In just a few weeks now the class of 2015 will graduate from art schools across the country – nay the world. For four years (at least) they’ve been honing their craft and developing their skills in the supportive student environment, but come the summer they’ll be leaving to make their own way in the creative world. It’s an exciting time for sure but it can also be quite intimidating with pressures and challenges as well as opportunities and new chapters.
To reflect this reality, our latest London Graphic Centre Billboard is a Wall of Wisdom for which we asked a host of top creatives what advice they’d give to those about to leave art school. We were delighted to get inspirational quotations from Nelly Ben Hayoun, Erik Kessels, Stefan Sagmeister, Malika Favre, Tom Hulme, James Victore, Mr Bingo, Sarah Illenberger and handed these over to brilliant Berlin studio 44flavours, who created a terrific-looking typographic poster which will live in the LGC’s flagship central London store.
It was an exciting commission for 44flavours’ co-founder Julio Rölle, who remembers very clearly his own graduation back in 2007. “I still have positive memories – it was a good time with a lot of opportunities and plenty of motivation to build up our own studio (with Sebastian Bagge).”
“We had curiosity, a lot of passion and I felt an incredible drive being able to work full-time on projects, which I already started while studying, without having anyone around who tells you what to do and how to start. Instead of going to start at an agency we decided right away to build up our own studio. For me the best thing that I kept from that time is the same curiosity, without being that naive.” His own advice for those about to enter the world of work this summer is nice and simple. “Make mistakes! They help you to grow in what you do.”
Julio was thrilled to get the call for this project because playing around with letters and forms is what he loves to do, and he quickly settled on how he’d approach the piece.
“I loved it right away and thought of doing something with paint directly on paper, without a pencil sketch that you could correct, like in real life. No Apple Z! It reminded me of the times when I do my own work – if you make a mistake you have to find a creative solution. With the quotes it’s the same; if you forget a letter or you make a misspelling, you have to find a way to recover it (unless you want to start from scratch).”
To make sense of the dense amount of information, Julio divided up the quotes and painted each one in acrylics on a separate A3 poster – “a nice Römerturm 140g paper, with a slightly ivory touch.” He used three brush sizes to change the pace of the type and other elements and then scanned them in to create the final file.
"I think it’s important that people remember how they started their own career, where and how it all began."Julio Rölle
He was delighted to work with quotations from such leading creative figures, and points out that a great thing about this industry is that even the bigger names would have found themselves in the same position as they approached graduation. “I think it’s important that people remember how they started their own career, where and how it all began. It helps them to reflect on their own lives and careers and it helps those who are about to start. Also it’s always better to work with words that have a positive intention.” Julio insists the chance to work on a billboard that will be seen by so many creatively-engaged people at the London Graphic Centre was particularly appealing.
“What a great opportunity to create work that is seen by the right people!" he says. "I guess 90% of the customers are somehow involved in art, design or the creative industries, so yes of course it makes the project interesting. It didn’t bring pressure at all, just a lot more fun!” And what does he hope these visitors take from the Wall of Wisdom poster? “A smile on their face, an optimistic feeling or just some positive energy. Ideally they would feel incredibly motivated and would run home to paint and create beautiful things.”
Each piece of advice has also been printed as an individual postcard which will be available in-store. The full list of advice is as follows:
Nelly Ben-Hayoun: “In every NO there is a YES. Just make it happen.”
Erik Kessels : “Make an idiot out of yourself (at least once a day).”
Malika Favre: “Do it for the love, the rest will follow…”
Tom Hulme: “If it was easy everyone would be doing it.”
James Victore: “The things that made you weird as a kid, make you great today.”
Stefan Sagmeister: “The no you have, the yes you might get.”
Mr Bingo: “Make personal work, you never know where it might lead.”
About the Author
Rob joined It’s Nice That as Online Editor in July 2011 before becoming Editor-in-Chief and working across all editorial projects including itsnicethat.com, Printed Pages, Here and Nicer Tuesdays. Rob left It’s Nice That in June 2015.