Computer Arts: Tell us about the project ...
Chris Bassett: The brief I'd set for myself was a simple one: to create something unique and meaningful as a gift to someone special. The inspiration came from the name, or, more specifically, the first letter of that name, K for Katherine, from which I'd create the piece of artwork.
Knowing, from the outset, that this piece would be relatively complex, I intended to use a simple and solid style for the glyph. I wanted to accentuate the contrast between the clean straight lines of the type and the organic patterns that would form within.
CA: How did you put the project together?
CB: The process is simple, but took patience and discipline as I wanted the weight of the pattern to be, as much possible, consistent. The only issue, towards the end of this type of project, is when time's ticking and there's only a small space left to fill. It is easy to get sloppy and deviate away from the style adopted in the early stages of the process. Although this was a self-initiated project, my girlfriend was the unknowing client and her impending birthday was the deadline.
Had I left enough time to complete the brief? This was the only real challenge, as I had to be careful not to just rush ahead with the piece in order to get it finished on time. I didn't want to compromise the style by working on it for long periods and generating potentially systematic and repetitive patterns. To create the illustration, I'd work on it for an hour or so at a time when I was relaxed and in an environment devoid of distraction. I'd get comfortable and just put pen to paper and see where it took me. If I was losing my way, I'd add an element of interest in the form of a symbol or date or initials, from which I could continue to build out.
CA: How did you get into design?
CB: My interest in design became more focused in my late teens, when my knowledge of software increased and I had an outlet for the techniques I was learning. My first job, as an IT department junior, although not directly related to design, had provided the necessary springboard for me to move in the right direction. I have had an interest in illustration and photography for far longer. These fields were the early catalyst for my later pursuit of graphic design as a career.
As I've experimented, over the years, with different media, my style has changed and developed. The inspiration for my graphic design work comes from an array of sources and aren't always linked to the types of media I use, such as film and music. The work of MK12 and Rob Chiu have been strong influences, in recent years, making me look at the crossovers of film and design and the aggregation of digital media and where it can be pushed further. I try to make all of my interests part of my work to make it more meaningful and personal. This defines my style. There's no single style or influence I can call my own, but I think this organic development is what makes design so interesting.