“I’ll start my day with a surf, immersing myself in the surroundings and practising gratitude. From there, I’m excited to work on creative solutions for some of our clients’ most important challenges.”
David readily admits the way to his heart is the ocean. Preferably a good surf beach. “I surf every day: rain, hail or shine – it’s a part of my DNA,” says David on a chilly day with temperatures in single digits.
For David, his current base on the Victorian surf coast is a rich source of constant inspiration. Having always lived near water, David admits he doesn’t feel quite himself whenever he’s way from the ocean.
His connection with the ocean runs deep. It’s an intrinsic part of his identity. Possessing what some might call the ‘surfer mentality’ he finds solace in the constant rhythm of the waves and the ever-changing horizon. “If I could take my laptop into the ocean and work on my surfboard, that would be the most perfect experience ever!”
Having surfed with dolphins, whales and sharks, David’s sees a deeper connection to the ocean. “The main reason I surf now is to hang out with mates. The morning crew go out and we’re a really close group: it can be a dark and cold morning in the middle of winter but it’s just brilliant.”
David’s love of talking all-things oceans and surfing is only matched with his passion for opening up about his richly diverse family which he describes as a “bit of a mix”. With a father born in Egypt, a mother born in New Zealand and grandparents from New Zealand, England, Egypt and Italy, David enthusiastically reminisces on his uniquely diverse upbringing and experiences.
“When my nan was in her mid-80s she remarried to an Italian guy named Luigi, proving to me that life’s never over. I find that really beautiful.”
Beyond the geographic and cultural potpourri of David’s heritage, it’s the first-hand influences these key people have played in shaping his own destiny.
“My grandfather on my dad’s side was an artist. He created these beautiful 3D landscape paintings that would literally pop out at you from the wall. He also used a bit of sculpture in his paintings and I would just stand there and stare at these really large, impressive pieces of art.”
David’s Nona was also a powerful figure in his life. When asked about his Nona, David lights up. “Nona Sylvia was a constant source of inspiration throughout my life: she’s been my role model.”
For David, Nona Sylvia’s impact comes from living a life of embracing every moment. “She managed to escape three wars, and then she came to Australia and gave my dad and his sister this beautiful life in Australia, all because of her determination. She never gave up, pushing herself into the unknown, like learning English and Italian, and then studying nursing so she could look after her husband. Amazing is not a big enough word to describe her.”
The influence of David’s family on his values and work ethic are evident in his approach to life. During the Covid pandemic, David left a ‘safe and steady’ design role to work within the healthcare industry to help visualise vital communications to healthcare workers, patients and the broader community. “It was certainly tough working during the pandemic but I love putting my skills to work that makes a difference,” says David, who extends this to include doing pro-bono work for people in need. “It makes me happy to give back.”
This captures the essence of David: grounded, empathic and purposeful. Not surprising that the lure of an all bling, hi-tech studio doesn’t resonate with David, who’s much happier working amongst natural surroundings.
“Just seeing the wilderness and working remotely is inspiring in itself. One day, I’ll be working on my laptop and I’ll see the ocean in the background; the next it might be a green backdrop of farmland. That’s really inspiring and satisfying.”
David’s balanced approach today was likely forged and shaped in his previous working life: years of working in other creative agencies and also a period of running his own studio. “I learned so much from those experiences, but I wanted to push my creative output further.”
Like his Nona Sylvia, David embraced new challenges, returning to College to hone his skills on human centred design. And his personal stretch goals weren’t limited to design. “When I was 35, I cycled solo around Europe, Morocco, and England for about six months, camping anywhere and everywhere along the way. I challenged myself to do it and it was such a life-changing experience.”
Describing himself as a visual strategist, David has a reassuringly confident understanding of where he can make the most meaningful impact.
“I believe I do my best work when I think visual strategy – I know how to visually make a strategy come together. I may not be a brilliant copywriter, but I definitely know how to make a visual impact.”
“I love learning new skills in my role at HM: that's why I'm excited about AI and its impact on human centred design. I'm embracing it.” Nona Sylvia would be proud.
David Eynaud currently works as a Designer at HM, a purpose-driven creative agency globally recognised for meaningful work that gets results. HM empower bold organisations and brands through beautifully crafted strategic design and marketing.