Neil Cambre is the Graphic Designer and Web Manager at the Oklahoma City Community Foundation (http://occf.org/), and he’s also the creator of a web comic, The Life of Shock Watson at http://nilcomics.blogspot.com/p/prelude.html.
- What inspires you to be more creative?
I am easily inspired; everything from comics to animation to random color swatches tend to spark ideas. The biggest challenge in design is to express my personal creativity while maintaining the visual identity of the organization I’m working with. I derive a great deal of inspiration from that limitation.
- What is your creative process like as you begin a new sketch or design?
In my field, I primarily produce publications. My first step is to create a cover that captures the feel of the project, is identifiable as being from the organization, and has an interesting look. I then create a basic look for the interior with emphasis on common elements such as headline treatments, body copy style, caption typography, and pull quote style. Once the basics are in place, I can start to flesh out the remaining elements, which should accent the basic elements while adding a unique visual texture to the piece.
- How have you seen the vibe of Oklahoma City evolve over the last few years?
The first word that comes to mind is growth. When I moved here, there were very few options for downtown living. There are now myriad options. The number of interesting neighborhoods has exploded as well. It’s shocking to think that just a few years ago the Plaza District and Film Row were barely there. Both districts are such vibrant places in the metro now.
- How has your work at the Oklahoma City Community Foundation affected you personally?
I’ve learned how to push creativity while maintaining an organization’s brand and appearance. That concept is very valuable to graphic designers but is glossed over in school. From a technical point-of-view, I’ve been given the chance to learn more about web technologies and implementation than at any other job I’ve had. I’ve also learned a great deal about Oklahoma City and the nonprofit organizations operating here.
- What is your favorite Oklahoma eatery?
OKC has a very strong food scene so this is a tough question. The Wedge in Deep Deuce is my favorite in OKC; Haiget’s is my favorite in Edmond.