Made With Purpose. Allowed To Age.

Behind The Designer

"... I saw the opportunity to present the other characteristic of snakes, their protective instinct."
- Justin.



What do you currently do for a living/study?

Studied Industrial Design Honours at Monash and currently working as an
automotive designer.



Outside of COVID times, what else do you get up to?

Either watching sports or playing sports usually soccer, takes up most of my free time, and if it doesn’t effect match day you’ll definitely find me partying in the city on weekends.

What was your favourite design (aside from your own, obviously) and who did you think would win?

Umm...I plead the 5th ....with two of my best mates entering the competition
I’m going to have to keep my answer a secret here I think for my own safety!



Let us know another brand that you follow on IG that our followers should check out...

Must be @derschutze_clo ! It’s a really unique clothing brand that uses colour shifting heat sensitive designs and similar to Crooked Howlet, each clothing item is a one day exclusive and is never made again.


Tell us why you decided to enter the Crooked Howlet Design Competition, and how you found out about it?

Obviously, Conor [last year's winner] and I are good mates and if anyone was going to dethrone the champ it was going to be me. He’s also how I found out about the comp as well.

Talk to us about your design background, are you self-taught or gone to art school, etc?

I’ve always been a guy that loves to draw whether at school or on the walls at home as a kid so its something that’s always been a part of my life. Also went through a few art subjects both in my school and university days.

What inspired your design? Talk us through the concept and the process from start to finish.

I was initially fixated on snakes and my ultimate goal was basically to incorporate a snake on the signet but in a unique fashion. There was plenty of google searching to understand the body of the snake better and the way it coils itself around various objects.

This gave me the idea of having it coil around the ring face as well creating a boarder around the ring. However, a snake on its own seemed too simple and maybe there was an opportunity to have more of a story to this snake.

I’m a fan of contrast whether it be colours or textures and even in this case, meanings to a story. This got me thinking of the contrasting image of a snake. More often than not we think of snakes as predators but maybe we could take a look at the flip side of that coin? I saw the opportunity to present the other characteristic of snakes, their protective instinct.

I researched what animals would commonly be considering prey and found an image of an elegant peaceful fawn. Combining the fawn within the centre of the coiled snake seemed to display this protective quality and the visual contrast I was looking for, while having the snakes head positioned looking away rather than towards the fawn also helped achieved this. With the ring face done I focussed on the rest of the ring to try tie the whole design together. I found many peoples submissions used some kind of image engraved onto the sides of the bands and wanted to do something slightly different. I imagined scales of a snake would be an interesting texture to have on a ring band but felt having them on the outside would ruin the effect of the ring face. Instead, I decided to add them to the underside of the band to be seen as a hidden detail for the user.

Lastly a little bit of photoshop rendering to finish the sketch put the final touches on the design and brought the entire concept together.



What does it mean to you to be the Winner of this competition?

It really means everything to have won this competition. As a guy who’s never been that fortunate, it feels incredible to have been able to win a competition up against so many talented people. I’m someone who tends to doubt myself a lot and winning this competition has also helped me have more self confidence in my own ability as well.


What is next for you?

With my design job now, having time for my own personal designs or sketching comes pretty thin. However, this competition has given me motivation to pursue more personal design work and not lose touch with sketching as a passion as well as for fun.




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