Colin Fleming is a young-at-heart 49-year-old graphic designer, web designer, 3D designer, and grand master screen printing prepress technician with over 30 years of experience in the industry. He holds a Matric certificate with a distinction in Technical Drawing and is both a South African and Irish citizen.
The roots of Colin's creativity run deep in his family history. His late father, Roger Fleming, was a trailblazer in Johannesburg, being the first to print t-shirts in the 1960s. He founded King Rat Features, a leading screen printing company that featured the iconic rat logo, designed by his personal friend, colleague, and great artist, Greg Grany. The rat logo became a well-known part of Joburg's CBD murals.
Growing up in this environment, Colin discovered his natural affinity for the creative and artistic side of the business, as a child playing with various art supplies and tools used by artists to create artworks, colour separations, and positives by hand, in a time when computers were large rooms and buildings and fax machines were about to revolutionise communication by taking over from the postage system for placing orders, sending quotes, and writing letters to distant loved ones. Cell phones were only known in James Bond and Star Trek movies; the internet was uncomprehensible; and AI was managing large spaceships far ahead in the future and often going faulty, making for good sci-fi.
Colin's journey in the industry began early. While still in high school, he started working for King Rat on Saturdays producing artworks and colour separations using the first generation of Apple Macintosh computers in Aldus Freehand version 2 (the great grandfather of Adobe Illustrator). After matriculating, he joined the company full-time, honing his skills using CorelDRAW version 3 and Photoshop. After a year, he embarked on a 6-month contract to train locals in Mauritius on the latest technology. Upon his return, he founded his own business, Something Arty CC, providing repro and bureau services as a pre-press technician to screen-printers. For many years, he operated a bureau service in the CBD, working with top screen-printers such as Studio Silscreen and Stancor Design and Print.
Over the years, Colin has evolved into a highly skilled and experienced graphic designer, web designer, and 3D designer. He is proficient in Corel Draw, Adobe Photoshop, and Affinity Suite, offering a wide range of services, including CI/logo design, layouts, catalogues, stationary, icons, marketing materials, web graphics, mailers, product displays, clothing design, forms, campaigns, events, posters, brochures, promotional gifts, T-shirts, branding, digital and outdoor media, expo stands, drafting, technical drawing, TTF font design, packaging, digital printing, heraldry, emblems, vector tracing, and photo editing.
Additionally, he is well-versed in 3D design, using software like Blender, Marvellous Designer, Daz3D Studio, and Sketchup. He offers 3D modeling for architectural plans, interiors, exteriors, concepts, expo stands, 3D logos, floor plans, abstract art, virtual reality 3D, product packaging design, and 3D clothing design.
His talents extend to the audio and video realm. Proficient in OBS Studio, Adobe Audition, Cakewalk, Adobe After Effects, Blender, stop-motion animation, chroma key, video editing, animation, and music, Colin is a musician who plays lead guitar, bass, and drums. He has a rich background in stage production, lighting, and sound engineering, having played as a semi-pro musician for many years around Joburg with several bands. Today, he has two solo albums available on Reverbnation, showcasing his high-quality, self-produced rock guitar works as a tribute to the great rock guitarists of the '70s.
Beyond the design world, Colin holds a certification from the Anti-Drug Alliance of South Africa and has spent 3 years working full-time in Addiction Recovery coaching, ascending to the role of Regional Manager. He offered the unique Clear Option home-based recovery program, utilizing life coaching and behavior therapy, boasting a high success rate of over 50% genuine recoveries.
As an international artist, Colin's digital geometric abstract artworks are featured on Saatchi Art, with over 160 top-quality pieces available for sale as originals or prints.
He generously shares his knowledge and experience through training courses, where he imparts the correct way to separate colors for screen printing and covers all aspects required for a screen printing pre-press technician. Notably, he successfully trained the art departments of Amrod and Hightide, among others.
Colin's expertise extends into management, encompassing MS Office, Adobe Acrobat Pro, Libre Office, QuickBooks, order control, flowcharts, VNC, OCR, Skype, IT hardware skills, remote office management, training, small business management, art department management, graphic software training, graphic software development, creative project management, print production, consulting, problem-solving, project workflow, costings, office management, legal research, labor law, and database management.
Colin's creativity is not limited to design work. As a personal test and challenge, he often wondered what would happen if he got to use all his main skills together and combine them into one project without the assistance of anyone else. He finally got the opportunity during the downtime caused by COVID and authored and self-published a graphic novel that was published in 2022. As soon as it became available, it became a #1 Best Seller on Amazon Kindle and remained among the top new and all-time hits for two months by employing 3D graphics. The novel, encompassing 144 full-colour pages, showcases his imagination, great sense of humour, and keen interest in human behaviour. From marketing, website design, and page layout design to character design, 3D rendering, set design, lighting, clothing design, and even hair and makeup, he accomplished it all single-handedly. What's even more remarkable is that he did it on a laptop that was almost 7 years old at the time by optimising, overclocking, and tweeking it in a way that ensured that every last byte available was in high gear.
Today, Colin operates as an independent freelance designer, offering his versatile services ranging from new clients seeking quick logo designs or basic websites to dedicated clients with larger projects. His clientele is rapidly growing, thanks to his all-around skills, versatility, efficiency, fast turnarounds, and availability almost 24/7, all at very affordable rates.
He also keeps a close eye on AI developments and uses AI daily in his work for content creation, research, image generation, and writing. Additionally, Colin is dedicated to staying at the forefront of technological advancements. He continuously hones his skills by exploring new tools and techniques. Currently, he is deeply engrossed in learning and training his own personal assistant AI using Open AI's API and various cutting-edge models. Furthermore, Colin takes pride in deploying customized chat AIs on websites, carefully tailored to suit specific industries, each embodying a unique predetermined persona. As he embraces the ever-evolving landscape of technology and design, Colin remains excited about the possibilities and looks forward to even more innovative projects on the horizon.
If you're ready to embark on a creative project, Colin is just a call away, waiting eagerly to assist with your requirements. Why not contact him now?