Germany is renowned for its strong hold on history and culture. And amidst this inspirational setting, Martin Grohs, a self-taught Graphic Designer, creates concepts and not artwork. “It’s satiating to create work that encourages viewers to think about the topic.” he says. How you show it is important but what really matters is what you’re showing. He talks to Creative Gaga to throw some light on his dark mysterious designs.
CG. Your designs are dark, mysterious and a great experience. What vision, inspirations and philosophies do you incorporate in your artwork?
MG. Yes, most of my work is partially dark. But a lot of it depends majorly on the mood I’m in. I love dark images because it’s in this darkness where colours can live. I find inspiration every day, whether through friends, other artists, advertising or music. Everything I experience and see inspires me. I always want a good concept, which is the most time consuming stage of the process. Once I’ve arrived at that, I really love to create a lot of detail, so that the viewer can find something new in every detail.
CG. From a talented person to a design professional, how has your journey been? How have your designs and skills transformed to stand out in the crowd?
MG. My design journey started when I was a child. Since then, I’ve constantly experimented. I’ve tried various styles, techniques, programs and tools. This was the best way to evolve as a designer, where I learnt new things and found my own unique way to improve. It’s important to be yourself. One should base their creations on one’s own expressions, feelings, thoughts and opinions and must not be dictated by external factors. This goes on to give birth to untouched ideas and concepts. And of course, with such an approach, not everyone may like what you create. But then again, that’s not the goal.
CG. You make vivid use of effects and transformations in your images and designs. Through your professional services, how do your designs help your viewers/brands?
MG. Because I mainly work in advertising, a lot of skill and talent lies in presenting a good concept in a different, interesting and provocative manner. As a designer, a design is much more than just a good looking image. It’s about creating an image that leaves viewers pondering about the topic. At times, the concept is more important than the implementation.
CG. How has being a designer in Germany benefitted you? What special cultural traits do you work with? With internet bringing the world together, what foreign inspirations have captivated you?
MG. Customers and clients in Germany are usually very rigid and fixed. They are not open to varied and innovative ideas. That’s why, I really love to work for clients in the USA or in Asia; they are always looking for something new, something different. They are not afraid of trying and taking risks. With the usage of internet and connectivity, I believe this hasn’t only changed designers but also clients and people as well as their outlook and understanding of design.
CG. What advice would you give to talented professional out there who seek to invest in their design skills and make a business out of it?
MG. It is really hard today to earn money using graphic design skills. The problem is that there are thousands of graphic designers in the world and to stand out is the most difficult thing. In such a situation, it’s best to love what you do and do what you love. Be yourself and realise yourself. Spend a lot of time to learn techniques and to improve your skills each day. Don’t do what you can but make what you cannot.
Published in Issue 23
The issue explores a topic which is close to every designer, the Business of Design. We try to understand from the experienced ones that when is the right time to open own studio and what more you should get in your toolbox before taking the plunge! We had interactions with many talented studio founders like Rajesh Dahiya, Archan Nair, Ishan Khosla, Prasun Mazumdar and Anupam Tomer. Also featuring some of the best talents around the world such as Martin Grohs from Germany and Avi Sehmi from Canada, this issue not only provide answers to many questions but also initiate many new ones to explore further! We hope you will enjoy exploring the possibility of your studio with this issue.
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