Saturday, July 14, 2012

The Interview Series: Fellow CorelDRAW Master & artist Joe Diaz, Pontiac, IL, USA

Joe Diaz and I were both elected CorelDRAW Masters by Corel corporation in Canada, for their CorelDRAW Master Program. To be named and selected like this directly by Corel as a CorelDRAW and PHOT-PAINT user, is an honour for both of us. This way Joe and I came to know each other a bit. I discovered the work and art by Joe and I really liked what I saw. Joe is simply brilliant in what he does both artistically, designwise as well as a user of CorelDRAW. With no further ado, I present to you - Joe Diaz




Your Name: Joseph Diaz

Website: Diaz Sign Art
http://www.diazsignart.com/

Style & type of work you produce? 

Comercail Art including: Signs, Logos, Print Design, Hand Painted Murals, Vehicle Graphics, Vector Illustrations. 





You like myself is a user of CorelDRAW Graphics Suite, and both of us named CorelDRAW Master by Corel

What was it that made you discover and ultimately drew you to CorelDRAW Graphics Suite?

I grew up in the sign industry. My Parents started the local sign shop and I worked there as a kid. Early on they switched to CorelDRAW. At first, as a kid, I just used CorelDRAW to play around. By the time I got to highschool, I began doing comercial sign work and logo designs for our family buisness. I've been using DRAW ever since.

What year was it? 

My parents first began using V1 in 89. I'm sure as a kid I played around in it, but my first real memories of using CorelDRAW was version 4 in the early 90s.

Which Programs do you use, Corel and none-Corel programs? 

CorelDRAW, most recently CorelPAINTER, Expressions Web for web development, Flash Pro, Poser and DAZ3D

Do you use any non-computer aided tools in conjunction with your work? 

Yes. we still do alot of work here by hand. Our murals may be initialy designed in CorelDRAW, but are all hand painted. Obviosly there is a lot of carpentry work when building signs. Some times when doing illustration work, I might start drawing by hand then scan the layout or illustration in to CorelDRAW and finalize it there.




Which year was it you started your business, your work? 

I didn't start our buisness but grew into it. Our shop was founded in 1979.

Would you recommend CorelDRAW Graphics Suite? 

Absoultly. In my oppinion it's the best graphic design suite out there. We love it because it is fexable and quick. We are able to design a wide range of projects in Corel, and it works well with all of our equipment. (printers and plotters)

What made you begin working with the work you do today?

At first as a summer and after school job. For a short period I wanted be an Archetect. I was actually pretty good at AutoCAD, but while attending college I had to get a job to pay for school, so I went to work for a different sign shop that was near campus. I guess at one point I realized that I loved being a graphic designer more than a draftsman because I was able to be a bit more creative.

What is that you like with your work? 

Almost every day is a different project, and every project is different from the last. It's challenging but fun at the same time.

In an interview in the Digital Artist Magazine (it seems to have been renamed Fantasy Artist), who interviewed me a few years back, I was asked what I would like to see in future versions of CorelDRAW Graphics Suite. Is there anything you would like to see?

CorelDraw makes auto backups, which is great. but if you force corel to close or it crashes and you restart Draw, it will attempt to open all of those autobackups. It asks you if you would like to open them, but they no longer have a specific name. Instead it's "Graphic 1" "Graphic 2", etc.. I think it would be great if the autobackups also retained the file name so you know what file you are agreeing to open. Elliptical or rectangular gradients.

The ability to organize your fonts within Draw. Let's say you wanted to temporarily group all you san-serif fonts together, or scripts, etc... I've got thousands and thousands of fonts and I have a hard time remembering all their names. Sometimes I'm like "I need slab font" then I scroll all the way through the list looking for all of the fonts that fit that category until I find the perfect font for the job. A feature like that would save me sooo much time.
Another feature that I would find useful would be a stop watch feature that keeps track of how long you have been working on a given file. It would have to some how record how long you are working though and not how long the file is open. 






Do you drink coffee or tea in the morning? 

Nope. OJ and cereal are my weapons of choice.

What do you think is important to think about running your own business or in your line of work, to think about. Is it discipline or and something else? 

Patience, knowing when to disconnect yet allways remaining open to new ideas and a willingness to learn, and lastly never excepting that you are good enough.

For someone just starting out, what do you think they should think about? 

Learning the basics of design first. Color, contrast, composition, etc... The tool dosn't make the craftsman. In other words: It dosn't matter how fantastic your software is If you don't understand the basics of layout and design first.

Is there any big change in how and what you worked with when you first started out. Have the business changed in any way? 

Computers and Computer aided designs have taken a much larger role in our industry from when I was a kid. First it was Paint and screen printing then vinyl, now digital printing. I can't wait to see what's next.


Thank you Joe!
Great to talk with you 

Stefan Lindblad
www.canvas.nu

All photographs courtesy by Joe Diaz

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