Browsing through DeviantArt, I found a very appealing typographic design, and viewing it I found this cool portfolio profile of two graphic designers that have a Studio named “Into1 Creative”. I decided to ask them for an interview because they do such a great job; I sent them 10 questions and I hope you like them or inspire you somehow. These two man are from Belgium, they’re freelancers and you may have seen their work around. Clients like Volaris and the Computer Arts magazine in the UK flow around these two brothers, Tim and Bram (Vanhaeren) will be answering my questions so let’s see what they have to say!
Tim & Bram Vanhaeren are both graphic designers based in Kapellen, Belgium
Tim is 21 years old and recently earned his bachelor’s degree in Cross-Media Design. He’s been in love with design since he discovered Photoshop back in 2003. His specialties range from photo-manipulation, digital art, web design to motion graphics and visuals. In his spare time he’s running an electronic music blog Phase02.org, enjoying to spin records as a DJ at local parties and bigger clubs around Belgium and Netherlands. He’s also been into Athletics since he was a little boy of 7 years old.
Bram is 19 years old and shares the same passion as his older brother. He’s been developing his style since his first pen tool experiments in Illustrator about 5 years ago. Bram’s style ranges from simple illustrations and typography to mixed media artwork. When he’s not making art, Bram enjoys going out with friends, practice together with his brother for the next Athletics competition and he can’t resist to spend his money on clothes and new fancy accessories.
They also run Wallpaperart.org, a blog constantly in search for the most incredible wallpaper art for your desktop. Wallpaperart aims to bring the art closer to the user by involving the artists through interviews, tutorials, contests and a lot more.
In the photo, Tim is the one on the left (21 years old) and Bram being the one on the right with only 19 years old. [Let’s not forget this is an old post, they must be 26 and 24 respectively now as I interviewed them in 2009]
Tim studied in Cross-Media design and Bram in Saint Lucas. How was your experience during school and what have you learned form your time there? How much did your professional education help you both in your overall careers?
Tim – Actually Bram didn’t finish his course because he was always in conflict with his teachers. He didn’t want to give up his style which was crap according to them. But he’s gonna try again in another school next year. I in the other did finish Cross-Media design. To be honest I didn’t learn to design at school. I think that’s something you need to learn along the way. It’s a huge process where you’ll need to develop your style and learn to use the available tools to execute. In school I learned a lot about printing techniques, color management, accounting and some web design languages. All stuff you don’t really want to learn by yourself. But as freelance designer you have to have that knowledge too. So that was very useful.
Where do you get the inspiration for making such great pieces of work? Do your dreams and life experiences inspire you in some way?
Tim – We listen a lot of music. Actually I run my own music blog “phase02.org”. I guess music unconsciously influences our designs. We also read a lot of blogs and magazines to stay up to date with the current trends. But basically random events during the day inspires us the most. Sometimes an idea just pops up in our head. We don’t know where it came from. It had to be linked to something we saw or did earlier that day. And of course we can’t deny that other amazing designers can inspire us.
You are two of my favorite designers, but talking about you… who are your favorite designers and why? If a web portfolio is available, can you show us the URL?
Tim – Hard to say… For that would be Niklas Lundberg (diftype.com), Theo Aartsam (sumeco.net) and David Waters (ishbu.com). But that’s just the graphic design part. I’m also a big fan of motion graphics.
What are your long term goals? Do you guys have big plans for your future?
Tim – Currently we want to make into1 as successful as possible before Bram goes studying again. Our dream was to run our own design studio together. And we started doing that already, but it’s not easy and we’re far from there yet. Besides that we’re running wallpaperart.org which also a project we want to get as big as possible.
As freelancers and professional designers, tell us about some good and bad experiences that you’ve had with your clients. How did you deal with them?
Tim – Bad experiences are easy! You’ve probably heard this like a trillion times. But the most common difficulties are clients who think they’re designers. Here’s a comic that I’ve recently found that perfectly illustrates what I’m talking about: http://theoatmeal.com/comics/design_hell
How do you deal with it? Well, you just do what they want but you never show it on your portfolio. We’ve got tons of work we’ve never shown to the public, because we’re ashamed of it. Good experiences? Well, I guess that would be working for an advertising company who had allowed us to make super trendy artwork for a boring political party who thought it was way to refreshing, but the advertising company didn’t care. That was kinda fun. But yeah, it’s basically the jobs where you can do what you want and the clients like whatever you do. On the other hand you’ve also got clients who allow you to do whatever you think is best but at the end, they’ve had an idea in their head and they turn out to be the clients from the comic I’ve shown you earlier.
What would your perfect design workstation be? And, how does yours look like?
Tim – For us I think it should be a very bright (white colored) space with some simplistic, fresh-looking furniture. Some great speakers to play our music, ours and other artists’ prints on some of the walls, two iMACs, some paper to scribble on and we’re off. I said “should” because we don’t have our own studio yet. But our rooms look kinda similar. Mine is completely white with some black elements, some prints on the wall, my computer and some magazines on my desk and my turntables and mixer, right next to me on my lil DJ setup.
Bram – I also have a white room, with one black wall, another wall completely filled with A3 prints, a punch bag right in the middle to punch some steam off and my desk with some empty papers and my iMac on it. You should check out our into1 blog. We’ll be posting some exclusive pictures behind the scene.
What kind of design do you like or prefer to do?
Tim – I think I speak for us both that we prefer doing posters, typo art and illustrations an such. They all kinda link together. But we both love working with photographs, typography and illustrations, mixing them all up, making a nice a composition. Web design is less fun but very important for the business of course. Logotypes too actually, even though that’s probably the most difficult part of graphic design.
What would you say to those young creative minds who want to be designers? If you could spill out some tips for being a good freelancer, that’d be nice!
Tim – Have fun! You really need to be passionate about it and love what you do. Of course there’re difficult clients, but if you love what you do, you’ll get through it. It’s a huge cliché but it’s true.
For you, what’s the difference between Art and Design? And what is your own concept of the word “Design”?
Tim – I’d say “design” is having the feeling of colors, typography and composition to translate that in various commercial media. Make communication look nice. Know to communicate with colors and look&feel, understand the goal, target audience and translate that into your design.
Art is more a way of telling people a story without any rules or trends. A certain way of being free and express what’s on your mind in whatever media you like.
That’s our opinion on this matter. Hard to explain in English though.
How did the “Into1” name came out?
Tim – As I told earlier we always wanted to run our own creative studio together. And this is the first step. The name “into1” is based on the idea of two brother, two visions, two different styles bringing it all together into one.
That would be all, I thank those two for allowing me to interview them in such a short notice :). If you notice a mistake or want to give feedback, don’t forget to leave a comment.
Contact the Vanhaeren brothers is easy, try these:
Tim’s Deviantart (nickname: RIPIX, love for art and music)
Bram’s Deviantart (nickname: Espador, Bram Vanhaeren)
Please don’t be mean with my questions, I was like 16 for Christ’s sake!