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A picture of Jake Hollands

Jake Hollands

Multi-disciplinary graphic designer

in designer, developer, game, windows

Who are you, and what do you do?

I'm Jake Hollands --- or in person it's "Jake Hollands -- no not Collins. Holland the country, but with an 's' on the end-- yes I know Holland isn't technically a country".

I've currently settled on calling myself a 'multi-disciplinary graphic designer', but that does feel like a little bit of a cop-out. I used to work as lead artist at Roll7 making Not A Hero, creating a prototype for another game, and covering everything from character design & animation to typography, 3D design & marketing materials. I now work as a designer & front-end dev at Tui media, where I created my free web-game SPACEPLAN in downtime & my free time. To my surprise it appears to have been very well received! My main area of interest is designing for enjoyable interaction.

What hardware do you use?

At work I'm using one of those lovely large, thin iMacs with a Magic Mouse & little Apple keyboard --- I love all three of these things.

I go home to a gaming/rendering PC which I built with my brother. He used the GPU to mine dogecoins before they crashed, then sold it to me. Because of this patches of my screen will flicker & glitch out. It's fun, if not a bit worrying. My PC has a large mechanical keyboard with custom-printed keys --- all in lovely grey & red uppercase Futura. It was great to begin with, but now it's just a noisy inconvenience --- I much prefer my Apple keyboard at work. It also has the least obnoxious Razer mouse that I could find, and a Dell Ultrasharp monitor which I used to love, but have started to resent since I started using Apple's Retina displays at work.

Away from the computer I scribble in Moleskines like everybody else & found myself an 'Ogami Professional' book with 'stone paper', which I'm really getting into. I'll sometimes grab a pile of Muji passport notebooks too --- they're great for small projects & quick ideas. I'm also in love with my Mark+Fold Mark One so much that I'm usually too scared to use it or carry it anywhere. As per Sean McCabe's recommendation I tend to use Micron pens, and often a cheap biro or whatever pencils are laying about.

And what software?

After sketching ideas out I'll usually move on to Adobe Illustrator to experiment & refine, then Photoshop for texture, further refinement & colour editing if necessary. InDesign for print work, and I can't recommend Cinema 4D enough for designers who want to do quick 3D design --- I've used it to create sprites for pixel games, models & characters for Unity, cool GIFs to share on Twitter & Tumblr, and even used it in SPACEPLAN.

For game dev it's obviously Unity, although I've moved towards coding JS / HTML / CSS in Atom alone since I find it restricts thinking much less. I do need to experiment more with other code editors, but so far I love Atom very much.

I'm getting into using git to stay organised, although I'm still experimenting with GUIs for Windows --- none of them seem too great. Tower on Mac is lovely however. For project management I'll use Trello if I have others involved --- it was fantastic for beta testers on SPACEPLAN. For independent management I'll use Agile on my phone --- it's very good for quick & simple task management.

When it comes to audio I'll usually mess around with Audacity & Adobe Soundbooth. I'd love to get better with with other tools however --- I've had a dusty MIDI Keyboard sitting around for years. I find Ableton quite intimidating so I grab my friend Logan whenever I need some polished audio done.

What would be your dream setup?

A simple MacBook Pro & Magic Mouse inside a large working space which discourages going straight to the computer for tasks. I'd like two desks --- one covered in different types of paper, inks, paints & other things that I can make a mess with --- the other clean, minimal computer bits, one of those lovely Japanese flip-clocks that Cory Schmitz has, a pen and my Mark+Fold notebook. I suppose my dream setup would also involve either an HTC Vive or perhaps a better choice --- a decent daydream-ready phone so I can begin experimenting with accessible VR.