Last year I had the opportunity to interview Stathi Kougianos and, since then, I discovered that south africa had also a rich poster culture, probably pretty unknown around the world. I contacted many artists there but results were not as good as expected. This is, partially, the reason why I am so glad to have Alexis with us today !
Hello, of course as every Crewk interview, first question: what are we listening to when we come to visit you?
Tenaciouse D - Recently feel in love with them
Can you tell us more about yourself, who are you, where are you from, what do you do?
I am currently working as a graphic designer, doing mainly broadcast work. Other than that, I paint and design stuff. I also play drums for a hard rock band called Juggernaught.
When did you start drawing?
When I was a kid in school I used to draw a lot in my school books. I was mainly inspired by MAD magazine so a lot of my stuff was ridiculous and crewd, much like it is today.
Did you follow any course or did you improve by drawing in the margins of your schoolbooks?
I have always been drawing, but was too lazy to do art in school. I finally did a course in design and illustration when i was 26 for three years. Thats when I really learnt to draw.
I wish I was, but unfortunately I have a 9 - 5, but at least its design. Hopefully in the future I will be able to draw and paint for a living.
Are you collaborating with magazines/fanzines, regularly?
Not really. I recently did a drawing for an Art magazine which was sold in Germany and over here, which was pretty cool. But other than that its usually personal work or stuff for the band.
Where does your influence come from? Is there any artists/graphists you particularly like, what are your influences?
I am pretty eclectic when it comes to styles and influences. What I like one week usually changes to something different the next. This is evident in my work, which keeps changing. Consistency is a virtue that I do not posses. It is something I should try to work on, but I get bored pretty quick, so Not sure how that is going to work out.
Finding referance and inspiration is the first thing obviously. I also always do a lot of thumbnails before hand, to get concept and layout down. Then I draw everything, scan in colour and add text.
Do you do everything by hand or on computer?
I try to do as much as I can by hand. I usually use computer for colouring and so on. Sometimes if it is a design heavy poster I just do it straight on computer.
How long does it take you to do a poster?
It depends on the poster. If it is an intricate hand drawn poster then two days or so, but a designed poster can take me a few hours. So anywhere between that.
You have a very distinctive style, are you doing only what you feel like or if tomorrow somebody asks you an oil painting with horses running out of water with a sunset backdrop, is it a problem or are you up for it ?
Since I am not being paid most of the time, then I do whatever I want. I have done some commission work where its fool of cheesy crap. I try not to do jobs like that, because its not fun to work on and I cant put it in my portfolio afterwards because i find it really ugly. That is a job just for the money, and I do it if I really need the money,
For which band have you already worked for?
Most of my stuff is for my band, which is cool because I can do whatever I want.
For which band would you love to work?
I would love to do stuff for "the black keys" and "Pearl Jam" just because they always have such cool artists doing their stuff.
Id say coming up with the concept. The rest is straight forward. I spend a lot of time doing preparatory sketches to get my idea across. Composition is also an area where I try to concentrate on. Trying to get every band on to the poster in an interesting way but also keeping the balance cool.
Do you think you are part of a "Graphic Scene", if so who else ?
No, I dont think I am part of a scene. Since my style changes all the time, means that I cant really subscribe to something specific.
A bit of self-promotion, take advantage of it, it's free, where can we see your work , on the web or in real life?
You can view my work at www.wisdumb.co.za or coroflot www.coroflot.com/oed3. Check out my band as well at www.facebook.com/JUGGERNAUGHTMANROCK
The best praise you received lately?
Would probably being featured in "Lines" magazine.
What can we wish you for the future?
That I get asked to design posters for "the black keys" or "Pearl Jam"