Interview with Christi du Toit

by Friday, January 23, 2015

dfullHello Christi, first of all, tell us something about your upcoming work. What are you into at the moment?

Well, I have quite a few awesome things running at the moment, both for agencies as well as direct clients, and a personal project or two (I always try and keep one of those going on the side). I’m really excited about the projects, but sadly they will remain under the radar for now. I do post little sneak peeks and the likes every now and then to keep everyone guessing though. What I can say is that I’ve really made an effort to push my limits to create some of, what I feel, is my best work to date.

 

homefullWould you give a brief walk through your workflow?

My workflow depends on the project for the most part. If I have a solid idea of what I’ll be doing I’ll move straight onto the drafting phase. When I don’t have a clear idea of what I’m doing, I usually sit with my trusty sketchbook and doodle a few thumbnails, or even write down words that I feel relate to the project. I then find aspects of each doodle that stand out, and try to find ways of combining them to create a strong concept. After that it’s the sketch phase where I draw up a tightened up draft of the graphic (either on paper or digital, depending on how I’m feeling that day), and move it into whichever program I plan on working in. If I work in Photoshop (which I usually do), I use a Wacom Cintiq 13HD for most of the project, and for something more geometric I work in Illustrator with the pen tool. I do have a tendency to work between both programs with some projects, and I’m also trying out a few new programs just to keep things fresh.

 

d26cd6623b9129285182d1740b9a723bHow has your work evolved over the years from when you were beginning?

Nowadays, most of my work is strictly digital, where I used to do most of my line work by hand. The initial concept of drawing is exactly the same, so the switch to digital felt quite natural. Stylistically I feel like my work has matured a lot as I’ve gotten older, and is continuing to do so as time goes by. I’m quite happy with that though. I don’t do as many random characters in my illustrations as I used to, but it feels like the directional change in my work has recaptured my excitement for creating tackling new projects. I’ve learned a lot of great tricks regarding composition, color usage, and just general ‘mark-making’ in the last few years, which I feel has definitely had a very positive impact on the quality, and overall look and feel that my illustrations present.

 

When you were 13, what did you want to be?

Tough question. If I remember correctly, I think I used to want to play drums in a band, which then later became guitar. I’ve always been into art and design though, so I guess I subconsciously would have loved to go into that direction if the music thing didn’t work out. Well, hey, here I am doing an interview about my art and design work. I still love playing guitar though, and I’m very passionate about the music I listen to, just for the record.

 

7670534f1d486edcd5ef7258819ab42bWho’s the first illustrator that comes to your mind in a second? 

Keaton Henson. I think he sparked something inside of my when I was younger. I have a tee with one of his graphic on it, and I loved it so much when I got it that I told myself “that’s what I want to do for a living”. I still have the shirt, even though it’s too small for me to wear. I don’t think I’d ever give it away. The amount of impact that it had on the early stages of my decision to pursue a career in illustration was so big, that it has become more of a piece of memorabilia then an item of clothing.

 

These days in the office turns a trick, tell me what will you do, or what would you like to do, in 5 months, 5 years, 10 years.

Well, I starting freelancing this year, which is incredibly exciting (get in touch people!). I’d like to keep doing it for as long as I can. Ultimately I’d like to share a studio space with some friends or fellow freelancers, because working at home becomes quite lonely if all you have to talk to is a cat (I know this from living by myself for a year in college). I’m happy with what I’m doing now, so I guess I’ll take it one step at a time and see how it goes.

 

sposterYour house is on fire, what do you save?

My Keaton Henson shirt, obviously! Just kidding. I’d probably ‘save’ the day by putting out the fire.

 

Something you’ve always wanted to do, but have yet to.

Do an interview with Hyde… Oh wait, nevermind. *check*

 

Something that annoys or frustrates you about people.

It annoys me when people chase money instead of dreams. Although, I guess some people first need that money to make their dreams happen – it’s a twisted world we live in.

 

31b0137c2a6508a3efef495130ee6a63What’s overrated/underrated today?

New 3D movies are pretty overrated in my opinion, those glasses always end up giving me a headache (maybe I’m just weird). Books are definitely underrated. I have quite a few awesome books that would never be same the same if you had to read them on a screen. I would love to have a library one day filled with amazing printed goodness.

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