Creative Showcase With Mingo Lamberti: Interview With Round 2 Winner Kevin Parry
There is nothing more we love in the world than a good Idea - but ideas would be nothing unless somebody takes them and makes it happen. It is extremely satisfying to see an idea that started as a jumble in your mind or on paper come to life. Here at Idea Bounty we reward you for your Ideas, but there are allot of you out there who have so much talent in other departments that we just could not resist giving you all a chance to show it all off.
Hence The Creative Showcase with Mingo Lamberti - Today we announce the winner of Round 2 who is no other than South African Kevin Parry, a very talented designer/illistrator and owner of a boutique agency called 'In the Beginning". Kevin's inspiration lies in the name of his business - which is a reference to when creation began - and he tries to mimic the awe inspiring creativity of God, in every design and action. Congradualtions Kevin! Read on to check out some of his work.
Tell us a bit more about your agency, In the Beginning, how did it start? What do you offer your clients?
It had always been a dream of mine. I did my share of time in the ad industry, working for some really great agencies, but got to a point where I wanted more, and to do more. I was doing a bit of freelance work which began to steadily increase, so in a nutshell I took a leap of faith to make it happen. What I aim to offer my clients is authentic Graphic Design, but we don't limit our offering to any specific field or discipline. Our focus is on the aesthetic of any job that we take on.
You do a lot of freelance work including some for large advertising agencies – how does it compare to running your own boutique agency?
It is cool, I work with people that I have built a good relationship with. I try and steer away from the term freelancing, but rather as a consultancy that my agency offers, aiming to give the best of what it is the we do, and in turn, build an ongoing cohesive relationship. There are obviously differences to running my own studio, on your own there is a lot more than just design that goes on, but with being on my own I have the opportunity to build something that I really believe is an honest and nurtured approach to any clients need.
You mention that God and the beginning of creation is an inspiration to you - to what extent do your religious beliefs influence your work?
It is the foundation of everything that I do. There is such a beautiful mystic moment when creation began which inspires me to try and mimic that every day, in the most humble attempts. In every job we take on, we do it as if it is for God, and treat each one with the care it deserves. From a pure design / creative perspective, it epitomises diversity in design, without compromising function or quality. Let me try and explain, we may get given a similar brief with similar expected outcomes, and tend to feel like things are becoming a bit like groundhog day, but if we simply take a cue from God's approach to design, we will never have that problem. If you look at a simple flower, or a fish in the sea, there are so many different kinds, no two are the same, yet each is completely embellished with incredible detail, and in their own right, none is better that the other, they are fully complete.
It was mentioned that you enjoy the essence of design, what is this essence for you and why is it so important?
The essence of design is communicating a message, in a beautiful, unique, creative way. I think largely the art of this has been lost, and the public are flooded with a visual overload of repetitive executions which have little or no meaning. I think it is refreshing to bring design back to it's essence, and to the essence of what is required.
What types of projects do you normally take on? Do you go for once off clients or longer term sustained campaigns and design work?
We will take on anything that has a need for design, or for creative direction, preferably something that has the opportunity to create something special. Funnily enough, those can come out of the most unexpected jobs. I do take on once off jobs, although I would far prefer to take on long term campaigns and design work. If I create something, I would rather make sure that it continues to get the correct treatment it deserves, and to challenge and refine it. It is terrible if you do something as a once off, and you happen to see it down the line somewhere being used in a manner it was never intended for, and therefore gets diluted.
Illustration and design is often seen as a purely aesthetic thing - how much stock do you place on the concept or idea behind and illustration or design?
I place a lot of weight on the concept of design and illustration. I firmly believe that something should only be included in a design if it has a place there, not just for the sake of it. If something is going to be used just to fill space and be 'decorative' without function, I doubt it's relevance. It is sad because when people do things like that, it tends to water down the use of design and illustration in general. Having said that, if there is a sound idea that can be coupled with beautiful design and illustration, then there is no holding back. If you take a look at creation again, every little detail in one of those flowers or fish, has a function.
You enjoy design which is ‘honest’ and ‘crafted’ – what do you mean by this?
Absolutely. I think it is similar to the above, the honesty comes from the approach to the design, seeking what the need is, seeing what will compliment the design and make it unique. If something doesn't belong, don't put it in. The crafting is where we put absolutely everything into what we do, within the boundaries of each job.
A lot of your work has a wooden look and feel to it – what is it about wood that you enjoy?
I love to paint and illustrate on wood, I enjoy the way the paint reacts to the different textures. I think it also adds to the story and authenticity of the piece, each piece of wood, be it found or from a tree in the Drakensberg, has a story.
What was the first bit of design or illustration that you got paid for? Care to share it with us? What do you think of it now?
Wow, that goes back a way. It was while I was still studying, not your normal type job either. We had someone from the industry brief us on a job to design Christmas crackers.....in April. We all submitted design, and luckily mine were chosen to go into production, which in turn turned into a year long contract and a nice way to jump into the industry.
You took part in the Bigwood exhibitions in Durban in 2008 - how did it feel to be part of an exhibition boasting so many talented designers and illustrators?
The Bigwood exhibition was an incredible privilege to be a part of, and to hang my art on the same wall as some of the designers and artists that I have aspired to for years. It was a cool show.
What future does South Africa hold for innovative graphic designers and illustrators such as yourself?
I think there is so much potential, there is so much talent in this country, and we are all birthed with a gift. We need to continue to pursue the goal of letting design take it's role in society, I would love to see designers take on projects that solve social issues that our country faces (electricity, pollution, housing, environmental awareness, unity) instead of wasting millions on something that will essentially end up in a bin. Also for our design to be appreciated on the international arena and for a true South African flavour. There is so much passion and diversity in this country, we just need to keep striving for excellence, and to make a difference wherever we can, wherever we are placed.