Career Conversations: Khutina Griffiths
Career Conversations Series, creates a positive image for young girls to refer to, by having conversations with different business owners, entrepreneurs and creators. Khutina Giffiths is a talented designer her work is engaging, simple & joyful. Khutina currently works at The Elephant Room as Head of Design.
The Art Edition is Out Now
Job: Head Of Design
Company: The Elephant Room
Studied: Postgraduate, Design for Visual Communications
What is your typical day as Head of Design?
I rarely have a typical day, at the moment I work from home so that’s a constant. Otherwise, it depends where I am in the process of a brief. I could spend my day gathering mood board references to guide campaign art direction or building compositions, typographic and editorial layouts for campaign identities to social assets, whatever’s required to bring the creative concepts to life. There is often a strong message behind our work. Much of my role is building the look of the conception and relevant touchpoints while maintaining that message. This type of visual storytelling needs to be built and refined from conception to output. We have a wide range of clients and don’t stay in any one industry. It could mentor programmes one day and fashion brands the next, immersing myself in the world of whatever brand I’m working with.
When did you discover your love for design?
As early as I can remember, I was very aware of visuals and aesthetics. I scribbled in my mum’s books and dressed up in her clothing. I choose my outfits by colours and patterns. By my teens I remember being fascinated by the design of the Heinz Baked Bean tin and wondering who decided it should be green and that shade of green and who decided on the shapes and lettering. Art, design and aesthetics have always been a part of who I am.
Where do you find inspiration?
Absolutely everywhere! I have a magpie personality collecting brochures, taking pictures, reading books, visiting exhibitions and just being surrounded by nature. My main source is Pinterest. I use it as a digital equivalent of a scrapbook pretty much every day, so most of my boards are secret and quite unorganised.
If you weren't a designer, what career would you have?
I would probably work within the fashion industry. It was my first love, maybe a writer or film director.
In three words, how would you describe your style of work?
Engaging, simple & joyful
What artists have had the biggest influence on your process and style?
In no particular order, Gordon Parks, Rene Margrite, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Marina Willer, Jessica Walsh, Paul Rand and Paul Cezanne. They all have such expressive, joyful work that has layers of meaning.
3 Facts about your role
- It’s impossible to create without accepting failure.
- When I struggle with inspiration or get stuck, I go for a walk. It works every time!
- Having a like-minded team to collaborate with will hugely improve the quality of your work
Jean-Michel Basquiat (1960-1988)
Jean-Michel Basquiat was an American artist who rose to success during the 1980s as part of the Neo-expressionism movement. The Neo-expressionism movement is a style of late modernist or early postmodern sculpture and painting. Basquiat's style of work was mainly graffiti street art, an intuitive approach to Abstract Expressionist painting. Basquiat's mother instilled a love for art in his life since he was young by taking him to local art museums.
She encouraged Basquiat’s artistic talent by enrolling him as a junior member of the Brooklyn Museum of Art. Jean-Michel, signature recurring motif (the three peak crowns), recognises the majesty of his heroes: groundbreaking athletes, musicians and writers. He often depicts himself wearing the same crown in his self-portraits.