We had the privilege to interview Anthony Dart Founder and Creative Director of Ontwerp. Based in Johannesburg, South Africa, Dart has built his career on a range of digital media forms and techniques.
To begin tell us a little about what you do and your area of expertise.
I am essentially a Graphic Designer not very different from many others, I just do a whole lot of things instead of let’s say sticking to just Graphic design or illustration. Ontwerp is a small company so we all kind of have to wear many hats and have to serve up a diverse skill set. So i am involved in everything from Graphics creation (Still or Moving) Photography, Compositing, Animation, 3D and even sound design. This seems to be a very natural evolution for todays image makers who are embracing new technologies, positioning themselves to pretty much take on any job from Motion Graphics to Print Design.
How did you begin working with graphic design and motion graphics.
I am self taught and from the very beginning of my career as an art director for an agency i found myself always totally emerged in Photoshop and Illustrator. I just loved the possibility of the software and pushing the tools as far as i could. This philosophy got me into Flash and new media design where i got my stuff flying around in 2D and as soon as i discovered After Effects and 3D i was just crazy obsessed with it as a platform and medium.
Can you describe your creative process?
It’s pretty straight forward in how I will have a basic idea, you know – kind of doodle a typeface or logo or whatever. Once I got a feel for it I jump in and start working it in the computer – alot of times I will just randomly play around with Photoshop and Illustrator and an idea will emerge from that. Which ever way I do it though I want to try and have something multi layered and multi dimensional, something below the surface that will appeal to people on a deeper level.
What is your favorite tool/application and why?
I use what everybody else is using, my main applications are Adobe Creative Suite, Maya for 3D, & Logic Pro for my sound stuff. If i had to choose a favorite it would have to be Photoshop i just love how flexible it is.
What inspired you to startup Ontwerp? How did it come about?
I really just wanted the freedom of doing my own thing and invite like minded individuals along for the ride.
What do you love most about design? What are some of the challenges you face when it comes to design?
Design is my life, it really consumes me pretty much 24hrs a day, it’s a dream job to get payed for what you love doing. I love to solve problems. Therein lies the challenge – Tighter budgets, tighter deadlines and managing client expectations are obvious challenges.
Do you think coming from Africa influences your work/creativity?
-Oh for sure! Im certain all people are a product of their environment to some extent. Africans are unique, culturally diverse and I think you can see it in our work.
Where do you find inspiration?
All around me – everything inspires and compels the senses especially music -I am always listening to music when I work and when I am not working I am still listening to music or making it.
Do you have your eye on any particular African artists?
There is just so much talent! locally and abroad out there! It would really be difficult and unfair to just single out a phew.
Do you have any advice for upcoming digital artists?
Try to find the thing that your into – your voice and just stick with it through the good and the bad no matter what the haters say or how judgmental people get, stay hungry and inquisitive.
To view Anthony Dart’s extensive portfolio and work check him out on Behance.