After starting design company CreativeNerds four years ago at the ripe old age of 15 Dirujan Sabesan has gone on to work with everyone from SB.TV, Mistajam, Tinchy Stryder, Sony and Link Up TV creating websites you want to visit again and again. Still a small team comprised of young creatively minded people we speak to Dirujan about his rise and plans for the future.
Breakdown CreativeNerds in a sentence.
We are an ever-growing creative powerhouse, with a fresh, young approach to design and development, creating bespoke web and graphic artwork for clients all sizes.
You started Creative Nerds at such a young age was this company something that you always envisaged?
It started out as a hobby, I really got to grips with Photoshop at the age of 15, and loved to experiment. Sooner rather than later I decided to create an online design forum which would act as a platform for other designers like myself to show-off their work and have access to resources for designing. I wanted to make my time designing worthwhile so I went on the hunt for some paid work, however no one would really want to pay a 16 year old designer with no experience or portfolio. So I reached out to artists on MySpace and got the job of creating Tinchy Stryder's layout, since then we seem to just keep growing.
What do you think attracts the major clients you've had so far?
I'm not really sure, I think its because of the style we have to all our work - its very vibrant, very modern and fresh. A lot of clients have come and said they've hired a more experienced agency or individual and they haven't been able to deliver the same kind of work as they wanted.
What is the toughest thing about your job?
Keeping on top of dozens of projects going on at the same time, trying to keep everyone happy and still finding time for a social life.
What is the toughest decision you've had to make?
Dropping out of uni, it was a massive choice. I got a house to share because the Arts Uni at Bournemouth only gave accommodation to international students, that contract is running up until August. I also had to move all my stuff back to London from the house and pay my uni for a full terms tuition fees. Totally unfair but that was the only way I could get out of it. I've paid it all back since I left but I had to be sure that leaving uni didn't mean I was going to be unemployed and living at home learning nothing. My friend Niran told me 'the idea of teaching someone to be creative is a flawed concept'. It's so true and I think that three years in the real industry working for real clients is 100% better than sitting in a lecture, falling asleep and doing assignments just because you wanted to keep your tutor happy. I love what I do now, its fast paced, it keeps my adrenaline going and I don't really feel like its a chore.
What is the toughest part of your body?
(Laughs) My fingers from all the clicking and typing I do!
What are your plans for 2012?
Grow even bigger, I dropped out of uni after four weeks, I'm still paying rent on my house in Bournemouth until August, but its been worth it. I've been appointed as Digital Director for the Spirit of London Awards and I've also been appointed as Digital Media Manager for SB.TV which is where I now base myself to work from. So I haven a new office instead of working from my loft which can become lonely!
I took a risk by dropping out, but only because I could see myself missing so many opportunities, I've worked over three years to build up the reputation and portfolio for CreativeNerds, I didn't want to loose it all. The risk worked and the right opportunities presented themselves. We're trying to move out of the music industry and move into bigger projects which we've already kicked off, so the year couldn't have got to a better start!
By the end of the year I hope to have a proper team in place which I can call on when I need bits done, each person will have their own speciality and it will make us one of the most powerful creative hubs in London (I hope!)