The Art of a Modern Day (Art) Career
Leave the claustrophobic metropolis of “contemporary art,” and you’ll find that there plenty of other stops along the highway to a career in art.
There are the blue-chip contemporary market ancillaries like curation and restoration. Maybe, if you’re tough enough (read: rich enough), you can trade the stuff and make a fortune.
Move further down the road and you’ll find modern applications of classic skills, like illustrating.
When you think about it, graphic design is essentially the modern version of an illustration gig.
And, while the contemporary art market may fear to meld with corporate minds, the modern graphic designer essentially practices the art of illustration-for-hire.
Brands and companies are primary patrons, as opposed to ritzy private collectors. If you think about it, the creator of a successful branded-design project is likely to be seen by more people, in any event.
To learn more about Artvoice interviewed Lola Benincasa, a real-life working graphic designer. Originally from France, Benincasa shared with us her thoughts on the inspiration and craft required to make it as a pro in this corner of the art world.
Do you feel that your own personal style informs each of your projects? Is it possible to include too much of your own style?
My experience teaches me how to find the balance in something I’ve created.
Every graphic designer as their own personal style. Everyone is different, after all.
This is the reason why a client will want to collaborate with us, but this “personal style” should be adjustable depending on the client’s demand.
It can be tricky and when a graphic designer doesn’t want to include too much of his own style in a project.
Projects can easily look alike and the graphic designer’s challenge is to create something different for each client.
The main challenge for graphic designers is to adapt your own personal style to the client’s identity.
Do you keep a lookbook of other contemporary graphic design that you find to be motivating or inspirational?
I think it’s nice to look for inspiration in books and to get away from the internet sometimes.
Some of the books are about famous designers, some are listing inspiring project done by agencies or independent graphic designers.
Instagram is also a good way to find inspiration. I’m using instagram as other people use Pinterest. I created my own folders and save everything I see that can inspire me for a futur job or in general.
When working on a new project, how many initial ideas do you come up with before deciding on one that you will develop further?
I try to not restrain myself in any way when I am starting a new project and looking for ideas. In general, I’m trying to get away with 3 or 4 different ideas to present to the client.
When I’m inspired, I prefer to try a lot of different things. Putting all your ideas on paper can help your imagination… you see more than what you would’ve seen with just one shot at it.
When you’re not working, do you also spend time on your own projects?
I’m trying to spend as much time as possible on my own projects. I think it’s an amazing way to progress in your field when you are working for yourself, especially when you work on a project you’re passionate about.
For example, I recently started a « blog » about food and tips in Williamsburg. I’m having fun designing all the visual content and seeing the project grow day by day.
I believe, as a graphic designer, it’s fundamental to adapt your creative style to the demand. In the meantime, a project that’s truly yours is the only way to exercise the craft without restraint.
Did you ever feel intimidated by how competitive the graphic design field is now?
Nowadays companies have the opportunity to reach out to several designers. I think the challenge is to stand out with your own style while staying up to date with the latest trends of the graphic industry.