The Netherlands might be below sea-level, but when it comes to design, it’s right up there! Digital artist, Kevin Roodhorst, believes in developing concepts and working on a central element. Here, he takes us on a tour of his design that has helped bag various international exposure.
CG: Tell us about your evolution as a designer? What made you choose this career path? What do you enjoy most about what you do?
KR: I started around the age of 13, making a mixtape and album covers for artists I liked. After receiving a lot of positive comments I was motivated to keep photoshopping. I graduated in 2012 as a Graphic Designer and currently work at a post production studio called Souverein for almost 2 years. Becoming a designer was a natural choice. I loved how one can create in Photoshop and develop creative ideas. I enjoy the freshness and freedom that comes with this profession.
CG: Most of your designs focus on human forms and faces. Is that your style or is it coincidence? What are key elements you always use in every design? What are your inspirations?
KR: It’s not really what I would call style. I simply love working with eye catching elements or models and manipulating them furthermore. And it’s just a coincidence that most of the time it happens to be a beautiful female model with a mysterious expression. Beauty can never escape any eye, can it? And just like a central plot in a book, placing the element right in the center of the canvas helps in making the artwork hard-hitting and comprehendible. As for inspirations, surfing the web is it. There are plenty of inspiration websites floating around like: fromupnorth.com or abduzeedo.com or behance.net. Another thing to explore, that’s interesting and inspiring, is the work of other artists online.
CG: You mainly focus on designing for advertising. How do you use your design to put your own idea into it? How much freedom are you given? How often do you feel restricted?
KR: The amount of freedom you get depends on the client and the brief. But most of the time, they want me to work on their project because of my style and strengths. Hence, the restriction is not so often present as much as freedom is. But at the end of the day, one has to understand that it’s not personal work and that appeals differently to each and every one. When the client comes back with feedback, changes need to be made even if you’re not satisfied with it. I guess this is a universal truth!
CG: Being a freelancer at such a young age, how do you manage to get assignments and projects? Have you worked on some international projects?
KR: I’m glad to be living as a designer in the time of social media. As you might have already guessed, most assignments are obtained via social media, mainly Facebook and Behance network. Once you get your name out there the rest of it happens on its own. Before you know it, you become viral and at that point of time it doesn’t matter where in the world you are. That’s how my portfolio has assignments that are international. I regularly work for clients in Brazil and Canada.
CG: How is it being a designer in The Netherlands? Is there a lot of competition? How do you feel your skills and talent stand out from the rest?
KR: I think that I’m lucky to be a designer in The Netherlands because there are enough companies offering work and looking for talented designers. I didn’t noticed much competition when looking for work. It’s really important to start as soon as possible by landing a job with a design company instead of staying at school. In this creative sector, you don’t learn much at school. You have to figure it out yourself.
CG: Where do you see yourself in the next five years? What is your dream project that you’d love to do at some point in life?
KR: In 5 years, hopefully I’m still working at Souverein with much more knowledge and experience! My dream project would be to work for a client such as Discovery or National Geographic.
Published in Issue 22
This issue is dedicated to the talented design graduates who are not just looking to work but seeking experience in order to realise the greater goal of life. The issue features various designers from India and abroad. Kevin Roodhorst from The Netherlands realised his goal so early in life that propelled him to start his career as a designer as young as 13. Ashish Subhash Boyne, a student of Sir JJ Institute of Applied Art realised his dream while studying when he started doing freelance projects, which allow him to express his free thoughts. To name a few talents we have Vivek Nag from Fine Arts from Rachna Sansad, Simran Nanda from Pearl Academy, Anisha Raj from MAEER MIT Institute of Design, Giby Joseph from Animation and Art School and much more.
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