Do you believe that the only time we should ever look back in life is to see how far we have come? This is certainly something to ponder, considering the many challenges, failures and disappointments that sometimes seem to follow us daily.
Whether we believe this or not, it certainly guides this exceptional website developer with a story to share.
Listello Walkins, affectionately called ‘Stello’, is the proprietor of NAF (Nahid Advertising Firm). He is sharing his life’s passion with us, and why he has no intention of ever looking back.
Question: Tell us about your Website design career. How did you advance to where you are today?
Answer: Well, I have always had a passion for graphic design since junior school, where I began with simple graphic software. When I was 15 years old, I would stay up all night practicing and watching video tutorials online to better my skills.
By the age of 18 I began to display my work to my friends and family. It wasn’t until I reached the age of 19 that I began to venture into corporate marketing. Thereafter, in 2011 I opened a company called NAF (Nahid Advertising Firm).
It was a little challenging as I was still young, and companies did not take me or my team seriously. But I kept pushing because it was my passion.
Thereafter, I began securing projects from major companies in the Bahamas and received projects, proposals and bids from multi-million dollar corporations. By 2013, NAF became a well-known, trusted brand for marketing.
Q: What is the job of a web designer?
A: Well, web designers have many processes, such as creating a theme, coding, creating content, SEO and web hosting.
Q: What do you enjoy most about being a web designer?
A: I love the investigative phrase of my clients’ business, which reveals their target market, products, services, likes and dislikes. Thereafter, I can recreate a masterpiece that displays every detail of their business.
Q: What do you do to keep your ideas fresh?
A: Innovative and creative ideas come a dime a dozen, but I usually spend a lot of time at the beach to enjoy a relaxing environment. ‘Mother Nature’ helps as well, but otherwise I’m usually online researching old artists and painters, and viewing their style.
Q: What are the three most important fundamentals a customer should be concerned about when building a website?
A: Content, theme and audience are the most important elements.
Q: What areas of design are you less experienced in, but interested in gaining more knowledge?
A: Cinematography. I must say I love to watch movies that have extreme graphics, such as Transformers and Avatar. I’m learning more about motion picture graphic design and green screen rendering. I would one day love to create master pieces in cinematography for corporate marketing.
Q: How do you cope with criticism?
A: I deal with it. Mainly because over the years I’ve learnt that everyone has their own belief on everything in this world, but if you can persuade clients to see at least 80 per cent of your vision, you’ve done well.
In art there will always be one person out of 10 who won’t be satisfied. But wisdom teaches us to receive criticism, because sometimes in most critics there is a sense of value that can help us along the way.
Q: What are your strengths and weaknesses?
A: My biggest strength is quality, quick completion and affordable prices. However, with weakness, I haven’t experienced a real challenge, maybe because I’ve been in the business for so many years. But if I am tested, I will surely give it my best shot.
Q: What are the easiest programs to create a Website and why?
A: Dreamweaver is easy for beginners, because it has a more user-friendly feel and offers tons of online tutorials for beginners.
Q: What do you hate and love most about your career?
A: I don’t think I hate anything about designing because I have such a strong passion and love for it.
Q: Where do you look for inspiration?
A: Inspirations come from everywhere. But I usually look at old artists and incorporate their style of old paintings, designs and sculptures with modern designs.
Q: What are your favourite web browsers and why?
A: Google, because it is the most powerful search engine.
Q: Describe your typical day of work
A: After I awake, I would do a little work but take breaks in between. In the afternoons, I usually create proposals for new clients, and thereafter schedule meetings for the following day.
Q: How do you feel about the misuse of Photoshop in photography?
A: I feel that all photographers and designers have their way of expressing their work, whether using Adobe or Corel software. But once the client is satisfied that is all that matters.
Q: What advice can you give to prospective students thinking about a career in Web Design?
A: If you want to become the best in this industry, practice and study as much as possible. Knowledge is key, as it will separate you from everyone else.
Until we meet again, fill your life with memories rather than regrets. Enjoy life and stay on top of your game!
• NB: Columnist welcomes feedback at firstname.lastname@example.org
ABOUT COLUMNIST: Ms Deidre Bastian is a professionally-trained graphic designer/ marketing coordinator with qualifications of M.Sc., B.Sc., A.Sc. She has trained at institutions such as: Miami Lakes Technical Centre, Success Training College, College of the Bahamas, Nova Southeastern University, Learning Tree International, Langevine International and Synergy Bahamas.