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    Arnd-Jan Blok

    Graphic & webdesigner

    Categories: Design

    Founder of Echelon Creations, a small business with a full-service approach for diverse projects in graphic and web design.

    What drives you?

    At 33, I am lucky to say I am young and adaptable and able to implement changes where necessary, and old enough to say I have some experience under my belt. I am both a graphic and web designer and in this digital age it is important to be agile and combine these capabilities. The name of my company, Echelon, reflects my ambitions to keep climbing the professional ladder, and to deliver work that distances me from the competition. It represents both what I want for myself, as well as for my clients.

    What is your work approach and how has this developed over the years?

    I am a very sensitive person. I always listen carefully to clients and deliver work that uniquely embodies their specific intent. Picking my clients’ brains, even when they are not yet entirely certain what it is they want themselves – and balancing this with what they might need – is what I like doing best. I make it my goal to gather as much information as I can from my interactions with clients, to produce tangible results.

    After secondary school, I got a business education and did freelance design work alongside a different day job. I quickly decided that I preferred to further develop my creative side. My business education ultimately proved useful when I decided to become an independent entrepreneur.

    Are you an idealist our realist?

    I am a true idealist, maybe with very small character traits of a realist. I love to dream and chase dreams. Taking risks and chasing dreams is important. It is the only way to really get what you want.

    Is this your dream job?  

    Yes, it is. Turning a blank canvas into something that makes a client happy is one of the nicest experiences one can have. I’ve been running Echelon with this mindset for six years. Working as a freelancer allows me to be very flexible. I thrive working alone, however – interacting with others yields excellent social experience and feedback. I love co-creation and really enjoy developing a project from scratch. There is nothing better than seeing things come to life.

    What is difficult in your line of work?

    Working in design processes with people who have trouble properly expressing themselves. Which is not a problem but does become one if you end up delivering work that does not meet their expectations – because of communication issues in the assignment phase. I am not a mind reader, and I learned a long time ago that communicating clearly is very important in order to yield good results. Loyalty and trust are also very important, especially when collaborating on projects with tight deadlines.

    Where do you go from here?

    I am always focused on developing, connecting, and combining strengths. In the next decade, I hope to expand Echelon and lead a team of young designers.

    Why are you a Friend of Stark?

    For a creative person I am very organized. This is not a common trait found in creatives, and the reason why we are often terrible business partners. Operating a business requires a lot of discipline. With Stark I always know where I stand; they respect the creative process and have been my loyal and trusted business partner for years.