Pixelbureau interview, 2009

For lack of fresh blog content (I’ve been traveling these past few days), I’ll be re-posting an old interview the now-defunct Pixelbureau (a local design portal/online magazine) did with me in 2009. My About page references this interview and the link has been grayed out for the longest time, so now’s a good time to resurrect it.

I may have done this interview three years ago but my answers then still pretty much hold true even today. Some of my earlier work accompany the interview below.

1. Could you introduce yourself and share to us how you ended up in the design world as illustrator/graphic designer?

4 AM self-portrait

My name is Reg and I graduated from DLS-College of Saint Benilde with a Multimedia Arts degree in 2005. Before that though, I was already dabbling in Photoshop and webdesign in high school. I’ve always been interested in art ever since I was a kid and growing up in the age of technological advancements, it was only natural to shift to digital media. I got my first job right out of college as a motion graphics artist in a broadcasting company, but after three years I burned out and resigned to pursue freelance illustration and design. I don’t really have a background as an illustrator but I’m slowly building myself one.

2. What is the story behind your site

My real name is Regina and when I was in grade six, people started calling me Reggie. You know how kids are– some started attaching the word Wedgie to it just because it rhymes, so I became Reggie the Wedgie. Not because I always had wedgies (I didn’t), but just because it just goes together. And the name stuck. Some people still call me Wedgie up to now.

When I registered a domain for my website when I was in college, I decided to take on the Wedgie moniker. I haven’t bothered changing it because it’s easy to remember and it has become my handle online.

Wedgienet Happy Place!

3. What is the inspiration behind your creativity?

No single thing, really. A line from a movie or a funny joke can spark an idea for a design. Sometimes I also draw things that have happened to me or to another person. Also, in my daily Internet travels, if I see a drawing or a photo I like, I save it on folders on my hard drive labelled “Inspiration-design” or “Inspiration-illustration.” When I’m feeling stuck on a brief, I browse through these saved pictures hoping for inspiration to strike. I single out bits and pieces I like (i.e. I like the font on this one, the color combination on the other one, etc.) and try to make my own version. But I try not to look at these pictures too long as I don’t want to start copying them subconsciously.

4. What sites do you frequently visit for design inspiration and challenges?

I read a lot of illustrators’ blogs and I have a lot of amazing Flickr illustration contacts whose work I keep myself updated on. One of my favorite design/illustration showcase sites is Illustrativo, a really simple photoblog with hardly any words, just pictures. There’s a nice variety of designs and illustrations there, ranging from cutesy to modern to morbid to fantasy. I also used to take on the weekly challenges on Illustration Friday but I haven’t had time to sit down and do that lately.

5. Who would you say greatly influenced you in your design style?

The thing is, I feel like I haven’t found my style just yet. It changes depending on my mood and medium (i.e. pencil, tablet, what software I’m using). I think that’s kinda nice because I’m the type of person who gets bored easily, so having the freedom to switch it up is good for my short attention span. Having said that, the people whose styles I look up to are greatly varied. I like Lucy Knisley‘s cartoony approach, Mall‘s very detailed fantasy-like paintings, Jannie Ho‘s clean lines and anthropomorphic animals, Gustavo Aimar‘s use of collage and mixed media, the retro visuals of Scott Hansen. The list goes on and on. I don’t really have a favorite style in particular.

6. What is your thought on the Philippine graphic design scene?

To be honest, I don’t really know much about the local design scene. I don’t attend design conferences and most of whom I follow are non-Filipinos. But for a casual observer like me, one thing that really stands out in the local design scene is the nationalistic pride emerging in design. We see it in Team Manila‘s t-shirt designs and they’ve helped boost hundreds of other Filipino designers proudly displaying Pinoy pride on their canvasses.

7. If you weren’t a designer, what do you see yourself to be?

Most of the work I do is fun and whimsical– jungle animals, cupcakes, funny kids running around, smiling people. So if I weren’t an illustrator/designer, I’d like to have an equally fun job. And I’ve thought of this before you even asked me this question: I’d love to work in a toy store because it’ll be like I’m getting paid to play with the toys.

But before I picked out Multimedia Arts (MMA) as my course in college, I was also interested in Interior Design and Architecture so I might’ve gone for that if MMA wasn’t an option. Or if I were any good at math.

Birth announcement

8. What keeps you busy besides your passion for design?

I don’t really have any interests outside of design. It’s kind of sad. Haha. When I don’t have freelance work, I tend to my online shop on Etsy where I (used to -Reg, 2012 edit) sell my handmade illustrated paper goods. I make illustrations for notebooks, tumblers, stickers, and button pins and post them on Etsy, a marketplace for handmade goods. I’ve made 90 sales in less than a year and I’ve shipped my stuff all over the US, Europe, and Asia. It’s a fun thing to do on the side– deadlines don’t exist and I can design whatever I want for myself, not for a client.

Blue/Pink Cupcake Bear Phone Charm
Cupcake Bears stickers!
We Be Explorers Memo Pad

9. What would you advise a young aspiring designer (like you) who decides to take this career path?

I always advise my designer friends when they ask me how I get freelance work to put up their own website or at least get their work out there on the Internet. It’s a must! You can’t rely on just word of mouth alone to get design gigs. I have had the chance to work on projects from around the world from clients who see my work on my website. I also get work coming from visitors on my Flickr stream as well, so it doesn’t really matter if you have your own domain or not. What matters is getting your work out there and having a way for visitors to contact you. And generally, design gigs abroad pay better than local projects.

10. Anything you want to add?

Thank you very much for the interview! 🙂