Designer John Mark Herskind has done quite a lot in the 4 years that he has been doing graphic design. John is responsible for creating Designers Against Child Slavery as well as being part of the impressive S3 Collective. From that we can see that John has a bright future ahead of him in the design world so make sure to check out this great interview.
Q Welcome to Psdtuts+, please introduce yourself. Could you tell us where you're from and how you got started in the field?
Hey Guys, My name is John Mark Herskind. I'm an 18-year-old graphic artist from the United States. I'm the founder of Designers Against Child Slavery. I'm also on staff at SlashTHREE. I'm a self-taught artist. I started in the field when I was 14, after interning under someone in the film industry. He taught me Photoshop and I've been hooked since then.
Q Did you study graphic design in school or are you a self-taught artist? And in your opinion what are the pro's and con's of each.
As I said earlier I'm a self-taught artist. I do not study at a design school currently, but I have plans to attend the Savannah College of Art and Design next year. I've taken a few design classes in high school but they honestly didn't teach me much. I feel like design school can teach you a lot about design theory and how to perform in the industry itself. But as far as technical skills and a creative eye goes, I feel like that's something you are born with. Either you have it or you don't.
Q Some of the more recent illustrations in your portfolio follow the trend of using very dark colors and even being completely void of vibrant colors, what made you pursue this style?
I'm a huge fan of 3 things. Minimalism, surrealism and retro design. The reason I pursued that style is because I've always wanted to implement those 3 things into my art. In both "Solidarity" and "Reclamation" I used low saturation and minimal flashes of color. I really just like the atmosphere it brings. I'm constantly on a pursuit to find my own style, and I feel like my most recent work best illustrates the path my style is taking.
Q What are some of your personal favorite pieces of art, either modern or classical and why?
Obviously since I'm a fan of surrealism, I love the work of Salvador Dali. Dali's piece, "Corpus Hypercubus" is probably one of my all time favorite pieces of art. I'm also a huge fan of Anton Semenov, an artist at SlashTHREE. His work is incredibly detailed and extremely moving.
Q "Solidarity" is a very simple and unique illustration that carries a bit of meaning with it, could you walk us through how you created this piece and what the intended meaning behind it is.
Well as boring and generic as this sounds, Solidarity honestly just "happened". There wasn't any real technique that I used. It just kind of came out of me! Starting out, I did want to give the feeling of unity and peacefulness in some way. The piece was somewhat inspired by reading up on Solidarity in Poland and its peaceful resistance to advance social change.
Q Since you are a member of SlashTHREE tell us a bit about the pros and cons of being part of a successful design collective.
Design collectives are great. If you are looking for a place to make contacts and grow as an artist art collectives are the place to do it. I'm currently part of the SlashTHREE collective, but I've been part of Evoke and Intrinsic Nature in the past so I have a lot of experience seeing how collectives run. For me there are two big pros to art collectives. One is that you grow as an artist. I can't tell you how far I've come as an artist because of art groups. You can’t help but grow when your in an environment full of talented creative people, constantly giving you feed back on your work.
For me, the second biggest pro to being in a collective is the sense of community. Working on an exhibition together for 5-6 months really brings a sense of family into the equation, its almost as if your on a mission together. Not to mention you get a lot of exposure from being in collectives. Three days after I joined staff at SlashTHREE, I had almost 2,000 new website hits, and 75 new twitter followers and the numbers continue to grow.
As for cons, I cant think of many. I will say that in order for you to get the best experience out of a collective, you have to be willing to put a lot into it. You will only get out what you put in. Meaning, if you don't spend much time around the group, and rarely talk to people, you wont see those to pros that I talked about come into play... And with out those pros then there isn't much of a point to being in the group.
Q What can we look forward to from you in the future? What projects will you be working on?
In the coming months I will be releasing 2 album covers that I did for two different bands, along with some poster designs for shows and what not. I've got a lot of client work that I haven't released for a few months, which will probably come along with those two album covers. Right now I'm working on a piece for SlashTHREE's next exhibition as well as a piece for Designers Against Child Slavery's next exhibition, which will show in New York City, Miami and possibly Houston. I also plan on submitting a piece to the UU Theory's contest this year. As I continue to explore different styles and forms of illustration, expect to see a lot of different experimental pieces from me.
Q Thanks again for providing Psdtuts+ with this opportunity to interview you. Any final thoughts for our readers?
Thanks guys, I really appreciate the opportunity to be interviewed on PSDTuts+. Thanks the support and willingness to have me here.