I’d like to introduce Dekman. Dek is without a doubt the most talented magician when it comes to photoshop and illustrator. I say magician because Dek can literally produce amazingness with a blank canvas to such a high standard you’d never know it wasn’t actually photographed. I was lucky enough to work alongside Dek for a few years and see, first hand, his talent in motion. This self taught, quiet achiever, has shared in many awards throughout his time in the Ad industry and gained the respect of anyone who’s lucky enough to see him in action. Here’s my 5mins with Dek.
Derek Leong (A.K.A. Dek or Dekman to some).
What’s your day job?:
Graphic designer/photoshop retoucher.
Someone asked me once what I do in my job. I said, ‘I make art directors look good’. LoL.
What did you wanna be when you grew up?:
Mum said that when I was a little boy, I told her that I wanted to grow up and be a police man. The reason was so that whenever I saw them driving up to an intersection, I would be able to direct traffic and let them go first. Kids have the best imaginations.
Later when I was a little older, I actually wanted to be an architect. Glad I didn’t.
If you where a super hero what would your super hero name be?:
DEKMAN. I would have a big ‘D’ symbol on my chest.
What inspires you on a day to day basis?:
Working on challenging jobs that push my retouching and illustration skills.
Constantly wanting to learn more. At the moment I am teaching myself Cinema 4D which is a 3D modelling and animation program. There’s so much to learn, but it’s inspired me to want to do more.
Also working with a bunch of very creative people.
Tell me a bit about your professional journey – how’d you get here?:
I graduated from Queensland College of Art in 1986, so I’ve been in the advertising industry a very long time. It has changed a lot since then. I was lucky enough to be exposed to desktop publishing in its infant days back the early 90’s which gave me a head start on learning the different programs we use today like Illustrator and Photoshop. Funny enough, I have always been self taught.
Though I’ve been in the industry for so many years, it’s probably only been in the last 10 years that I began to specialise in Photoshop and retouching. It’s something that’s just kind of evolved. You do one thing well and people just keep wanting you to do more. Funny that.
If you had one piece of advice for aspiring creatives, what would it be?:
Don’t be afraid to try something different.
What’s been the most challenging part of your job?:
Deadlines. You just never have enough time to do things properly.
What’s your fav part of your job & fav piece of work you’ve done?
Being able to create great pieces of work from usually very average images. My favourite piece so far is my image I created the ‘Footlocker Art Prize’ competition. It’s called ‘Wonderland’. This was an image I could do whatever I wanted with, so it was fun and I loved how it turned out. Not bad for a days work. There wasn’t any planning when I created the image. I just had an idea of what I wanted and just started building it. Sometimes, that the best way to work.
What’s your current facebook status?:
Non existent. I don’t Facebook.
If you could have dinner with anyone (alive of dead) who would it be?:
My Dad. He passed away when I was very young. I’d like to see him again.