Interview with graphic designer Bart de Bekker

 My preferred mediums are definitely digital design and illustration. My design style is quite modern and I strive to achieve a balance between elegance and simplicity.

Bart de Bekker is a talented freelance Graphic Designer based in Winnipeg, Manitoba. His vibrant designs are featured in restaurants, nightclubs and used for logos and social media. He will be showcasing his designs during RAW Arise in Winnipeg on August 8th: 

Being a freelance designer how do you attract clients?

As a freelance graphic designer, the method by which I attract clients varies greatly and there isn’t necessarily one way that is better than another. For me it would seem that word of mouth has been my strongest avenue for receiving new clients and design work. When I first began reaching out I did what most might do, I started a business Instagram account and created a website to get established and hopefully get my brand noticed. I began working on a few projects here and there and pretty soon had a couple full-time clients. From that point on, I was so busy working that my Instagram page and website sort of took a back seat to the actual work. Fast forward to today and I have gained several more clients simply by word of mouth. If you do the work on time and you do it well, your clients will come to you.

What are your preferred mediums?

My preferred mediums are definitely digital design and illustration. My design style is quite modern and I strive to achieve a balance between elegance and simplicity. I have come to know programs like Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop quite well and can create most of what I envision in my head using a computer; a few mouse clicks and drop shadows and boom, a finished design! When it calls for it however, I will create an image using pen and paper first before transferring it over to a digital format. 

What attracts you to create optical art?

I have always been drawn to optical art, even at a young age. I think we have all attempted to see those “magic” 3D pictures where the image will suddenly jump out at you, your brain slowly melting away as your eyes become more and more strained. I was always quite good at those and have always been a lover of illusions and puzzles. I think what optical art does for me, and what I hope to translate to the viewer is that art can be more than just an image and what you think of it or how it makes you feel. Art can have a real physical effect on you and the world around you. I strive to make one think about what they’re seeing while making them uncomfortable or unsure about it or themselves at the same time. The main goal is to make one question. In my piece titled “Focus”, the viewer has to literally focus to see the word come out at them, and I hope to make them think a little more about how they could better focus on things in their own lives and their own goals by blocking out unwanted distractions.

What is your greatest achievement so far?

I would have to say that my greatest achievement so far is simply creating work that my clients are happy with and want to display in print or on the web, but also work that I am proud of and want to show off. I’ve never been one to chase success the way it is defined by modern standards. Success to me is creating art that does its job, communicates the message it was set out to do, and engages with the target audience. At the end of the day, if the world is a better place because of my art, I feel I have achieved something.

What do you have planned for the upcoming Winnipeg ARISE showcase on August 8th?

I am beyond excited for the upcoming show! I was a late entry so it has been nerve racking to get everything set up, printing my work, promoting the event, etc. I plan to just enjoy myself, meet other artists in my community, and to hopefully sell a few prints and gain future clients. I am extremely grateful for the opportunity that RAW has given me and I plan to make the best of it.

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