Cover Illustration by: Feline Zegers
TAble Of Contents:
04 Bella Wattles 08 Lee Court 12 Rinat Shingareev 18 Silvia Conde 22 Nate Hinners 29 Sam Rowe 34 Carrie Ryan 38 Feline Zegers 44 Kara Smarsh 48 Julia Walck 53 Shannon Lowe 58 Steve Panton 62 Alexandra Bequez
Who are you and what type of creative are you? My name is Bella Wattles, and I am a student at Emerson College majoring in Marketing Communications. I’m from Philadelphia, PA, and I like to draw typographic signs and phrases.
What is your creative process? My creative process is always changing, but whenever I feel inspired I like to do sketches that sometimes evolve into finalized projects. My notebooks are covered in tiny designs I’ll never finish, but they are the beginning points.
How did you get interested in typography and graphic design? My mom is a graphic designer, so I’ve been around it. I started drawing my own typography this past year, teaching myself how by copying things on the internet and then applying them to different things and giving them a twist.
What inspires you? I like to look at sites like Abduzeedo and We Love Typography to mix and match ideas and get inspired.
When did you realized that you wanted to be a graphic designer and typographer? I realized I wanted to be a Creative Marketer in my first days at Emerson, and have begun practicing more and more. I like the creative aspect of Marketing because I am a visual person, and would rather create something artistic then sit behind a desk and crunch numbers and interpret surveys. What is your favorite part of graphic design and or typography? Why? My favorite part of graphic design is the collaborative aspect. You can look at posters or signs from ages ago, and interpret them in your own way to make something new. The graphic design and typography world is so inter-connected, anything you do will inspire someone else, who will inspire someone else, and so on. We are all collaborating all the time.
What pieces from your portfolio of work, for school or personal, are you most proud of and why? My favorite piece is Bella Sage. The type is all connected with a ribbon or strip, which represents the bond me and my sister (Sage) have.
Who are you and what type of creative are you? My name is Lee Court and I am an artist/illustrator based in the UK. I am 22 years old and currently in the final year of my degree. How did you get interested illustration? I hate to use the old cliché, but I’ve always been interesting in art and drawing. In school it was the only thing I ever really enjoyed (except than science, science is fun.) So it was a mix between having a love for collecting art magazines and books and drawing that got me interest. When did you realized that you wanted to be a illustrator and artist professionally? I’ve had experience of the nine till five grind, it was soul crushing. I’ve always told myself that I whatever I end up doing I’d do it because it made me happy regardless of the salary. Seeing as art and creating things makes me happy I figured illustration would be a good because it has so much scope. What is your favorite aspect of illustration? As mentioned before I love the scope of illustration, it’s so broad and almost undefinable that it is often like being in a creative playground. An illustrator can be anything, ranging from a gallery exhibitionist to a studio concept artist. The freedom is unparalleled against other creative disciplines; you can really be whatever you want to be as an illustrator!
What is your creative process? I like to be quite open and organic. I always use the metaphor of planting seeds of inspiration, then letting them grow in the direction of the sun shines. What inspires you?Â Old folk tales and stories with morale meanings are a big area for me, I like to use metaphors and hint at a narrative in my personal work. Although that being said, I do enjoy the challenge and problem solving aspect of editorial illustration! What pieces from your portfolio of work are you most proud of and why? The Hoopoe and the Arrow was featured in the Ghost of Gone Birds exhibition. The exhibition raised awareness of endangered and extinct birds and breathed new life into those we have already lost. The Hoopoe was often killed for its bright feathers as decoration, much like the old fable of the Eagle and the Arrow, a victim of its own making. I enjoyed doing this piece because of its scale (over a meter long width) and was proud to be part of such a noble use of illustration!
what type of creative are you? My art education career began in Russia, I finished a fine arts school where I took a multitude of courses, from interior design to web design. These years also involved a lot of gallery shows of my paintings. Later on, I continued my education in Italy, where I finished with honors the Fine Art Academy. From there I continued painting and exhibiting in group shows through out Italy, Germany and Austria. My work is done with oils on canvas and I’ve appeared in many international magazines. Indeed Italian “Maxim” named me one of the most talented artists in the world. How did you get interested in painting? I always had that overwhelming urge to draw and create something new and explore my artistic abilities. I was six years old when I began studying at art school and from those early years I came to understand that art was the driving power and meaning of my life. I realized at a very early stage of my life that only through my painting I am able to completely communicate my thoughts, talk about myself, things that surround and inspire me and the times I am living in. I see myself being an artist as a destined fate, and that was pretty much clear to me from the moment I first picked up a brush and applied my first lines to the canvas. “What’s meant for you, won’t pass you by” – the saying applies to me perfectly! When did you realized that you wanted to be an artist professionally? From my childhood I wanted to be an artist, a professional artist. And all my life I aspired to this purpose. I have sacrificed much and continue to work on my art 24 hours a day. From the first moment I was determined to win and I’m sure that my talent and huge potential could change the world of art. What do you choose to use pop culture in your paintings? Pop-Art specularly reflects the most recent trends in the world of fashion, design and show-business. I just choose the brightest and actual character at the moment, whether it’s the political figure, artist or sportsman and try to tell his story using the most original ideas. What is your favorite part of being an artist? I can say with confidence that the best part of my profession is complete freedom. It’s total freedom of thought and the freedom of act. I’m just doing what has always dreamed - appeal to the viewer through my canvases and try to change the world for the better by changing the inner world of at least one person.
What is your creative process? All of my works are painted in oil on canvas. This is the most comfortable material for me, through which I can create a spectacular play of light and contrast, as well as various transitions. Usually I try to choose the most brave and interesting idea and on the basis of it to create dozens of sketches. Most of my works contain a large number of fine details. It’s very hard work and that’s why I spend from two to four weeks for one painting. What inspires you? Who inspires you? Speaking for myself I can say that my biggest inspiration is the desire to see done in the best way possible all my ideas. As for the artistic genres and artists which belong to them I can say that I’m inspired by all the historical movement of Pop Art and especially by Andy Warhol. At the time of my graduation thesis I studied his life in detail and consider him a genius of his time. A person who was very ahead of his time and was able to change the world of art. What pieces from your portfolio of work are you most proud of and why? I wouldn’t want to single out separately any of my work, as in each of them I have put heart and soul. Besides every picture is associated with a particular moment in my life and also shows my professional growth in art. So any of my work is dear to me in own way.
Who are you and what type of creative are you? My name is Silvia Conde and I’m an art director. I also photograph and design with enthusiasm. I come from Barcelona, but I’m currently living in Germany. How did you get interested photography & art direction? I don’t know why, I’ve always been interested in Arts. When I finished high-school, I thought of studying something like History of Art or Graphic Design, but I ended up studying Advertising and Public Relations. That gave me a deep knowledge of it. What is Soft Skin Fanzine and how did it get started? Soft Skin Fanzine is a project about skin photography. It all started in 2011, when I created the Flickr group. Some months ago, I realized I had collected more than 1000 outstanding photos and I thought I should do something else with them. That’s how I came up with the idea of a printed Fanzine. Two weeks ago, the first issue was finally ready and at the moment I’ve already sold more than the half of copies. What is your creative process? If you refer to my creative process for Soft Skin, well, I’m always looking for photographers on Flickr and adding their nice photos to the pool. Once they are there, I share them on Tumblr. I always try to follow a line. If you take a look at the Tumblr I think you’ll know what I mean. For example, the line is by the light of the photos, by the colours or by the textures,... The pictures that I like the most are also shared on the Facebook page.
For creating the first issue of the Fanzine, there were two different works. On one hand, the photos. I was looking for contributors for a couple of months. I wrote to some of them and some wrote me. They sent me photos they thought that would fit to the project and once submissions were closed, I chose the ones that were fitting better together. It was very very hard. I had 150 photos. On the other hand, I had to design the zine. The first issue is always the hardest, since you have to design all the layout. But still, I managed to do it as I had imagined. I wanted something very minimal and simple (because the important thing here are the images), but still elegant and fitting to the project. What is your favorite part of the creative process? That’s very hard to say. But it’s always nice to see the reactions, specially if they are positive. That confirms all the work was worth. Who/What inspires you? Why? I get inspired by so many things. The project of Soft Skin is 100% inspirational for me at the same time, of course. I always find inspiration in music, books, films. Apart from that, the photos of Théo Gosselin, reading the Kinfolk Magazine or The Weekender, living in the Black Forest, walking in Gràcia (Barcelona), having a drink in a cosy café of Berlin,...
Who are you and what type of creative are you? I’m Nate Hinners, and I’m and art director and graphic designer. I work as an art director at an advertising agency in Seattle, but I was trained in graphic design at The Creative Circus in Atlanta. My heart lies with design, and it’s what I spend a lot of my free time doing... I would draw type and letters all day, if I could.
So right now I’m enjoying the separation that occurs between my work and the rest of my life by working at an agency. But I’d love to move into full-time freelancing a little later in life because I really miss being able to put more of my own creative thumbprint on things. Right now, I get the most creative fulfillment from keeping sketchbooks with me at all times, personal projects that keep me up too late, and happy design accidents.
How did you become interested in graphic design? This is a really long answer best told over a few beers, but here’s the short version: When I graduated from undergrad, I started a clothing company that I ended up running for 4 years. The challenge of owning and running a company taught me so much about creativity, pushing myself, and it was also why I started dabbling in graphic design – I couldn’t afford a web developer at the beginning, so I taught myself HTML, CSS, Photoshop, and Illustrator. That was how I first got started, and it’s hilariously embarrassing to look back on my work from those days.
Do you specialize in one aspect of graphic design or can you do mix of many aspects of design? I’m capable of working in most areas of design, I think, but that doesn’t mean I’m great at all of them. I’m strongest at typography, packaging, illustration, and branding. Which works out really well, because I happen to love those things.
When did you realized that you wanted to be a graphic designer? I didn’t have some profound realization, it just found me. When I started going to The Creative Circus, I started out in their Art Direction program. It was great, but I kept getting jealous of what the design students were doing. So I switched to the design program and found my niche. For me, design is the perfect blend of creativity and problem solving. Do you want to always work at an agency or do you eventually want to become a full-time freelancer? Having run my own business for a few years, I can say with absolute certainty that freelancing and doing your own thing can be extremely stressful. You’re always working to find your next job, it can be a nightmare to get clients to pay on time, and you can never leave work and relax since you work from home!
What is your creative process for a project? It depends on the project and the client, but generally speaking, it goes like this: I research like crazy. Everything from the client to the target audience to what’s currently being done and not done in the design world. From the research comes the next phase – the strategy and concept. That’s easily the hardest part of the whole process. Sometimes brilliant ideas come right away, sometimes they never come at all. I make a ton of lists for this part, and I try to be able to write my final idea in a single sentence or phrase. Once the strategy and concept are nailed down, next is exploring different ways to express the concept. In school, we would sometimes have to do over 300 sketch ideas for a single concept. Thankfully, I don’t have to do that anymore, but if I have the luxury of time, I’ll still sketch a bunch of ideas to learn what works and what doesn’t. Sometimes an idea might seem great in your head, but will look terrible on paper. If I’m working on an illustration, then I’ll start drawing tighter and tighter versions of whatever I decide is right. In that case, tracing paper is my best friend. If it’s packaging, I’ll build mockups out of paper or bristol board to see how it really looks
and works. Then comes the time to actually produce the sometimes the best way to stay inspired is to walk away project. That’s the easiest part because all of the thinking, from the table, get away from the computer, and just go conceptualizing, and figuring out of details is already do something completely different for a while. What pieces from your portfolio of done. It’s just technique at that point. work are you most proud of and why? What is your favorite part of the design I’m proud of my Danny Elfman Special Edition CD packaging. I’m proud of it because I only had 2 and a process? My favorite part is the lightbulb moment when an idea half days to do everything from research and concept all or concept finally clicks in my head. It’s that moment the way through execution. I didn’t sleep from the time when lightning strikes and something way smarter than I started until I finished. It was an exercise in pushing what I’ve been thinking pops into my brain. I have no myself to do something that seemed impossible in the idea where it comes from, but it’s great when it happens! amount of time I had. It’s the thing that makes me rush to find pen and paper or rush to my computer. It’s the thing that keeps me up I’m also proud of my Holden concert poster illustration. at night with excitement. Though having said that, I I got to work on it in a class at The Creative Circus taught usually don’t have the luxury of time to wait for that. I by one of the guys who owns Methane Studios, and it often have to work really hard to find the right angle for was the first time that I realized that I could illustrate something that I was proud of. a project. What inspires you? Who inspires you? I’m inspired by people watching, nature, music, and reading. My soon-to-be fiancé inspires me (she’s a photographer – emilyrowens.com). I love walking through antique stores and bookstores for all of the awesome, weird, and terrible things on their shelves. I also just try to think really hard to push myself to do and make things that I haven’t seen before. When I’m feeling stuck, sometimes I’ll go to Designspiration. net for inspiration on new ways to look at things. And
Lastly, my Rage On magazine project is close to my heart for a few reasons: I learned so much about how to make layout design more personally interesting to me, I got to experiment with a lot of custom designed type, and I also got to work with some awesome photographers on figuring out how to bring certain photo concepts to life. And as luck would have it, it was how I met my future wife!
Who are you and what type of creative are you? I’m Sam and I’m an illustrator. I’m also just moving into my third year studying illustration at Plymouth University in the UK. I was born in London but we moved out about halfway through the current length of my life. I like things like the sea and long boarding and tea with honey in it. Oh and people, I really like people. How did you get interested in illustration? With me I feel like it was almost a process of elimination. I had always been into art at school, getting good grades and stuff. Then at college I took Graphic Design and Art and Design A levels and it’s like it started to make more sense. I was beginning to understand that this is the thing that I want to do in life, this is what I enjoy. Then the time to apply for university came around and I didn’t feel ready for it so I held off. In that time (in the latter part of my second year of A levels) I found that ‘illustration’ was just the right way to go. It was like I was looking for the thing that matched what I’d already been doing and illustration was it. It made sense; I was already going in that direction, why not take a course? So after A levels I went to another college in Swindon partly because I’d missed the boat with university applications and partly because in the UK if you want to study illustration at university it’s generally best to do a foundation year of study before. Doing that was a real affirmation that I was doing what I wanted. I learnt an unbelievable amount of stuff on that foundation year, then Plymouth took me on and now I’m tearing into third year. Illustration is important and powerful. It can make or break the sales of a
book or CD and, like so many things at their best and most influential, can be used to help people. I want to be part of that. What is your creative process? Hmm. It varies a lot and I’m obviously trying to improve it all the time. Usually after I get the brief/stimulus I’ll actually start with writing. This is quite a recent change; I used to start with drawing, but I sometimes felt like I could get carried away too quickly and forget or disregard good ideas. So I start with writing, mostly lists to begin with. I forget things a lot in everyday life so I feel at home with lists. I’ll dissect it all down and list everything that I think needs listing and write notes about different things. I like doing this on a massive bit of paper (cheap wallpaper works well) so it’s like a giant mind map. From here I feel like it’s pretty chaotic and unprofessional. It varies loads but it will involve lots of looking at the giant mind map, drawing, and writing. Then research. Conceptual, factual, visual. Whatever I feel like I need. I spoke to Viv Schwarz once, (A kids book illustrator that was helping us out with tutorials etc) and she said she thought there was such thing as over-referencing, especially visual. I found that interesting and although I think research is super important, she’s got a point. You can have too much of anything. After that it’s tons and tons of drawing. Depending on what the brief was about it could include character and environment concepts, abstract squiggles and thumb-nailing and composition stuff. That bit probably takes the longest. After that it’s picking what I think (and other people think) is best, making some decisions about appropriate media and processes and making ‘kick-ass imagery’ (as my tutor says).
the things you do. The people that inspire me start with my friends and family, their trials and successes. Then other creatives that inspire me because of the way their pictures look or make me feel or their overall ethos are Shaun Tan, Sam Wolfe Connelly, Sam Weber, Adrian Shaugnessy, Mark Weaver, Mikey Please, Atelier Olschinsky, Veronique Meignaud, Adam Ferris, Jeff Simpson and more and more. A list of names much longer than that is too boring. What pieces from your portfolio of work are you most proud of and why? I reckon it’s For Sale, Cold Feet, The Big Sleep, Outlier and Starlight Starlings. And I guess, put simply, it’s because I enjoy them as images. I think it’s cool that you can create work and then perceive it from the outside and like it. It’s also because in all of them I was trying something new: some weird photoshop brushes, a triangle grid, a drawing that’s nearly as big as me… Lastly I feel like they achieve just a little bit of that unquantifiable atmosphere which makes you try to understand something. And you know, I think that’s awesome.
What is your favorite part of the creative process? My favourite part will usually be the one that involves real life media. I do a lot of digital stuff, but love getting paint down on a board or covering a huge sheet of paper with graphite powder. It’s also the part I find easiest to obsess over in a spiritual, good for the soul, hippyish way. It’s about the journey etc. Who/What inspires you? Why? The things that inspire me the most visually are natural and organic things and man made things that are affected by natural and organic things. So clouds and waves and sunlight and buildings and erosion and decay. It sounds a bit depressing when it’s written down but I find real excitement and happiness in them. More conceptual inspiration is in a similar vein. I like the idea of the impermanence of everything, quiet and stillness, feelings and atmospheres that are hard to explain and the complexity of society and human relationships. These are all things which resonate with me on a personal level and are more related to the way I think. I feel like it’s heathy to put those things in your work so you can exorcise things that you don’t want in your head and explore and examine
Who are you and what do you do? My name is Carrie Ryan. I’m a 20-year-old musician in Cleveland, OH. I’m also a student at Cleveland State University, majoring in English with a creative writing focus.
channel and I thought it’d be kind of cool to post some original music. It wasn’t easy, but it felt natural.
How did you get interested in music and songwriting? I’ve always been interested in music. I think it has something to do with growing up in my family. I’m the youngest of ten, and most of my siblings played an instrument when I was growing up. It just felt normal and expected to take music lessons. I wanted to learn guitar because my brother Mark (he’s number 9 in the Ryan family) played and I thought he was so cool. From his music taste to his guitar skills, I wanted to be like him. I started guitar lessons when I was 13 and I continue to study classical guitar with the same teacher.
When did you realize that you wanted to be musician/singer in the professional world? I’ve always dreamt of being a musician, but I never considered taking it seriously until this past spring. Every day I get closer to graduating from Cleveland State, and I’m constantly bugged with the question of what I want to do with my life. I’ve toyed with the idea of teaching or becoming a writer or a lawyer, but I can’t picture myself doing anything else than making music. When I’m working on a song or recording, I feel like my most authentic self. I feel alive. I love the ability to express, to connect with others, to perform, and to be creative.
As for songwriting, when I was little, I would stay up past my bedtime and make up songs about my stuffed animals. I started trying to put real music together when I was 15, and “This Road” was the first song I ever wrote. I was getting bored of posting covers on my Youtube
I’ve never wanted something so much, which is scary. After all, what happens if it doesn’t work out? That’s what held me back all these years, the possibility that I could fail. But I no longer believe it’s possible to fail at this. After all, I’m able to record my own music and share 35
it with others. I’ve already accomplished my main goal. Now I’m focused on growing a fan base and getting noticed, and that’s where I’ve dedicate my free time. I’m determined to succeed. Where do you get your inspiration for your music? This is such a hard question! I get a lot of inspiration from experience. Since I spend so much time working on assignments for creative writing classes, lately I’ve been pulling inspiration from there. A couple lines from “This Year” are from my creative nonfiction piece “Lemon” [Which can be found at her website]. I also pull inspiration from indie movies on Netflix and books, especially poetry. I especially feel creatively inspired by Mary Oliver’s and Richard Siken’s work. Although I don’t think their voices shine through my songwriting, I love both of their styles and I think they have some influence over me. Who would you love to collaborate with or tour with in the future ? Paul Simon, Kevin Devine, and Brandi Carlile. I would give anything to tour with Brandi. I’m in love with her music and she’s a fantastic performer. It would be an honor. What was going through your head before / during / & after your first show? Before the show, I was freaking out about what I was going to wear (which I’m sure was just my brain’s way of dealing with my nerves). During the show, I was completely relaxed. I felt completely prepared and comfortable being up on stage. Afterwards, I was on such a high. It was amazing to have so many friends and family show up to cheer me on, and I was ready to get back on that stage as soon as possible.
Who are you and what type of creative are you? I’m a 25 years old illustrator and photographer from the Netherlands. I hold a BA in both Fine Art and Photographic Communication and will be studying in London this year to start my Master Degree in Visual Communication (Illustration). I’m an all-round creative person; I’m always working on something whether it’s a drawing, a painting, a photograph or retouching job. I also love to read and write, do DIY projects and crochet! How did you get interested illustration & photography? I’ve always been interested in drawing; I was a very creative kid. Art was always a way of venting emotions. It’s the main reason why I chose to study Fine Art. I got really interested in photography when we started getting photography classes in my Fine Art course. It opened up a whole new world to me. I especially liked (and still like) the retouching aspect that comes with photography. Illustration and photography are very different when it comes to process and how I approach them as an art medium. Illustration is a lot more personal to me for some reason, but I enjoy mixing the two together. For my graduation project (Photographic Communication) for example, I researched the ways in which photography and illustration could
be combined. In the future, I guess I would like to be able to see my Illustration and Photography work together, as a whole, instead of seeing them separately.
me if my work is vector based and it’s not. I don’t do anything with vectors. I like the idea that, if you look at my line work closely, you can see that I drew it by hand. I think that is my favourite aspect of illustration, to be able to see the artist behind the illustration in the brush strokes and line work for example. I also love that illustration gives you so much freedom; you can basically make whatever pops up in your head. In photography I enjoy retouching and collage most of all. I can spend hours doing beauty and fashion retouching or making collages from different landscapes. I love the surreal quality that comes with it. You can make something or someone look and feel incredibly realistic when in fact it’s not. I also really enjoy moody landscape photos, especially cinema influenced photography.
When did you realize that you wanted a career in illustration? When I chose to study Fine Art I knew I wanted to have a career in the creative field but I wasn’t sure which direction I was going to choose yet. After I graduated I took a 6 months break from drawing because I wasn’t sure what I wanted in terms of portfolio and I didn’t feel good enough. I started my Photographic Communication course and focused on that. Of course I really started to miss drawing and illustrating. I realized then that I really loved illustration. When I started teaching myself how to paint and draw digitally I knew that this was something that I would pursue as a career. Drawing digitally challenges me in so What is your creative process? many ways and I always strive to be better My process usually begins with loose words than my last work. or images I found that I find inspiring. Could be images from a game or a movie What is your favourite aspect of or passages from a book. I don’t really like illustration? Photography? sketching that much, so my sketchbooks As I said before, illustration feels very are usually filled with ideas and thoughts personal to me. Maybe it’s because you about future drawings or stories. When I create something from nothing with have a clear idea of what I want to make your imagination and your hands, I don’t then I’ll look for reference images or take know. I feel like there is more of me in my photos myself. I’ll start making some illustrations. I get a lot of people asking sketches in Photoshop and make the initial
games, movies and books. I’m a big fan of Neil Gaimann’s books and Tim Burton’s movies. I collect horror, thriller and fantasy books. I had to stop because my room got too small for the amount of books I have haha. Artists that inspire me are Jeff Simpson, for his amazing painting skills; Jon Foster, for his great use of colour and flow; Daniel Danger, for his beautiful lines and moody work. Other artists that I really enjoy are Hannah Christenson, Esao Andrews, Anouk Griffioen, Jeremy Enicio What is your favourite part of and Sam Wolfe Connelly. the creative process? I love doing research. I think that’s one What pieces from your portfolio of my favourite things about creating an of work are you most proud of illustration. I also really like seeing the and why? final image and the entire process it went I’m really happy with my piece ‘Knight’ from the Bone Mother series. I’m quite fond through. of it myself because I really like how the Who/What inspires you? Why? colours and the lines turned out, especially A lot of things inspire me but mostly it’s on the hands and hair. Another one of my line work on top of that. My colouring process varies; it depends on my mood really. Sometimes it’s flat colours, other times it’s a lot more like painting. Halfway through I’ll add some rough textures and make some colour changes just so I have an idea of what it could look like before I continue. When I’ve finished colouring, I’ll add all the textures, put in some highlights, add bits here and there and tweak the colours a final time.
favourites is ‘Zoey Scarlet’, because after finishing that one I felt like I finally found a painting style that suited me even though I’m still learning a lot in terms of digital painting. ‘Death’ and the ‘Queen’ from The Black Army series have been one of my all time favourites and I think they will stay that way for a long time. I like the combination between painting and drawing and the symbolism in the pieces and what they represent in the story. People keep asking me if they are partially photos, but they’re not. It’s all drawn by hand. I’m also really enjoying my black and white animal series. I don’t have a favourite one but whenever I work on a new animal I try to push myself to be better than the previous one I made. It’s a constant struggle to work on them because it takes up so much time, but it’s very rewarding once it’s finished.
Who are you and what type of creative are you? My name is Kara Smarsh, and I am currently an on-apparel graphic designer for an international clothing retailer that you probably own a few items from, as well as a concert photographer. How did you get interested graphic design? I began doing graphic design as a hobby, but also as a way to facilitate blogging and social networking before there were things like Tumblr, Myspace, Twitter, and Facebook. I taught myself Photoshop without even realizing that what I was doing was “graphic design” and that it could be a career. This was when I was about 14. What made you interested in concert photography? I had been doing photography in a really loose sense since about the time I started becoming active on the internet and blogging. Music had always been a huge interest of mine, but I started photographing friends’ bands when I was in high school. I didn’t do much concert photography at all during college, but I began getting serious about it last fall. I had told myself that I would start again once I finished college and things have progressed pretty quickly for me since then. If you can to choose between a career in graphic design or concert photography. Which one would you choose? If I could afford my rent and student loan payments by doing photography, I would do that. I like both things, but they are both very different. I like concert photography because although band and/or label clients will direct me in what they want to see in a photo set, I largely manage myself. What is your creative process? Each are similar yet very different for design and photography. I generally look at a lot of art — design, photography, and fine art. From each of those I take away the parts of me that I can see or the things that inspire me from
each thing and kind of think about them. When I design or work on photos I think about what attracted me to the inspiration pieces that I liked. What is your favorite part of the creative process? My favorite part of the process is pretty specific, but it’s the part between creating and sharing. I like to see people’s responses, but I like the point when I finish something and can see it completed. It’s great to go back and see something that you have created. Who/What inspires you? I’m inspired by a lot of art out there, like I said. Art that is referential to subculture is really interesting to me, which might be why I am so interested in concert photography. What would be your dream concert to shoot? This is a tough question to answer, because in less than a year I have shot a lot of bands that I never thought I would. Definitely the Flaming Lips, though. They have one of the best live shows I have ever seen. Other than that, maybe Radiohead or Nine Inch Nails. Something pretty epic. If you could live any where in the world, where would you live? This is tough. I don’t want to say “on the road,” but I’d like to be working in a position where my work-station was one that was traveling. I’d love to travel to do music photography. As far as long-term living, I’d like to be somewhere warm. What pieces from your portfolio of work are you most proud of and why? Right now I’m pretty well settled into my design career, but I’m really focusing on building my photography portfolio and my career with that. I’m probably most proud of my most recent photographic work. I have a few shots from twenty one pilots that I’m not really allowed to share, but also some photos I just took in Atlanta of Jim James.
Who are you and what type of creative are you? The names Walck. Julia Walck: graphic designer and illustrator extraordinaire. How did you get interested graphic design & illustration? I’ve been drawing since I was little; but I never really considered it as a profession until high school when I couldn’t seem to step away from my sketchbook. Actually, my two dream jobs as a kid were to be a stand up comedian or a travel agent… Go figure. When did you realize that you wanted a career in graphic design/ illustration? The original plan was to go to school for fine arts, but it worried me whether or not I’d be able to find work. That’s when I discovered graphic design as an option: it’s the perfect way for me to mesh my illustration and computer skills together and keep me happy. What is your favorite aspect of illustration? Graphic design? Happy accidents. This goes for both illustration and graphic design. I like the unexpected little “mistakes” that turn into design elements in the long run because they grow on you. On a contradictory note, my favorite thing about graphic design is Command Z. It gives you the freedom for so much trial and error in
a quick amount of time. Whereas, if you were to mean, I’ve used my tablet prior to do doodles do the same work by hand it’d take ages and lots and whatnot but this is the first time I blended of erasing. and actually spent time doing a portrait in Photoshop. It was a learning experience with a What is your creative process? lot of trial and error in the process, but I enjoyed Emotion is a big driving factor in my creative it. process because it will determine the kind of I’m always happy with my line work. I think the work I produce that day. For example, if I’m end result of these are cool because they’re an stressed or angry there will be lots of jagged lines interpretation of my brain patterns and what’s or claustrophobic spacial planes that appear. happening in my mind at the time I draw them. What is your favorite part of the creative process? My favorite part of the creative process is seeing it evolve from start to finish. The preliminary sketches and comps 99.9% of the time look like complete shit. It’s that drive to make it better that keeps me going. Progression overall, I guess.
One of my most recent watercolor pieces is a portrait of Elle Fanning. A black and white photo of her struck me and I immediately felt the need to paint it. Though, the emotions it brought out needed color. This was interesting to trick my brain into seeing the shades of dark blacks as bright pinks and yellows. I like putting a spin on things and giving it my own interpretation.
Who/What inspires you? Why? Music is a huge inspiration for me. I do a lot of random questions: work involving repetition. It’s very therapeutic to draw line after line channeling the resounding How do you like your coffee? rhythmic qualities of the music through my Ice cold but strong as an ox. fingers. If you could live any where in the What pieces from your portfolio world, where would you live? of work are you most proud of I’d like a designy loft, preferably in New York. and why? Close to local coffee shops and art houses, where “Nice to Meat You”, my digital drawing of Ron I could hop on the subway to get to the latest art Swanson might be my favorite thing I’ve done. installation and venture out to museums. This was really my first digital portrait and I couldn’t be happier with how it turned out. I
Who are you and what type of creative are you? I’m Shannon Lowe, a high school senior from Northern Virginia. I dabble in a lot of areas of art but my main focus is photography. In the fall I will be heading to college to major in film and photography. How did you get interested in photography? It started when I was in middle school. Once I began to see photographers work on the internet I knew I wanted to get involved with photography. I haven’t stopped shooting since the day I picked up my first camera. When did you realized that you wanted to do photography professionally? On the first day of high school my English teacher made us all stand up and say what we wanted to be. I told the class I wanted to be a photographer and I think that was the first time I said it out loud. Ever since then I’ve never found anything I’d rather spend my life doing. Do you want to specialize in one field of photography? Originally when I got involved with photography I wanted to be a concert photographer. However, over the years I’ve explored so many different avenues of photography that I don’t think I could ever settle on one. I want to be flexible
enough to bounce around to different areas and still produce quality images. What is your favorite part of being a photographer? Why? The best is when other people like my work. Everything I take feels really personal because I’m essentially showing people my point of view, and it feels amazing when people genuinely enjoy it. What is your creative process? Most of my photos are the result of a very touch-and-go process. There’s usually very little to no planning. I hardly ever know what kind of photo I’m trying to take. I just keep shooting and my ideas keep evolving until I take the right photo and I’m satisfied. What inspires you? Who inspires you? I’m so bad at answering this question because I have no idea. I think I’m more driven by motivation than inspiration. I take photos because I want to improve, rather than because something put me in the mood to. There’s always a nagging voice in my head that’s telling me I should be producing better photos and that is what really pushes me. What pieces from your portfolio of work are you most proud of and why? I worked on an alphabet piece for school. I sculpted and arranged flowers, woods, moss and other things into letters and
photographed them. It was very different than my normal photos because instead of just winging it I had to spend hours planning and creating it. The whole process became almost therapeutic and the result was so different from anything else I’ve ever made. There is also a photo of my boyfriend and I kissing that I love. It was the first overlay I was ever happy with and I love how gritty and chaotic it feels compared to a typical “couple photo”. If you had 48 hours to do a photo-shoot with one celebrity and you could go anywhere in the world to do this shoot. Who would you pick and where? Why? I’d be more than happy to work with any member of the Maine. They kind of bridge my love for music photography and more artistic photography. I have photographed one of their concerts before and it was a great experience. Their album artwork and promotional photos are always so well done and they appear to appreciate artistic influence more than some other bands. As for where I’d probably say Amsterdam. I visited there this summer and fell in love with the combination of historical and modern charm the city had to offer. I didn’t get a chance to take many photos though, so I’d definitely love to go back for a shoot.
Who are you and what type of creative are you? My name is Steve Panton and I am a UK based Illustrator and Designer working back and forth from Suffolk and Plymouth. Inspired by both Illustration and Design my work often rests upon the border between the two. I always ensure the outcome achieves what is needed even if this means working outside of my comfort zone. I use a mixture of traditional techniques and digital software within my work, always adjusting my practice, adopting new techniques in order to push my work further and to achieve the best possible result. How did you get interested illustration and design? My childhood consisted of my mother bringing back pieces of card from her job at a supermarket to give to me and my older brother, we would spend all our time drawing and would often deplete our materials faster than my mum could replace them. This and the fact that my grandpa Bernard Austin was an artist eventually lead to my interest in illustration, however there was a big period between when I did not want anything to do with ‘art’ I saw myself as a designer more specifically a product designer, with hindsight I think this was because of my older brother going on to study automotive design and so this predominately shaped my studies at school and college.
a hobby anyway and so can donate all my time to something I love. However, if I had to pick one aspect even though it might sound bizarre I love the stress! I really enjoy tight deadlines, fast turnarounds and challenging briefs because they all push me as a practitioner forcing me to learn by doing and the results more often than not pay off. What is your creative process? It entirely depends on the brief in question and the deadline. Sometimes the idea will just come to me when I least expect it but more often than not it involves research and writing a lot of lists, briefs need to be viewed as problems and my job is to solve the problem through the simplest method. But at the end of the day it still has to look cool!
What inspires you? Everything. I think it is almost impossible to name just one key thing that inspires someone, every day we soak up images, thoughts, sounds and opinions from an ever increasing selection of media and also from generally talking to people and going outside. I guess that television and film play a big part, mainly due to the fact that I always work with the television o. However, recently I have been feeling as though this visual stimulus has been acting like a crutch, because of this I have been reading a lot more, reading allows me to create my own visual interpretation, whilst with television, films and games this is supplied When did you realize that you wanted to be a for me and it can be very hard to avoid these influences, because my illustrator and designer professionally? job is to illustrate my own response not regurgitate something I have It wasn’t until my Foundation Course (a one year course I took in seen on television. between college and university) that the idea of being an illustrator/ designer was planted into my head. It was during this time that I What pieces from your portfolio of work are you most realised I no longer wanted my future to consist designing products, I proud of and why? saw myself as an ‘image maker’ however, my portfolio at the time was I always find trying to select work you are most proud of to be a very very much orientated towards graphic design, luckily though I did get difficult process. I think it is worth saying that it can be dangerous to onto an Illustration course at University, and from then onwards have be too proud of any one thing you have done, because this can then continued to work within both fields of illustration and design. result in you replicating this again and it is always important to think of a new way of pushing your work forward. What is your favourite aspect of illustration? This said, the work I am most proud of at the moment is my ‘The Big I enjoy the same things that I imagine all creative practitioners enjoy, Sleep’ book cover which resulted in me coming 2nd out of over 700 I get paid to do something that I would more than likely be doing as entrants in the Penguin Design Award 2013.
“I designed my cover to replicate the aesthetics of a vintage matchbox, hence the single colour, the screen-printed quality and ‘striker’ spine. The design also features many various motifs from the text, thus allowing the reader to re-visit the cover through out the course of the book. To add more to the concept I designed a potential ‘special edition’ push sleeve, further cementing the matchbox aesthetic. The ‘alternative’ cover has been stripped of information to leave it feeling more valuable. It shows that all the matches within the box have been burnt out bar one which carries the symbol of the knight, representing the character Philip Marlowe.”
time (much to my friends’ chagrin) working obsessively to improve on my craft. Sometimes I get frustrated that it Hello! My name is Alexandra Beguez, a freelance illustrator took me so long to figure it out. However, I learned many and cartoonist based in Weehawken, NJ (where Aaron important lessons along the way which currently inform Burr and Alexander Hamilton dueled). My narratives my work, so in the end I’m grateful for the journey. delve into whimsical mythologies populated with haunting characters, extremely bright colors and cautionary endings. I work primarily in ink, gouache, silkscreen and digital to create my pieces. When I’m not drawing, I keep busy I had an inkling that I wanted to pursue illustration when I making zines with friends and handmade, silkscreen books took a comics storytelling class my junior year at the behest featuring chimeric critters. So actually, I’m always drawing of a friend. It was taught by the amazing Nick Bertozzi, who (my wrist weeps). really opened my eyes to the world of comics and picture making in general. Another time, I recall going on a field trip to SVA’s Visual Arts Gallery to see the MFA Illustration as Visual Essay program’s Thesis Show. It dawned on me For as long as I can remember, I’ve always loved telling then that single images could also tell stories. stories through my drawings. However, I majored in computer animation at The School of Visual Arts, which Soon after realizing that computer animation wasn’t for meant aside from the few drawing and cartooning classes me, I knew I had to start from scratch in order to realize I was able to take, I spent the majority of my time working my new dream of becoming an illustrator. I began taking on my class assignments and eventually my thesis film. Continuing Education classes to acquire new techniques In retrospect, creating storyboards, character designs and and give myself deadlines (as I tend to procrastinate if left concept art ended up being my favorite part of the process. to my own devices). I became familiar with the work of extremely talented, seasoned illustrators and cartoonists Except for one or two freelance gigs, I haven’t animated and the illustration industry itself. I also attended local much since graduating. Although I tried to find work for events, illustration conferences and a few painful portfolio a long time, there was none to be found. At the time I was reviews which encouraged me to keep at it and not give up. pretty bummed at my inability to get a job but it gave me the time to think about what it was I really wanted to do. Did I really want to be an animator? Or was it creating narratives and the characters that live in those worlds the thing I really I love the challenge of telling a story or proposing an idea enjoyed doing? Since then and now, I’ve spent my free within one image. It’s a different process compared to
Who are you and what type of creative are you?
When did you realize you wanted a career in illustration?
How did you get interested illustration?
What is your favorite aspect of illustration?
comics, where you have multiple panels or pages to get Other times I decide to use gouache (watercolor’s opaque cousin), in which case I take the drawing to my lightbox your message across. and paint on a clean sheet of watercolor paper. I’m always experimenting with different mediums to achieve a certain look, but the ones mentioned above give me the best results. My process varies depending on what medium I’m using. All things begin with some research (looking up reference photos, reading up on a particular folk tale or species of animal, etc) before cracking open one of my many Ancient mythology and folktales, really good music, sketchbooks to jot down ideas and doodle barely legible traveling to new places, visiting local comic festivals, sketches. If I’m working on a comic, this part of the process watching thought-provoking films and having good can take a while until I really nail down the story. Once conversations with friends. I’m satisfied with my sketch(es), I draw them on bristol or watercolor paper and figure out which medium to employ.
What is your creative process?
What inspires you?
For comics, I ink my drawings with a brush and sumi-e ink (the best if you want the blackest black). If I opt to silkscreen, I might ink the drawing(s), scan and tweak them in Photoshop and finally print onto transparent vellum. Sometimes I ink all the separations directly onto the vellum. I take those separations and essentially create a stencil on which only the areas you want to print let the paint pass through. This is done for each color (so if you plan on 3 colors, you have to set up your screen three times). It’s a long process (usually takes longer to set up than it does to print) but it’s all worth it when you see the end product. Unless you mess up horribly. Then you want to die a little.
What pieces from your portfolio of work are you most proud of and why?
There are many pieces that I am proud of, but I am especially happy with my comic Melancholia, inspired by selkie folklore. It was created for a comics anthology I self-publish with my friends called Three-Armed Squid. Working with constraints can be both difficult and liberating (each issue is themed around the number four; the current issue’s theme is the four temperaments). This was a violent shove out of my comfort zone (Architecture! Interiors! Weird perspective! People that actually look like people!) but I couldn’t be happier with the results.
This is Issue Four of INK & ARROWS Design Magazine.