Art & Design

Behind the cover(s)

Ksystof Ogint shows us who to look out for next in the field of Graphic Design

I met Evaldas Benevicius when I first came to London. He was the one who helped me get a job as a bartender and heavily introduced me to the big city. He is easily distinguishable from the crowd – you can feel the artistic touch in all of his aspects – the independence of mind during conversations, the accurate balance of style in his outfits, even all of his tattoos are looking thought-of and perfectly matched.

The Curve: What got you into design, and when did that happen?

Evaldas: I was into art all my life. It’s weird because no one from my family was not interested in art. My mother was always fascinated by art and poetry, but she had to undergo very hard times where she felt as though she had to follow the system and choose a future profession that allows you to earn money safely. I am probably just living my mother’s dreams and I had an interest in art from an early age. I was doing paintings, sculptures, etc., because I always had such great support from my mother.

TC: What do you love the most about designing?

E: I think most of the love comes from the feeling that I can fully express myself in design. Make someone happy, or the opposite. To influence my audience to think about something and make a change. It’s like controlling a group of people, they don’t know that this can affect their behaviors in some ways. Like at this moment we need to focus more and more on our planet and global warming.

TC: What’s more important to you, the fact that you love what you create or the fact that it will satisfy the audience?

E: I think it should be a 50/50 balance, you can’t create without love and if the audience is satisfied you are left feeling even more fulfilled with your work.

TC: Tell me about your collabs, who did you work with already and are there any upcoming ones?

E: I had couple collaborations with Spotify artists. I did album covers and they were exciting because you had to dig deep into songs – their rhythms and lyrics and I had an absolute freedom in designing. The latest one was with the OnePlus phone company, they hired me to do some branding and turn their name into graffiti style art to target new audiences, especially people within urban areas. It was fun, but in the end, it was hard to choose from a hundred sketches and pick the perfect one which will represent OnePlus’ Instagram advertisements. I have my own new project going on with street photography. I am taking photos in the streets of random people that represent problems in our society, nostalgia, and the surroundings that we are living in. Where we see problems but choose to ignore them. Hopefully, in couple years of exploration, I will design a book and release it.

TC: Have you ever doubted in your profession choice?

E: This is just a profession, I don’t look seriously into that, even if I do not get job that I wanted and work in a different industry, just like now. I will still grow and do my own projects so the profession doesn’t have a big impact on me and I know that with graphic design I can do different jobs easily, and just like always, I need to put some work into that.

TC: Be honest, in your course at the university, what’s the percentage of students you feel won’t make a living out of it?

E: Well, after the current pandemic situation and the amount of feedback we are getting in 3rd year I don’t think that the half of the course students will become Graphic designers. Why? Because no one was ready to do online classes, and I feel some projects are just useless. We should be working on our portfolios, so in the future we could present ourselves to companies with nice and clean examples of our work and projects. We are stuck doing 1st year projects, even though we are 3rd year students. I will not put it into my portfolio because they don’t make any sense or add any quality. I’m feeling sorry for people who got into design the moment they started studying at the university. They don’t have much sense or an interest in art so they will struggle to find a job. There are thousands of graphic designers graduating each year and it’s a big challenge to outcompete your rivals and shine in the eyes of hiring companies and get a job from them.

TC: How competitive is this field?

E: The graphic design field is large, there are many pathways to choose from: UI (user interface), fashion, branding, advertising, etc. You need to do your research before you apply somewhere and create a great portfolio for this field. I guess it’s pretty competitive, with big challenges and connections.

TC: There must be people who influenced you to become a designer, if so, who are they and in what way?

E: This is a hard question, from the early days I was looking into famous people’s paintings, reading poetry, and then I started doing some graffiti because walls with names and tags make me passionate about spreading different stories and styles. So, I guess these graffiti artists made the biggest influence on me: Banksy, Blek le Rat and Jean-Mishel Basquiat.

TC: Do you see yourself as a freelancer or working for a big company in the future?

E: For now, I will be looking for job anywhere just to make a big change my in life and get more connections in this field, but later on I am looking forward to being a freelancer and not depending on someone’s name.

TC: Were you always good at drawing/painting?

E: As I mentioned before, graffiti tags and abstract art were my obsessions. But I can’t draw super accurate portraits. And I don’t think I would need it as it is more of an illustrator’s profession to do super accurate stylish illustrations and drawings. In graphics you have full freedom with your images.

TC: Have you ever doubted in your profession choice?

E: This is just a profession, I don’t look seriously into that, even if I do not get job that I wanted and work in a different industry, just like now. I will still grow and do my own projects so the profession doesn’t have a big impact on me and I know that with graphic design I can do different jobs easily, and just like always, I need to put some work into that.

TC: Give some tips for future designers

E: Don’t let anyone spoil your dreams, keep doing what you do and sometimes don’t listen, or completely ignore what others say. Review the feedback about your work but distinguish good critical feedback from that which makes no sense. And just keep on doing what you are doing, if not you; who else will do it?

TC: What type of customer is the worst?

E: It’s not pleasant to say, but to be honest, it will always be friends or friends of friends. They don’t know that you are a professional and are clueless of the amount of work and editing you will be doing. Most of the time they are expecting everything to be free, which is fine sometimes but then they start to be picky and suddenly you don’t have much freedom and it always turns into a conflict.

You can follow Evaldas’ journey here:

%d bloggers like this: