“I DESIGN FOR PAY. I TAKE OFF MY ARTIST’S HAT AND BECOME A DESIGNER. AND AS A DESIGNER, I HELP PEOPLE SOLVE PROBLEMS.“
I am a creative individual with artistic superpowers in a multitude of fields. I drift through graphic design, digital illustrations, motion graphics, VFX, 3D modeling and rendering, Desktop Publishing, Interior design, video, a bit of photography and also developing websites.
I consider myself to be one of those unlucky individuals born on planet earth (unlike superman) without any innate abilities. It took a lot of sitting in front of the computer and just trying everything until something stuck. Though luckily I did get a massive dose of design skills while taking up architecture at school. They say architecture is the Godfather of all art and I have been blessed with all that it had to offer.
I start working on my project there may be a day or two when I’ll simply expose my mind with a huge dose of inspiration. When I’m filled with enough inspiration I automatically start feeling restless so I sit at my workstation to begin the process. Art Work (not artwork but art-related work) for me is breaking up the big “what I just saw that needs to come out” into a series of smaller manageable tasks and then just simply dive fingers first into what needs to be done. Then I sit on my workstation for hours at times to do the task and get into a flow. I just keep on doing what has to be done till the project is done. PERIOD! Sorry….No philosophy or mysticism here.
The challenge I see in Ethiopia (Digital Art) has more to do with the lack of proper institutions that meet international standards that educate Ethiopians about the various digital tools. More excellent schools will mean cutting the long learning curve most of us here had to endure and enabling new artists to spend more time creating.
As far as the progress I’m seeing more and more people coming to the various digital tools to create because a) internet quality and penetration have increased in Ethiopia hence people are finding it easier and cheaper to access resources that bring them up to speed. b) Digital ArtForms are becoming widely accepted and appreciated by the local public thanks to more and more people being exposed to them regularly online.
As for challenges I face…well it’s more finding the balance to do what I want and do what pays the bills.
Changes I would like to see is more patrons with deep pockets in Ethiopia funding artists to experiment and create Art. Art can only flourish where there is funding. Case in point being Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo. Art cannot be created in a state of stress. I’ve come across so many talented people in Ethiopia with such huge potential that needs a bit of help.
I design for pay. I take off my artist’s hat and become a designer. And as a designer, I help people solve problems. For all artists that are thinking of starting this trade, I say, people should know the difference between a designer and an artist. An artist works for his/her pleasure while a designer works for others. So swallow your artistic preferences and serve professionally. As for pricing projects, I first had figured out my hourly rate which is calculated by figuring out how much working hours I have in a month and dividing that with how much money I need in a month to survive. Then I estimate how much time a project will take me and simply multiply the duration with my hourly cost. I keep it simple.