Big welcomes to you and your desires to immerse your inner -most self in our Bank Holiday Friday offerings. And by God how we haven’t disappointed. This week we want to introduce you to how things go down on the South side. And we’re not talking Elephant & Castle, we’re talking way down South on the coast of Africa. Say a big hello to Cape Town and this weeks featured Illustrator/Designer ‘Marchand’. Here’s a bit about what gets him going.
How did you get into design?
I studied graphic design at the University of Stellenbosch where I also did alot of proactive work for bands. I also have a love for painting. Working in a mixed-medium, using basically anything I can found around the house. A painting is probably not the right word for my pieces, more ‘structured chaos’ you can hang on your living room wall.
The detail in a lot of your pieces is astounding. Who would you describe as your biggest influencers?
My influences are the works of the Pop-art, DADA and German expressionism movements. Ralph Steadman, Stefan Sagmeister, Justin M Maller and Bitterkomix. I love to explore in second hand book stores and use influence from vintage American typography.
What is the process for creating your pieces?
I usually do a rough sketch of my idea on paper. From there I take it into Illustrator and then start layering and treating it in Photoshop. There is alot of room for movement and the final piece usually differs from the original idea. Composition and of course my Wacom tablet are key.
Typography often features in your work, do you enjoy doing it as much/more than/less than general design work?
My opinion is that typography is just a more organised form of illustration. But I think the two go hand in hand. It all depends what you are trying to say, for example you cant use a graffiti typeface for a london underground sign.
In the past you’ve worked for agencies and as a freelancer. What’s your current set up?
I’m currently freelancing under my alias Marchand and I also started Rodeo Productions with a my friend Nathan Fourie. Rodeo focus more on animation and motion graphics. I prefer freelancing to agencies. The turn around time is quicker, you can choose your projects and go for a surf or play a round of golf when you like.
You’ve spent most of your life in South Africa but you also had a brief stint in London, how do the two compare in life and in work?
Yeah I worked in London for a year in 2009. London’s mix of cultures, international bands and general visual overload defiantly influence my work. You can get anything there. But I prefer South Africa with its open landscapes, blue sky, white beaches, 11 languages, broken past, 2010 Soccer graveyard, get in your car drive where you want to, £1 pints and double brandies.
As well as your design skill we know you’re not too shabby a bass player, are you currently playing?
Yes. i’m currently playing bass for South African Rap superstar Jack Parow.
If we had the power to make you a world famous designer OR a rock & roll superstar, which one would it be?
I would love to be a world famous designer like Storn Thorgerson. (The guy who did all the Pink Floyed covers). Band life looks better from the outside.
You have friends in high places. Do most of your design requests come via friends and acquaintances?
I get alot of work from my friends in bands and some advertising agencies locally, but i’m busy looking to hookup an agent abroad. The strangest request was to design a tombstone for someone.
Album artwork and gig posters play a major part in your folio, does your passion for music generally influence you to do these projects?
Yeah music plays a big part in my design process, it won’t work with out it. It always sets the mood for what I am designing.
And which bands have you done pieces for?
Jack Parow, aKING, Die Heuwels Fantasties, Fokofpolisiekar, Van Coke Kartel. You guys will probably not know them but here in South africa they are as big as The Arctic Monkeys, The View, The Enemy etc. maybe bigger, HaHa. I am also busy designing the posters and TV ad for Bloc Party’s South African tour in October.
What tips can you give us on the South African way of life?
Don’t walk down some dark alley without a gun, there maybe a lion sleeping there.
Is the sea in Cape Town as scary as everyone makes out, thanks to the sharks and all that jazz?
No man the sea ain’t scary at all but it’s defiantly more intimidating than Cornwall and definitely more cold. But remember it is the Southern tip of Africa and there are far worse things in the sea than sharks. Surely you know that if a shark attacks you, just kick him on the nose. Oh yeah and don’t pee in the water, that attracts the great whites.
Finally can you give us a few Afrikaans buzz words to impress and more importantly offend our mates?
Fokof jou naai. (And naai does not mean ‘sewing’).
Big thanks To Mr Marchand and all of his witty banter. While he’s off kicking some sharks in the nose we’re gonna find a park to go lie in for three days (whilst profusely praying to the sun gods). Seeeeeeee yaaaaaaaa. Go see Marchand at his website.
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