Featured Illustrator

Benjamin Vincent

May 2018

We chat with freelance designer and recent JMC graduate Benjamin Vincent about life before and after study. Ben discusses good clients, developing your style, and his plans to read more and travel more - sounds good to me!

Where did you study and what were some of your first jobs?

Despite my interest in art and design, I actually completed my undergrad degree in Business and Psychology at Macquarie University. After graduating I found myself working in management consulting - selling, managing accounts and projects, delivering engagements, etc. Since then I’ve returned to school to complete a Dip of Digital Design at JMC . My current focus is freelance graphic design and illustration.

Who are your top five design crushes right now?

This is hard as there’s almost too many to list! However, if I had to choose 5 (in no particular order):

1. Milan Chagoury: Milan’s march and logo design is always tough as nails - bold, edgy, and engaging.

2. Sindy Sinn: I’ve been a fan of Sindy’s instantly-recognisable aesthetic for quite some time. He partners with so many interesting venues, breweries, and bands.

3. Brad Woodard (Brave The Woods): I love the painterly style that Brad employs throughout his work. I also find his creative process content extremely helpful.

4. Branca Studio: Branca’s primary focus is music artwork. I love the doom-inspired, retro vibe that distinguishes their art.

5. Kentaro Yoshida: Kentaro's work is dynamic and has plenty of personality. I’m also a big fan of his colour choices.

What do you look for in a great client?

There’s no single thing that makes for a great client. However, there are a number of things that I personally value as a freelancer. In my experience, a great client will: afford me the creative freedom to explore ideas; have a realistic budget; maintain open lines of communication with key stakeholders; and - where possible - have goals that I also care about. I’m fortunate to have worked with many great clients but, as every creative knows, there’s always a balance that needs to be managed.

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I put pragmatism before my passion. With hindsight, I can see that this was a mistake.

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How did you develop your style as an illustrator and what tips would you have for others?

I like to believe my style reflects my interests - heavy music, tattoo flash, and motorcycles. I never consciously ‘developed’ it, but let it come with time, practice, and the encouragement of design-minded people around me. That being said, I think there are choices you can make to ensure your style has some consistency.

One tip is to make deliberate decisions with regard to colour, type, and treatment. For example, I’m constantly drawn to bold lines, earthy tones, and texture and this is apparent in many of my pieces. Another easy tip is to just be patient with yourself. My style is still evolving and I have no doubt I’ll express it differently in the years to come.

What career advice would you give to your 16yr old self?

Trust your instincts and take risks! I was an arty kid at school but, after completing my HSC, I was overly-concerned with enrolling in a course that would get me a ‘real job’. In short, I put pragmatism before my passion. With hindsight I can see that this was a mistake. On the flip side, I now have a great deal of business-related skills that other designers lack. With that in mind I suppose another piece of advice would be that it’s never too late to change.

What’s on the cards professionally and personally in the next 12 months?

On the professional front, my main goal is to secure a role in a small-to-medium sized agency. To date I’ve done most of my work independently and I’m keen to learn as much as I can from others. I’d also like to work on projects that are more varied as a great deal of my freelance clients are looking for a piece in my style.

On the personal front, I’m keen to read more, stay fit, travel and find a new home with my lovely partner and our dog. It’s going to be a busy year!

JMC: jmcacademy.edu.au

Instagram: @bnjmnvncnt

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