In the two short years since we first featured Quintin Weyer on the site, he’s gone from working predominantly with uni pin pens to favouring a sharper, increasingly digital approach. After completing his B.Tech in fine art printmaking and illustration at NMMU, in the small and rather insular city of Port Elizabeth where he grew up, Quintin moved to Cape Town where he gained a print design and publishing certificate at Friends of Design. Last year he contributed an artwork to Essie Letterpress’ beautiful 2016 Artist’s Almanac, and also brought his unique, contemporary blend of illustration and design to a cross media kit for indie pop band The Vanilla and an imaginative re-branding of Jungle Oats. We caught up with this exciting young talent to chat more about his work and plans for the year ahead.
How and why did you become interested in graphic design?
I became interested in graphic design whilst studying fine art at Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU). In my first year there, we had a broad range of subjects from graphic design to sculpture. At the time I had no idea where I wanted to go as an artist, and it was only in my second year of studies whilst doing printmaking that I found where my passion and skills lay. I also had a few Computer Arts magazines lying around at home and they exposed me to digital illustration and great design.
Most of my friends ended up studying graphic design and they taught me few things while I was busy with my printmaking and illustration degree. After finishing my B.Tech at NMMU I freelanced and played music for a year, which was tough and extremely rewarding. I taught myself a bit on Illustrator throughout the year but soon realised that it wouldn’t be enough. I found the Friends of Design print design course online, and it was just what I needed to develop my skills further in a short space of time.
Tell us about your style of graphic design.
I am not entirely sure what my style of graphic design is, but it is heavily influenced by illustration. I try to blend illustration with design, keeping my work relevant and contemporary. I’m careful not to follow trends.
What has your experience as a student been like? What valuable lessons did you learn along the way?
Being a student has been great. Whilst studying fine art I had a lot of creative freedom which allowed me to develop my own style of illustrating. I left varsity ready and confident that I would take on the world as an illustrator, but this turned out not to be the case. I was in a bubble at NMMU and didn’t really think about how my illustrations would fit into the real/commercial world. Moving to Cape Town was a humbling experience as I got a taste of what being a freelance illustrator really encompasses. It was a great learning curve and my shortcomings became apparent during this time. Friends of Design was the perfect course for filling in the gaps in my skill set. Going the digital route opened up a lot of new pathways for my work and opened my eyes to possibilities that hadn’t been there before. A valuable thing that I learnt in my time at Friends of Design was to spend enough time brainstorming and getting my concept down on paper first. Even though the deadlines were short, spending more time fully forming my ideas on paper really helped speed up the process when digitising everything later on.
What’s the best piece of advice you received while studying?
Hmmm. “Plan first and mind map!”
Please tell us about your creative process.
I always start by sketching out my first few ideas which are generally pretty bad. From there I mind map and write down keywords that link to the brief. I then start sketching out small thumbnails, which generally takes me a bit of time before I come up with an idea that I really like. I keep the brief in my mind wherever I go. I caught the train to class everyday this past year and I would say 80% of my ideas came while I was on the train. It gave me time to think, I love sketching concepts in my moleskin!
Where do you draw your inspiration from?
Mostly from things I hear and see day to day. I have quite a long list of illustrators that I follow as well. It inspires me to look at their work because it reminds me that I still have a lot to learn.
How has music influenced your designs?
Music will often find its way into work. It is something I am very passionate about as well, and it naturally flows over into my design. A piece I did recently for Essie Letterpress is evidence of this.
How has your work changed or developed over the last year?
I have moved towards digital illustration and I use a Wacom for most of my work now, as opposed to a paintbrush. I use a lot more shapes and vector graphic imagery in my work as well.
Which of your creative projects are you most proud of?
Definitely my piece for Essie Letterpress! It was the most fun and exciting project to be part of.
What are you busy with at the moment?
I am currently busy with two large freelance jobs. Both are for bands. The one project is really exciting and is for a band form Paris and unfortunately I can’t say much more about it than that. The other is a complete rebranding and media kit for a local band which is also going to be a lot of fun!
Describe your dream job.
My dream job would be to work in a shared creative space with like minded people. A space that would allow me time to work on my fine art illustrations and design simultaneously.
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