It’s often the simplest idea that yields the best results. Arseny Vesnin, founder of the Designcollector – one of the best-respected web resource dedicated to design –knows it full well: three months ago his brainchild passed its ten-year milestone and, Vesnin thought, what better way to pause and marvel at a great achievement then to invite a bunch of graphic designers to take over the anniversary issue of the Designcollector’s print cousin, DCMAG magazine, and make a contest out of it? The celebratory DCMAG Issue#3 was supposed to feature all of the contest’s future participants and the first four were to be awarded some seriously cool prizes. Simple idea, and yet what a creative fiesta it turned out to be!
Partnered with the “OFFF Festival” and sponsored by Depositphotos, organizers of “The Digital Decade” competition came up with yet another simple idea: the participating artists would have to use stock images from Depositphotos to produce graphic works of art with one common motif: “The Digital Decade.”
By May 30th, the jury of Hector Ayuso (OFFF), Rob Ford (The FWA), Romain Colin (Fubiz), Sara Blake, Ola Omami, Dmitry Karpov (BHSAD), Elena Flanagan-Eister (Depositphotos) and Arseny Vesnin (Designcollector) had more than a hundred submissions to sort through: 15 went on the short list, and four finalists received the Grand prizes (Wacom Cintiq, iPad Mini, Wacom Bamboo and the special Depositphotos’ Choice Award for the best usage of images from the Depositphotos library – a three-month free subscription from Depositphotos, respectively). Selected pieces were showcased on June 6–8 at the “OFFF Festival” in Barcelona.
Over the last several weeks, we sat down with the four finalists of “The Digital Age” competition and found out what design means to them, what their hopes and dreams are, and what gets them up in the morning. Thus, we present to you a series of four interviews (mind you, in no particular order), which will illuminate and explain for many of you the ever-so-versatile, mysterious and beautiful world of modern graphic design.
2nd Place – Xavier Bourdil (France)
Prize: Apple iPad Mini
DepositPhotos 1 Month Subscription (5 daily images)
Designcollector Magazine – Back Cover
1. HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN DOING GRAPHIC DESIGN? HOW DID YOU START?
I’ve been into graphic design for about five years now. I started right after I finished my literature studies.
2. HOW WOULD YOU CHARACTERIZE YOUR OWN STYLE?
Mmmm, hard to say! I read a comment about my work one day where someone said that my work was “dark but poetic.” This pretty much defines most of what I’m trying to do.
3. WHAT MOTIVATED YOU TO TAKE PART IN THE DIGITAL DECADE CONTEST?
Well, a contest is always a good challenge; one has to follow certain rules in order to move up, as opposed to just winging it when it comes to unadulterated self-expression. The topic of the contest attracted me as well – kind of a tribute to all things digital. It all looked right to me.
4. WHERE DO YOU USUALLY FIND INSPIRATION?
Mostly on the web. I used to download a lot (really, a LOT) of pictures every day. Some years ago I created a blog that I still use as a gigantic show bill. Basically, I sponge off tons of images every day and once the “sponge” is full, I must squeeze some of the contents back. Squeezing that first drop is a very slow process, but this is how a new project always starts.
5. PLEASE DESCRIBE YOUR REGULAR WORKING DAY.
I wake up pretty early, like 6 or 7 am, to go to work (I work in the center of Paris, and live in the suburbs). After a day at work, I come back home to spend time with my wife and children, and then from about 9 pm to midnight I work on my own stuff, whether (rarely) it’s commissioned work or just some random personal projects and experiments.
6. WHAT WAS YOUR MOST CHALLENGING PROJECT?
So far, the Fotolia “TEN collection” because the deadline was very tight and the required style was a bit different from what I usually do.
7. PLEASE TELL US MORE ABOUT THE WORK YOU SUBMITTED FOR THE DIGITAL DECADE CONTEST. HOW DID YOU COME UP WITH THIS IDEA?
Digital decade meant to me the mix between men and machine: more precisely, men and digital screens. So I began with a portrait which i slowly deconstructed, adding some lighting effects and darkening it as a final touch.
8. DO YOU HAVE ANY EXPERIENCE WORKING WITH MICROSTOCK AGENCIES?
HAVE YOU EVER SUBMITTED YOUR WORKS FOR SALE IN PHOTOBANKS? IF NOT, WOULD YOU CONSIDER DOING IT?
Yes, I do. I took part in the Fotolia project “TEN collection” about two years ago. It’s great for someone like me to have such a database for my little experimentations. But, even though it’s great to play with other people’s images, I don’t consider selling my work there. Actually, I don’t consider selling my work at all. I do what I do mostly for pleasure and, above all, to improve my visual language skills as a graphic designer.
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