Dan Walters

Creative Director at SEE Creatures

Dan Walters is the Creative Director at SEE Creatures Print Studio, specializing in designing prints and graphics for some of the biggest names on the high street. With 15 years experience in the design industry, I was lucky enough to interview Dan to help you all gain an insight into the Print & Graphics world where he drives creativity for next seasonal collections. Through his eyes, Dan shares his thoughts and expert advice to any inspiring Print Designer.

How did you get into the textiles graphic design industry?

I did a degree in graphic design which specialised in Illustration which was the direction I always wanted to pursue. After working as a new media designer for 2 years, I got a job at a leading print studio, which I was there for 11 years. During this time,  I worked with some amazing clients and some really exciting projects and products. This job gave me the passion and love for patterns and print. In 2014 I decided I needed to change how I worked, freshen things up and do some exciting things way out of my comfort zone. I launched SEE Creatures and moved to Brighton with my family. This gave me the opportunity to look at my work in a different way, curate a collection by myself and work with clients much more closely.

Can you tell us about your company SEE Creatures and what you specialise in?

SEE Creatures is a design studio essentially. I work on a collection of patterns most of the time, but I also work on specific projects and products for a few special customers.
The collection caters for Menswear, Womenswear, Kidswear, Baby, Active and Swim. I try to make everything very high quality and I design posters and a few products which I sell in galleries and online shops.

As a studio, we are looking for new things all the time to create inspiration and keep things moving forward. This month I’m working on a huge Mural in Brighton and started a podcast, “Know Ideas”, which launches in June.

What range of clients do you design for?

I’m lucky to work with so many great clients. I really like working on products I can own myself or buy for the kids.  North Face backpacks and Bonobos Men’s shirts have been particular favourites. I work with Brighton based, Bison Beer, which I designed their branding, packaging, shop signage, murals and more exciting projects. They have been a really inspiring client for me that has fuelled other parts of my business since I started working with them.

Do you need to be adaptable for your wide  Client bases?

You have to be really adaptable and versatile. I have a few styles I work in and always look at new techniques to mix things up. Working on an entire collection by myself has been really creatively challenging but equally rewarding.
I have some really amazing freelancers who add designs to the collection too. They’re all bringing something different to the range which compliments what I produce. It is really exciting seeing what they send me ahead of a big trip.

How often do you have to travel with your work to see clients UK and abroad?

Travel is a huge part of the job. We visit clients in the USA every 7-8 weeks. The trips are part of the inspiration process for me too. I use downtime to build ideas, look at trends or visit somewhere different. That way I’m ready to go again when I get home.

What main exhibitions do you attend to showcase your artworks?

Premiere Vision in Paris and New York. These shows have been really great to promote the studio and meet new clients. We have also shown the collection at Interfiliere in Paris and the London Print Design Fair.

Can you give any final words of advice to aspiring Print Designers trying to break into the Industry?

Look for inspiration in all areas, not just the industry you want to work in. Sometimes the best ideas come from random places. Ask for advice from peers, read books, listen to podcasts, go to museums …… Fill your head with Ideas. Work hard to get to where you want, ask questions and say ‘YES’ more.