Tell us a bit about yourself and what you actually do?
My name is Jermaine Craig. I’ve been web designing for two years and designing in general for five. I’ve just got a love for computers! I’ve had a computer since I was a kid – I was one of the first people on my estate to have one, so I was on that all day! I made my first website when I was nine years old…
That’s crazy! At nine years old, what did you make?
It was a website where you can download game cheats [laughs] – I got a couple friends to upload stuff as well and that’s how I got into it really, I’ve always been doing it, as in if I had nothing to do, what I would be doing was that, so I thought this is what I want to do and make money from it.
You said you were the first person on your estate to get a computer, were you popular for it?
I was born and raised in Barking Gascoigne estate, so people used to just come over to play games to start off with, then I started making a website on Microsoft FrontPage then put it up online after taking about a year to create, no one really went on it but it was good to have it up [laughs].
What was your first paid work would you say and how much was it for?
It was a little banner I made for a music artist, he paid me about five pounds [laughs]
When did it actually start getting serious?
It got serious when I joined Creative Nerds when I was sixteen, but then it got more serious just at the beginning of this year as I dropped out of college to pursue it further. I then registered another business that supports it called the Black Studio, since there it’s just been going from strength to strength.
You said you dropped out of college for this, was that difficult?
It was actually a book that made me drop out of college – “Rich Dad Poor Dad” by Robert Kiyosaki, I got into some problems last year October, some chilling on the streets kind of problems and the book was like a wakeup call that I got something good going on here and I really need to go hard with it. I started staying at home more and reading a lot of books and that’s when I realised that if I really want something I can make it happen.
Is it fair to say that web designing keeps you on a straight path?
Definitely, it keeps me away from the negativity basically.
Back to your skills, since you first started how far have you come?
I feel like I’m learning something new every day, that’s what I love about it, that’s why I stopped graphic designing and switched on to web designing! With graphic designing, you just get better at designing and keep on doing that, but with web design you learn new codes every day, you learn new techniques and there’s constantly new program languages being introduced, so there’s a lot to learn.
Is there certain surrounding you like to be around when working?
I’m not really one of them go to Starbucks with a laptop guys [laughs] I just like doing it at home, sometimes I might get out a note pad to write down the codes, I put music on if I know what I’m doing, but if I really want to start structuring it, I just need to be in total silence so I can concentrate
There’s quite a few graphic designers and web designers, what would you say makes you different from them?
What makes me different is trying to be different. Trying to be more commercial with it, I try to branch away from the whole mix tape and rave flyer design and aim at more commercial based clients, and the experience as well, I think a lot of people are just jumping on it, whereas there are certain people that have been around for time and just want to really do it. I think if you really want to do something, you got to want to do it 100% and sacrifice the time.
What client thus far has been a highlight for you?
The biggest one for me at the time, was when I just joined Creative Nerds was doing a marketing campaign with NDubz. Also, I got a job for NHS promoting a safe sex campaign and I got to do that alone, so that was a big achievement
Is there anyone specific, you would love to do a site for?
I’m not too sure, there’s no one that I really aim to do a site for, but I’d like to get a Nike page up one day, because they let designers do certain product pages, so I’d really love it if I could get one of those up one day!
You’re only 18, where would you like to see yourself in five years from now?
I’m working on a few start-ups right now, so in five years, I’d like to see myself with about 3 start-up companies that are really going well and designing more of my own projects rather than other peoples
So, what’s the Black Studio about?
At the Black Studio we deal with visual branding, we take upcoming artists, talent, everything and we help them create a better online and visual presence!
Sounds good! What advice would you give to those in your field coming up?
I’d always recommend that people should just take the risk, if they want do something, there’s no reason why you can’t, you can make it happen if you really want to, just have to understand what you want to do, and you’ll get there. You have to make sure you’re taking the necessary steps, because if you’re not, you’re really just setting yourself up for failure.
Are there any future projects we should be looking out for?
I got the Pardon My Blog site that’s just come out, also got an agency I’m working with called ‘Plan It Well’ – I’m releasing a few sites with them and Mac B interiors, which is an interior design company. I got a couple things I’m doing myself, one called ‘Fast Credits’, a virtual terminal for buying credits off an online 3D thing called IVU, but that’s aimed at the American market, other than that I got a few iPhone apps coming out too!
CHECK OUT ALL OF JERMAINE CRAIG’S WORK AT:
Words by Ra’ed Poetical