Episode 06 – Kyran Weir: The Extraordinary Ordinary Series.

Kyran is a talented graphic designer, animator and illustrator who currently is putting his skills to use to create artwork, and engage with the community, for some of the UK’s top confectionery brands.

On top of this, he volunteers his creativity to support Oxfam Bookstores across York with their designs, bookmarks and publications, as well as lending a hand time to time with the local community independent cinema and volunteering to create some of their graphics, logos and branding.

Outside of design, Kyran is a keen photographer, gamer and loves to watch films.

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What makes Kyran so extraordinary? Kyran is creative, has a fantastic imagination and is a lively and social character that everyone quickly warms to. At just twenty eight he has already travelled to over 48 incredible cities including trekking for ten weeks across Costa Rica, lived in four (soon to be five) countries, and is a brilliant cat-dad and husband.

He approaches work in a very different way to a lot of people, and his passion truly shines when he is applying his skill set to something he loves.

He has a natural curiosity, love for life, and a no-fear approach to trying something new, which is why he is probably so good at packing up his life into a few suitcases and moving to new places!

Kyran is soon going to be launching his own graphic design agency, and putting his everything into something he loves. It’s inspiring to watch this journey unfold.

So here are his answers to my twelve questions:

What makes you happy?

My wife, my cats, eating out in good restaurants, travelling, gaming, watching films. Okay, I could go on as many things make me happy which I guess is very lucky.

In a nutshell, I love my family, entertainment, socialising and being creative.

What book had the biggest impact on your life?

Tools of Titans by Tim Ferris

It made me work harder but also smarter, and it’s fantastic to read all about the people who really are living their best life and at the top of their respective fields.

It taught me that four good hours in a day can produce better quality work than eight bad hours.

Apply yourself, work hard and produce work of quality not quantity.

What quote, or saying, do you live by?

‘Practice choosing discomfort’

It is a way to become more disciplined. Don’t choose the easy route (which is my natural and preferred path!)

I am not saying I am good at this yet, but it’s something I am working towards.

How do you remain, or regain, your focus?

I like to look at motivational quotes, Ted Talks and look at other designers work across Instagram, Dribbble and Pinterest.

What inspires you?

Great Artists – Tom Haugomat, Mark Conlan, Oli Moss. My wife. My colleagues who work with me in the studio.

What are your top three priorities?
  1. Die without regrets
  2. See the world
  3. Love my wife, cats and family

I am not massively interested in traditional success in the sense of a big car, three houses and top-level career. What I want is to be happy, experience every opportunity that comes my way, and see the world not only whilst I am young, but continually throughout all of my life.

What’s the biggest misconception about you?

I am a laidback guy.

People think it when they initially meet me but it couldn’t be more wrong.

I am not great in a crisis, and get easily stressed about the little things, and can be wound up by my friends really easily, however at the same time I am very easy going and so people often confuse the two.

What two purchases have you made this year that you really value / had most impact?
  1. Manual Camera – Pentax K100. I wanted to get into film photography and this camera has been a fantastic way to experience and discover more about taking photos in a more traditional way. I took it to Cuba with me where I got some fantastic shots.
  2. Audible Subscription. I love audio books, they are a way to make doing boring jobs easier, motivate yourself, and learn more.
Top tips for someone who wants to do what you do?

Anyone can do anything it’s just about putting time into it. YouTube is a great resource for learning to design.

Don’t think you instantly need to have your own ‘style’. Instead take influence from other peoples, copy their work, and learn how to do it until you find your own, it will come. Learn from people better than you. Design is just your thoughts and ideas, put down on paper and made real.

I would say you need to be able to also use Photoshop, Illustrator and After Effects if you want to design for a living.

What are you most proud of?

Teaching myself to design, illustrate and animate. I didn’t do a degree or a professional course to learn, but instead dedicated hours and hours to it around whatever job I was doing at the time.

I am still learning every day, and so this often means waking up between 5-6am to get in an hour or two before work of practice, and luckily I now get to spend a lot of time at work creating, but it’s a never ending journey.

I have found something I love to do and managed to do it for a living. I would recommend you do the same, and you won’t work a day in your life, but don’t worry if you are on a long journey there.

It took me eight years, doing jobs in five different areas and industries, to discover and then build up the skills to do what I am doing now. Your time will come, just work hard for it.

In three months I am about to embark on the next big adventure in my career. Setting up my own design business. I just need to make it a success now.

An unusual habit of yours?

When I game (Xbox) I grind my teeth, my dentist hates it. It has meant I now have a problem with lockjaw as well. Not good.

What do you do every single day?

I listen to music without fail.

I am currently a bit obsessed with The War on Drugs – A Deeper Understanding. It’s a great album, you should check it out.

Thanks Kyran, perhaps it is about time I checked out Audible, and discovered more about YouTube tutorials!

His Key Advice:

  • You often don’t instantly land in a job you love, but the journey is all part of the amazing experience to get there.
  • Anyone can do anything if they put enough time into it.
  • Learn from people better than you
  • Audible is great for discovering new books, podcasts and more
  • Try to produce more work of quality, rather than volumes of lower standard work in a higher quantity.

If you want to see more of Kyran’s designs, you can follow him on Instagram here.

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