Melbourne, Australia –
Here is an interview with 31 year old Nathan Jurevicius. He is a talented illustrator with an interest in vinyl toys, clothing and comics. One of his most popular characters is Scary Girl. She can be seen in specialty toys stores internationally. If you are a fan of Tim Burton films like The nightmare before Christmas, then this is certainly up your alley.
Tell us a little bit about yourself: your background, why did you choose to do what you are doing now?
I come from a long line of artists and musicians so it’s fairly ingrained into my brain. Creating art has always been a part of my family – I don’t think there was really any other option but to do what I’m doing now.
Are you ‘formally trained’ or self-educated, and what are the pros and cons of either education in your opinion?
I’m formally trained (a degree in Design/Illustration at the University of South Australia), self-educated (in anything relating to the computer) and also lucky enough to have a father who’s an artist.
The main thing I got out of formal education is to do your own thing while taking in good advice – too often illustrators/designers are dictated what direction they should go when formally trained without experimenting on what they actually want to do.
How did you start, what was your first job and how old were you then?
My first real freelance job was when I was around 16 years old. My brother and i I were hired in house for 2 days to do graphics for a computer company (DIGITAL) presentation booklet.
What is your creative process: how do you start, when do you stop?
I’m a late starter (around 10am) and work until about 6pm and then start back up again around 10pm and keep working until 2am. My morning ritual is generally to drink a large cup of green tea while checking emails (takes about an hour) and then to grab a stack of photocopy paper and start sketching.
Do you have a special creative or workflow trick/method
that you’d like to share?
Green tea and chewing gum.
Do you work primarily as a freelancer or permanently in a studio,
what do you prefer and why?
I’ve always worked freelance so it’s hard to know what long term studio jobs are like. I think I’d find it restrictive…maybe one day I’d like to be have a studio with other people in it though.
Do you work internationally, how do you do it
and what are benefits and pitfalls?
About 80% of my work is international (mainly Hong Kong and the US). Working from Australia the benifits are good because you always have a day longer to do stuff but the negative aspect is the communication….though email makes life so easy. I’m half based in Canada now so it’s a different style all together being closer to the UK and US.
What is your favourite city and why?
I have many favourite places – Zagreb in Croatia because of all the good memories, Melbourne because it feels like home, Toronto because it feels like my other home.
What are you working on now?
A lot!!! – Story concepts for the Scarygirl film, a new set of blindbox figures and a large vinyl toy with Flying Cat, plans for my next exhibition in the US, sketches for a picture book with Blockhead Press, mobile phone wallpapers for Candyspace, 5 covers for Allen and Unwin and a strange figure paintjob for Rinzen.
How do you celebrate completion of a project?
I don’t get much time for celebration. On a major job like an exhibition opening we will celebrate and I did go out with a few people after an MTV ident was completed. Illustration jobs tend to be part of your life and come and go so quickly so it doesn’t always seem justified to have a party after every job.
Who or what inspires you and does it influences your work?
I love Miro, Picasso and Jim Flora. My kids inspire me alot and possibly influence what I do. Travelling to other countries and seeing other cultures helps too.
What excites you in today’s design trends?
I find it too hard to keep up with design trends. I like timeless, story driven concepts.
What you don’t like in today’s design trends?
I’m probably not in touch enough to comment.
Have you ever fell asleep during a meeting with the client,
why, and what happened next?
i’ve drifted off alot in phone conferences (usually due to a bad line connection or non-relevant conversation). I find it so much easier if a client gives me a detailed brief via email.
Did you ever said ‘no’ to a client, why and do you still have that client?
The jobs I’ve said no to have been because I’ve been overworked or the job
I feel is not suited to me. 99% of the clients offering the job understand and are still around.
Do you play computer games? What are you playing now?
I love computer games but dont get enough time to play. Milo and I were testing out the latest Spiderman recently (which I found a bit boring)…. the ones I love are Jak 2, Prince of Persia and Sly Racoon (adventure type games are more my thing).
What do you read in bed?
By the time I go to bed it’s usually 2 or 3am so I fall asleep before I get
a chance to read.
What are your plans for the future?
Workwise it’s to get the Scarygirl film completed and also to build up the Scarygirl brand into more lifestyle products. Other than that it’s to try and be
a better dad/husband.
How many hours a day do you spend on the computer?
It really depends where I’m at with a job. If it’s the early stages (the pencil sketching stage) then maybe only 2 hours a day. If i’m at the colour stage then sometimes up to 8 or 9 hours a day).
What is your favorite food?
What music do you like to work to?
I’m currently into the Polyphonic Spree and also listening to Beck’s Sea Change album.
Apart from Google, what is your favourite website at the moment?
If you had to choose a different profession,
what would you be right now and why?
A travel guide book writer. It seems exotic.
What image is on your desktop?
About 200 ai and psd files.
To learn more about nathan and his amazing work, visit Scary Girl. Drop him a line and tell him what you think about his work.