James Bartram: Melbourne's Smoothest Graphic Designer

June 24, 2013  •  Leave a Comment

“I am always aiming to give 110% for every project and put out the best result possible, I am always improving myself.”

James Bartram, the name on everyone’s lips within the Melbourne Nightlife Culture. He’s certainly one of Lilly Pilly’s current favourites with his amazing work with this year’s graphic design work. Capturing the essence of his client and adding his own creative techniques, James is a unique and a defiant self-motivating must have for creative business and flyer design.

In 2004 James started his studies in Visual Communications, Media and Fine arts when he was in the midst of his Year 13 folio at Northland Secondary College (Cert. IV of Communication Design).  This was also the year where Graphic Design was discovered as a creative outlet for James, followed by more studies at Swinburne and Victoria University.

Via E-mail and Google Drive Document Sharing, Lilly Pilly Photography has had the opportunity to get deeper into the story of Bartram himself in this exclusive interview:

1. What was the initial idea/moment that got you interested in Graphic Design?
I don’t know that there is an actual moment in time I can pinpoint with regards to this. I studied Visual Communication, Media and Fine Arts through most of my schooling. It probably wasn’t until 2004 when I started doing the Northland Secondary College year 13 folio course (Cert. IV of Communication Design) that I really discovered Graphic Design as a creative outlet. I also learnt about art and design history and did a whole range of other art and design studies. I was also first introduced to the full Adobe Creative Suite here and it has since become a set of programs I could not live without.

2. When you pursued your passion to get into Graphic Design as a career, what steps did you take to where you are now?

I think the best way to describe how I’ve gotten to where I am now is that I took one step forward and two steps back. After Northland I got into my 2nd choice course at Swinburne (Bachelor of Communication Design) but I did not flourish here. I was constantly struggling against the tide and had my own demons to overcome as well. After almost 2 years of this (during which I’d only completed 6 months of the course) it was obvious to me that I was not in the right frame of mind for study.
I stepped away and spent some years earning money which culminated in a 5 week journey away from Australia to the UK, Germany and Sweden. Shortly prior to this I’d also re-enrolled in a Diploma of Graphic Design at Victoria University, which I completed in June last year. I’ve since been trying to find my way in as a freelance designer.

3. In all your time, researching, working and studying in Graphic Design, did you come across any tough times?

Many. I think I constantly struggle with the client/designer process, while time management and motivation are daily battles. There are mornings where I wake up fit and ready for the job at hand and others where I struggle to put pen to paper. That’s any job though isn’t it.

4. What/who are your motivations and inspirations in Graphic Design? And, how do they inspire you to be better than what you already are?

Of course there is artists and designers whose work inspires and excites yet my number one motivation regarding graphic design is to always better myself. I am always aiming to give 110% for every project and put out the best result possible, I am always improving myself.

5. What are your near future plans in Graphic Design?

The plan at present is to have a studio job within the next 3 to 6 months and get the more formal side of the graphic design world. In the meantime it’ll be more hard work however.

6. Do you believe that your work can contribute towards changing the world? And, how?

One of my aim’s with Graphic Design is to inform the public of issues which aren’t regularly confronted by the mainstream media. Issues like Syria, Turkey, and many other conflicts are glossed over in favour of news which is I suppose popular. Not popular as is people like it, but in the sense that it is viewed to be more significant to more people.
Another aim is to raise awareness about environmentalism. The western world is a wasteful one. We throw away thousands of tonnes of food every year, waste energy on heating instead of putting on a sweater. Drive the car to the shops, burning resource which could be better used elsewhere. All things which with a bit of thought could be minimised, resulting in a more promising future for our overpopulated, over polluting planet.
The medium through which to promote these issues is that of poster design. Something that can be put in a public place where people will see it and hopefully stop and think about their actions for a minute. Maybe even take something away from their brief encounter and reinforce my beliefs within their own life.

James portfolio includes clients such as Dropping Phat, The Fitzroy Beer Garden, Hopskotch Records and Fit2Ride.

JB’s style is very smooth, colorful, unique and he’s very flexible for each clients needs. If you would like to know more or contact James Bartram you can find him on facebook:

Lilly Pilly Photography


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