Heiko Klug is a extremely bright designer residing from Germany. Heiko has a background in Graffiti that spills over into some of his current art. In this interview we discuss the equipment that is used to make his amazing art as well as Heiko’s inspirations. So lets get into this interview.
1. Welcome to Psdtuts+! Please introduce yourself, give us a brief bio, tell us where you’re from, and how you got started in the field.
Hello my name is Heiko Klug, I’m 26 years old and live in Oberhausen, a small town in Germany. I work as a digital media designer in Cologne, in a small agency for print media. Everything started at the age of 14. I started drawing graffiti and a few years later a friend showed me the magic of Photoshop. One thing led to another and after a short time I started to get interested in photo-manipulation.
I’m a full autodidact, meaning I learned everything by myself, and I believe that this is one of the best techniques to learn a topic. I also visited a school for media technologies but this was really a waste of time for me. Yeah and know I get paid for it, so I really shouldn’t be taking it as a joke. It began as a hobby and now it’s my job. I’m really happy about it.
2. From your portfolio I noticed you started a collaborative website with an artist we recently interviewed Kai Isselhorst. Give us a look into how this project came about and where you hope to take it in the future.
Yeah Kai is a good friend of mine; we live next to each other, not too far away. I think it was just a question of time since we started something together and we came up with this creative collective. Its still in the very beginning at the moment and I think we need some time fort the development. The idea behind this is, to develop a little agency in the future, next 10 years maybe. But this is still really far away from actually happening.
3. Since you’re a serious graphic designer you will need serious equipment, what does your work station look like? Do you only use Photoshop? Do you use a tablet; if so then what does it bring to your designs?
Well if my mother would know what I spend on technical equipment…hehe just kidding. I work with a desktop Quad-core 3ghz, 8 gb ram on 2 20 eizo tfts. I also use a Wacom Graphire 3 tablet. Pretty old model. I use my digital cam very often, the new Eos 50d with the fantastic ef 70-200m L 2.8 IS USM glass and some other lenses, flashes and so on. I also got a laptop for the road but I can’t work seriously on it when it comes to colors. For the software I primarily use Photoshop. I also use Blender for the 3D stuff.
4. You have a specific group of designs that are part of the “Cubic Series.” Give us a look into the creation and definition of this specific series of illustrations.
The cubic series first started out of a simple material test in Blender. I used boxes to test a new texture and shade. After a few tweaks I loved the flowing cubes and was thinking about an idea how to connect them, how to bring them to life. I love working with massive static objects and let them flow around. There is no big idea behind these series. I just love the cube as shape and I could bring a dozen others for the series, but I think the people have seen enough cubes hehe. But I got one last piece in the making for this series. Let’s see what I will come up with.
5. How do you think your background in Graffiti has influenced your works now? Has it been a fully positive effect or a somewhat negative effect?
Good question, overall I think it is a positive effect. You can learn a lot form graffiti. Flow, shading, perspective and so on. You can see in some of my pieces the background I have in graffiti.
6. Who or what were your main influences that made you pursue the field of designing?
Inspiration could come from everywhere. Personal I received the biggest inspiration form music and movies. I can’t describe exactly how an idea came in my mind but its mostly on the way home, sitting in the train and listening to some good tunes. I think if you go through the world, with open eyes even a trash-can can be inspiring.
7. Now you are a very accomplished designer, what advice would you give a starting artist who would want to put his work out there commercially to be hired for commissions?
I’m often asked how you can make money in the shortest time. I always ask those people why they are doing what they do. I do this because I love what I do. I cant imagine a life without it and its one of the best feelings when you can express yourself. Everything else comes natural. There will be a day when a company or agency comes to you and asks you if you could do something for them.
What I mean is, you have to be patient. Don’t sell yourself. I also rejected a few client jobs because I don’t like what they would do with my work or I find the concept boring or whatever. Don’t be a client whore and never forget why your doing this. If you want to make money in a short time, then go to the casino. Sure you can also lose everything, but that can also happen if you work with the wrong clients.
8. Thanks again for providing Psdtuts+ with this opportunity to interview you, any final thoughts? What would you tell other designers that hope to be as good as you one day?
For all the beginners out there, do what you would do. Don’t try to be something else or say you want to be like… If you do this you cant get better than your idols. Just have patience. It could help to copy some pieces of other designers to see how they work, but if you do something like this, never publish that stuff. No one likes that. Really. Select carefully the work you publish. I often wait a week or two after finishing a piece before publishing, sometimes to make some improvements I didn’t think about before. Thanks for the interview, was my pleasure to answer you questions. Have a nice day!