But one thing i’ve learned is just do what makes you happy and what you want to do. The best advice is your own. If you try to live your life by others people’s advice you won’t follow your own path. Same thing with art. Things always have a way of working themselves out if you stick to yourself.
Safe to say, we’re glad to have Daniel on the team and can’t wait to see what we all can create together. We have a lot of exciting projects coming out soon – a shoe line and whiskey brand, just to name a couple – and Daniel is going to have a big impact on them all. So, here’s to exciting new growth for the Movetic team.