This week’s interview features Parklins Ifeanyichukwu (IC Parklins), a young Creative Designer who has done well for himself and has inspired a lot of people as well. He talks to us on the challenges he faces, the breakthroughs and gives us some insights on how to gain some advantages as a designer.
Can we meet you?
I’m Parklins Ifeanyichukwu preferably called IC Parklins, where “IC” is the acronym for “Ifeanyichukwu”.I’m a Lagos-based designer, born on the 1st of January, 1998. I’m an undergraduate of Graphic Design and Multi Media specialization at the Academy of Arts University, San Fransisco, CA, USA.
I’m the Creative Designer and Culture Code Chairman at the amazing Chocolate City Group, Graphic Designer at 5ive Music Group and Brand Ambassador at Funzi.
When did you start designing and why did you choose to be a designer?
I started designing Class posters back in high school at age 13 with the school’s computer room desktop. Professionally, I began in 2013 after high school. I decided to be a designer full time after asking myself what I could do without payment and still enjoy it forever and there came design.
What is your core area (s) of expertise as a designer?
My core areas are Branding, User Interface & Experience and Product Design.
Do you think your upbringing has an impact on what you do now?
Not really, my mum seized and tore my drawing books when I was growing up because she wanted me to focus on becoming a doctor.
What is the reason behind your passion for entrepreneurship and what is the objective of the daily success quotes you put up on social media lately?
The summary of this is because I’m on a journey to inspire designers, entrepreneurs and youths. I began this journey after realizing that some of the failures and problems in our world are caused by ignorance, impatience and negative vibes.
What is the greatest risk you have taken so far, as an entrepreneur?
The greatest risk so far has been quitting Medical school and focusing on the creative industry even without a clear destination of whether or not design can be a full time job.
How did you get into chocolate city group at such a young age and what is it like to work with a great man like Audu Maikori?
Taking the risk of venturing into the creative industry was worth it, as it got me into Chocolate City. And most of my on-the-job experiences were gotten by winning design competitions on Stutern.com.
Working with Audu (Maikori) has been remarkably amazing as he exposes I and the team to the benefits of team spirit and a great company culture.
Taking a peek into your daily tasks at chocolate city group; what is it like?
Life in Chocolate City is a daily creative hustle as I and my teams are challenged with how to solve problems, give value and capture value. Since Chocolate City Group is not just a media company but also an idea company, I’m challenged daily to work with the team and enter a lot of brainstorming sessions to help interpret our solutions.
What do you think the future holds for designers in Nigeria and Africa in general?
I think the future holds great things for designers in Africa. By 2020, I think the demand for Designers will be as high as that of Developers, because literally all forms of businesses will require a creative designer to help them better communicate with their audience especially via the New Media.
There have been lots of complaints from both experienced and rookie designers about client attitude towards them over the years. In your view, what can be done to make clients (both corporate and individual) appreciate designers more?
I have been in that shoe a whole lot but here is what I figured that works:
- I try as much as possible to not take up task if I have a lot So I get to use a lot of “No” so I don’t accept a project just to please the client unless I can balance it with projects I am working on.
- From the beginning of the conversation, it’s a good idea to make the deliverables clear especially formats e.g jpeg, PSD etc.
- Always keep an official record of the conversation. E.g. request an email and send deliverables via email even after giving out in hard copy.
- Listen to the client but still main rain design principles when dealing because some clients really do not know what they want. I’ma case where a concept has been rejected a couple of times, request a sketch from the client of what they have in mind. This puts them in your shoes and allow them break down their idea into a functional one.
Also, what can be done to make the design profession more attractive to prospective designers?
Prospective designers do not need an attractive industry to come on board, their passion for the hustle will do the attraction.
Where do you see yourself 3 years from now?
Improved, taking more risks and trying out all my ideas. To have initiated a massive movement of positive minded youths in Nigeria and Africa at large.
How do you get inspired, handle stress and pressure on the job?
I spend a great deal of time on Behance, Youtube, Dribble, Pinterest, Shutterstock for Inspiration, spend time with my family and also ask for Inspiration from God himself since he is the father of all creativity. I deal with stress by going to the gym and manage pressure by rejecting too much projects and focusing on my most priority.
What is your definition of design thinking?
Design Thinking is a powerful approach to problem solving. A process for addressing complex problems starting out to empathize, define, ideate, prototype and test.
What is your advice for prospective designers?
My Advice to prospective designers and the entire young people is;
- Discover purpose and drive with it. Start up your learning with theeasy for progress. Push daily, even just a little bit. What’s neededis to improve as you move.
- Take up design competitions; this is a fast way to build self-confidence in your art.
What are your social media handles or links?
Facebook- IC Parklins
Linkedin- IC Parklins
Behance- IC Parklins
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Editor: Oluyemi Imole