Imile Wepener

Meet the wonderful Imile Wepener! Imile talks us through his studies and first few jobs and internships in the industry. He gives us some ripper intel on his top 5 designers, studios and organisations in Johannesburg, with an added little insight into what's on for 2019—and let me tell you, he has a full schedule of fun and exciting projects to come!

Any hilarious stories about you as a kid being creative?

As a kid (a very, very creative kid), I drew everywhere and on everything! My mother tells me I even once painted a very large face on a lampshade and then proceeded to draw a full body mermaid inside of my closet door.

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

I received my BA and BA Honours Degree in illustration at The Open Window Institute in Centurion, South Africa. After I finished my honors degree, I started doing a few internships at a few design companies and ad agencies. One of these internships led to a full-time job as a junior designer. After a year, I realised that working in the corporate design sphere was not for me and that I was not creating the type of work that I enjoyed, so I started freelancing. Now I am proud to say I am doing the type of work that I enjoy.

Design work by Imile Wepener The Design Kids interviews Imile Wepener work-2

What are your top 5 local design things our readers can check out?

There is a very active design community in my area! The design and arts industry can be a very competitive area, but I feel there is also a big supportive sense of community between the creatives.

Some of my favorites to follow are;

Nina Torr for her beautiful paintings;

Aurora Creative Studio for their amazing digital illustrations

No End Contemporary Art Space, an amazing artist-run gallery that showcases upcoming artists

The Coool Project, an online collaborative initiative for young artists

Spaza Studio, a local illustration and design agency

Any passion projects/collabs you would like to share?

I recently starting dabbling in some hand-drawn animation, and I would love for that to become a bigger project in the future - be it an animated short-film or an animated music video. Seeing my still illustrations coming to life is an amazing sight to see.

Design work by Imile Wepener The Design Kids interviews Imile Wepener work-4
Design work by Imile Wepener The Design Kids interviews Imile Wepener work-4

Create the type of work that you want to see!

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

As an illustrator, your style can be a make or break in the industry. Depending on the style of works you choose to have in your portfolio, it can lead you to do certain types of jobs.

My style developed organically over time, as I wanted to make the type of art that I would like to see. Certain colours, techniques subject matter and a way of drawing certain things all become part of my repertoire within my artistic style. The subjects, of course, have a meaning outside of my works but are not chosen necessarily for that exact meaning. I enjoy how the subjects can develop their own meanings within the works and by whoever is looking at the artwork.

For others, I would encourage to create the type of work that you want to see!

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

I am currently working on a million different different projects at the same time.

Professionally, I'm working on a scary children's book; corporate illustrations; some Biblical illustrations; a lot of exhibitions; painting; making puppets and also some animation on the side. Personally, I'm just gonna try and not to lose my mind whilst doing all of the above.

Design work by Imile Wepener The Design Kids interviews Imile Wepener work-6
Design work by Imile Wepener The Design Kids interviews Imile Wepener work-6

Where to find Imile Wepener online.

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