Sébastien Nikolaou is a young and very promising creative with a sharp eye for quality graphic design. Having experimented with drawing and graffiti he ended up giving in to what proved to be his real passion, digital art. Today he shares his views with you on EyeCandies.

Hey Seb and welcome to EyeCandies! What got you started in the creative field of graphic design and illustration?

Hello EyeCandies! I loved to draw since I was kid. After experimenting with graffiti in my adolescence, I started playing with computers, design software and digital graphics. I wasn't exactly teaching myself, neither wanted to be a graphic designer at the beginning, but after  collaborating with a graphic designer around my 18 (a fact that taught me a lot), I decided that it was what I should do. Then I took design courses at the Graphic Design department of the Technological Educational Institute of Athens, where I still study.

What would you say are the drawbacks and/or difficulties of this field in Greece?

First of all I believe that many Greek people don't know what design is. This ignorance leads to misunderstandings and mediocre design quality; therefore they don't understand its value and are not always paying well. Of course there are exceptions, and I'm happy to see that more and more, clients are acquiring a culture and a sense of aesthetics, but it's a very slow procedure. The second drawback is the education; which is poor here in Greece. The level of the design schools is not like other European countries, and many graduates are not qualified enough.

Where do you gain inspiration from? Any designers that have influenced your style?

I mostly find inspiration in the web, browsing creative communities and portfolios. But my influences often come from more traditional artists and media. Designers like Herb Lubalin and Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, vintage books and illustrations are very influencing.
Can you describe the process of a project you undertook recently? What are the basic rules you follow during the creative procedure?

Recently I designed a poster for a big electronic music event in Athens, Greece.

The artwork had to be simple and intense, based on light colors, and large typography.

When I start working on a project, the most important part is thinking, an idea, a layout, how it could work, the style... I wanted something tech-looking, reminding a bit of old computer screens. So I started by working on the lettering and the information which had to be included.

Of course these might not work in real life, so a few rough sketches might help me. But the main work is done on the design software (Photoshop/Illustrator).

Also I keep staring a lot on unfinished works, to find flaws and think about improvements. I believe in "think more, design less"!

After the artwork was done, I was asked to adapt it for the pre-sale tickets and web banners.

Top five of your favorite sites / blogs ?

I read very often the IDSGN, ISO50, Brand New (Under Consideration), Ministry of Type, Grain Edit blogs.

If you were to create an illustration or a design reflecting your personality, what colors, forms, style & elements would you use?

That's tricky question, because I can define my personality accurately with words. But there are some elements that can reflect it, or just things that I personally enjoy more. Once I did a personality test on the web, and the result was that I was the “Cooper Black” typeface, so I'll keep that for starters, as I'm a fan of typography! About the colors, I really like the peacefulness and intensity of turquoise and blue-green colors, but also the energy and positivity of orange-yellows. I generally prefer round and curved forms, but often with hidden vertical and horizontal grids behind... I love the simplicity, but not the (extreme) minimalism, I love the abstraction and the subtraction, naive and fauve drawings, and everything original and spiritual.

What can we find you doing when not designing? Share your interests / hobbies

I'm a regular person, so I'd say I watch movies, listen to music, going out with friends. Oh, and I daydream. A lot!
Is there anything you would like to add? Give us a sneak peak of your future plans?

I don't have big plans for the future, but I hope I can make some experiments and new artworks for personal projects. The summer is coming, and it's time for some fresh ideas and hot designs!

LINKS: […]

- www.sebdesign.eu
- www.flickr.com/photos/sebdesign