Ever wondered who the brain behind the top UK artist websites, MySpace’s and more...
Dirujan Sabesan at only 16 is the founder and managing director of creative nerds, a company he founded and runs with his friend Sam Thornton.
In a year, based around recession and every reason not to start a business, Diru has created a platform to be watched by young entrepreneurs.
Already worked with top UK artists such as Tinchy Stryder, N-Dubz, Giggs, Collie Buddz, Tinie Tempah, Attacca Pesante and more...
Definitely a name to note in your diary.
Hello Dirujan, and welcome to YHP...
According to our knowledge, you are an expert when it comes to designing websites. You are the lead designer and managing director of CreativeNerds. Please fill us in with more information about yourself?
Well, I’ll try keeping it as simple as possible, because I always seem to waffle on. I’m a 16 year old designer, I'm based in London and I run Creative Nerds with Sam Thornton who is 18 and is based in Scunthorpe. We established ourselves in May 2008, and provide our clients with creative web & print products.
• Right, “Creative Nerds.....” May I ask where did this title come from?
Well previously Sam & I had run a few “online design forums”, which is really where my eye for designing started, the first was called MuckyDesigns then the next one was iTouchFX, but we wanted to rebrand and restart with a new aim, to provide a service instead of just a community for people.
Our initial idea was to call ourselves “VisualRemix”, but we thought that Creative Nerds seemed more of a funky name, and we could see ourselves releasing some merchandise with the name on.
• The beginning days of CreativeNerds...must have been hard. As the managing director of CreativeNerds, how did you overcome the disadvantages of starting such a business up?
It seemed advertising was the key concept, me and Sam kept pushing the name out constantly in every way possible for the first few months, we had our friends advertise them on whatever social network they were part of, I started adding links on new work I did and started placing the logo in as many places as possible. As we monitored the traffic weekly, we saw a rise in the number of visits. Now we receive anywhere from 60-120+ unique hits a day.
• What are your aims as the managing director of CreativeNerds regarding the business?
My key aim is to establish ourselves, most companies are not really heard of until a few years of hard grinding! That's exactly what we’re doing, but we have to manage Creative Nerds in between studies and work. Once established properly, it’s only a matter of hiring more staff, and letting the cash roll in, right?
• You have mentioned your aims, but where do you see this business growing in the next five years?
I’m not sure yet, obviously I’ve had one of those dreams where I see a Creative Nerds logo in place of the old Woolworths one on my high street with a big office and all sorts, but that’s something far away. For now I just want to grow on my links, we’ve already been signed onto some contracts with artists and companies and we’ll keep building our profile and giving our clients the best that we can offer!
• Besides Designing, what else could you have used to create a business?
Hmmmmm... Without designing, I’d be doing paper rounds and not even make 1/3 of what I’m making now.
• Do you believe on the concept of designing being a Male’s thing?
No! Anyone can design, you don’t have to be someone who’s talented on Photoshop to call yourself a designer, in fact I think all my art teachers have been female bar one. As long as you have a creative eye, you’re good to go.
• Who do you look up to in business?
At the moment, no one – they are all being caught in the credit crunch but our credit don’t crunch. People always need graphics to sell trade and buy so we’re healthy.
• As a designer, do you have a favourite label design?
Yup yup, Supremebeing, I love their new stuff. It’s really funky and nerdy.
How do you get inspiration for your website designs? I mean to constantly create websites of such high quality?
Well I’m always one for inspiration websites, I just Google “web design inspiration” and a few come up, otherwise I’m on blogs looking at designs and also on Flickr, if I like something or the colour scheme I try incorporate some of it into my work, but then that never really works out and I always seem to get the final products simply by experimenting in Photoshop.
I know you’ve worked with some big UK artist so far, who has been favourite so far?
Well it was Tinchy Stryder
that kicked it all off for us, we started working with him in July 08 thanks to the opportunity his management team at Takeover Entertainment (Jack & Archie) gave us, since then i’ve worked with N-Dubz, Giggs, Collie Buddz, Tinie Tempah, Attacca Pesante and a few more to come.
But my favourite one has to be Tinchy, I started when he released his first mainstream single – Stryderman and since then he’s had 2 Number One Singles, and his album Catch22 reached #2 in the Album Charts! It felt good to be part of something that’s lifted off so much, and since then we have been signed on as an official supplier for Universal/Island Records thanks to Takeover so it’s all going good!
• Do you believe that it’s an essential tool for one to gain an educational background in order to start a good business?
Yup, to be honest, you’re not going to get anywhere far without education, what I know now is simply what I’ve learn through my own experimentation, but when you start taking courses that concentrate on the career you want to do in the future, that’s when you really learn to become a professional designer, and without the aid of education you will not get very far. I’ll be 17 in 3 months; I’ve still got a decade to learn new tricks before I can call myself a professional.
• What would your advice be for people – mostly youngster who aims to use their talents in a business form?
If you have something you’re good at, something that your friends and family are saying you are showing true talent for, and then continue with it. Try and take as many chances as possible with it, there are always workshops and a job opening around the UK for all sorts of jobs it’s just a matter of spending some time and finding it. If you think your talent is commercial viable, start thinking of how you can use it to make some money, start small... but think big.
• What are your advices towards people who are aiming to start a business as your own?
As I mentioned before, in the current day and age, products never succeed unless they are advertised, this is where we come in, visual advertisements such as posters & online ads are the way for companies to sell their products. If you are keen on designing, then stick to it. And if your someone who’s already into designing and has a portfolio to show, email us through the website as we are always looking for new and interesting staff.
Thanks for your time.