Updated: Jun 18
This time around we go all the way to the Netherlands to host a conversation with Kevin, the Amsterdam based illustrator, lettering artist and graphic designer producing a range of very exciting independent and agency work.
Who is Kevin Rooi?
I’m just your friendly multidisciplinary designer. Straight out of the Caribbean, As a small kid I was always into art so much that from kindergarten my parents enrolled me into painting class from a young age it wasn't when I discovered design I chose to follow in the studies of graphic design and illustration in the Netherlands. During my time in the Netherlands, I found a fondness for also visual, branding, and typography.
How did get into the creative and design industries?
From the magazine "Webdesigner", my dad bought it for me while his time in there Netherlands. To remember I was still into the arts and I didn't even know what design, graphic design or illustration is. I wasn't when I open this magazine a world of new possibilities was open to me and all I knew is this is what I want to be doing for the rest of my live.
What is it that you are most passionate about?
Diversity, coming for a multi cultural island I was interested in different cultures which helps me keep an open mind that makes live more interesting and I'm willing view from different perceptive to which I found it's important in a changing world we live in to not be afraid but to see it as a benefit.
Fantastic. What new skills kit have you been looking to develop recently? Anything new during these social lockdown periods?
I mostly been learning animation in frame by frame or via after effect and I'm willing to learn to use cinema 4D, to taking my typography and animation to the level but it's been a struggle so I'm now willing to learn more about Cinema 4D.
The recent world events have affected a lot of creatives. How did you personally deal with it?
During the lockdown give me some breathing room, since commission work and project go canceled. It gave my time to look over , polish my work, strategy on goals but also I finally had time to focus on what I wanted learn. So during the lockdown I found it more I'm busy ,the more focused I am.
So I would say the lock down has provide me with room to reflect on work which is important for better guides.
Now looking at your career so far. What has been your biggest challenge as a creative designer?
The "work experience", coming from a young designer in the Netherlands it's hard to get your foot into the creative world but I don't believe this should be a problem none the less were creatives, finding ways to solve problems is our job. I understand this maybe my option; most people would say "I don't think you understand how it's hard to solve this problem" but I say "when has anything been easy?".
Just yesterday saw a post of a company which "hired someone with ZERO experience and tons of potential. She’s since been promoted to one of our project managers - Why? Because skills can be taught. People can learn, don't you agree?
Let's have a look into the future. Where do you see your career heading in the next 5 years?
I hope that in the 5 years I have work on big project like my dream project is to letter in a Lamborghini or created a mural at the headquarters of brands like Nike, Adidas, Lego, etc. Or gotten my work on a cover of The New Yorker or Dazed.
Biggest everyday challenge?
Believe it or not, it's staying motivated. I get more feedback from creatives and people my work give this energetic feeling but going to a lot of interviews, getting rejections takes a toll on you. You wonder if you are good enough and yes, I have been there but what keeps me motivated is my support system - my friends, colleagues and family. They believe in me and push me. I'm lucky enough to have them in my life and they always get me back on my foot one way or another.
We know you are quite active when it comes to social/political matters. How important you believe design is to society and communities?
I think people underestimate how far we can take design because we haven't seen how limitless it is. Yes, it solves problems but what more can it do, it can motivate people, it can bring us joy or make us feel certain emotions. So yes I do think it's important but how important? I think that's our journey to see how important it is.
Your favourite pieces of work so far?
Hmm... The work I'm the most proud of is "I ask you to find your courage", a failed cover design project but I enjoyed the design practice I created for it which makes the work speak for itself. And also "Young Capital Kickoff" which was my first huge company commission.
Where do you see the Design industry within the next 10 years? Any new piece of technology you may be particularly excited about?
Don't get me wrong, I love new technology and that new creative solutions, but those human touches are still the backbone of it all. For instance, the recent popularity of hand-made typography in the advertising and branding worlds is a good example of how important the analog way of doing things still is. I'm interested to seeing how digital and analog go hand to hand in the future.
How do you want people to remember you when it is all set and done?
I know I may be a young designer but soon I will get old and my work would not be that relived anymore so I would like the opportunity to make a way for young diversity designers. To try to create a space in which they can create a better future for the design world.
3 last words (or so) to keep us inspired?
DON'T GIVE UP.
You can follow more of Kevin's work on his Behance page -
https://www.behance.net/kevinrooi/ or follow his socials @typomento
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