Levi Bunyan, otherwise known as aekido, is a designer and illustrator currently based in Aberdeen, Scotland. His passion for design includes screen printing, letterpress, custom typography, laser cutting, illustration, geometric shapes and print design.
We love how he uses diverse materials and textures to make his designs tactile, playful and honest. Here he shares a bit about his process.
Q1. Please tell us a bit about yourself.
Hello *waves* I’m a 24 year old designer, illustrator & printmaker living in Aberdeen, Scotland. I graduated last year with an honours degree in Graphic Design from Gray’s School of Art, RGU, in Aberdeen. Since I have been working on my own projects as well as working as a designer in residence at the Gray’s. I am a bit of a typography geek, and recently have started to get really into sneakers / sneaker design… much to the worry of my parents. I also have a bit of an obsession with paper.
Q2. How do you approach starting a new project?
I always start off brainstorming, picking out key words or sentences from a brief and start jotting ideas down from there. After that I look at different stock sites for reference ideas if it’s for objects, if not I just go straight into the computer and start playing around in Illustrator. I sometimes sketch out very basic layouts or structures, but that’s mainly on graph or squared paper as I’m a bit of a sucker for structure.
Q3. What is most important to you when working on a project?
I watched a Jon Contino process video for Jack Daniels recent where he said ‘When creating anything the key is to make it special. Make it something worth having & if it’s not worth having what’s the point?’ which I think best sums up my feelings to working on a brief. Yes it’s important to stick to the brief, and try hard to give what the client wants, but in the end of the day, if it’s not special or worth having, what’s the point in doing it?
Q4. What’s the role of sketching in your creative process?
As stated previously; not very important. It’s something that I rarely do, but wish I did more of. I recent created a bunch of hand printed & bound sketch books for a pop up shop, and have found myself doodling in some of them more recently.
Q5. Weapon of choice (favorite materials)?
Recently I’ve been really getting into ‘Magic Color Liquid Acrylic’. I bought it by accident one day from the local art shop, and when I had free time started experimenting with it. I use them now a lot for when I want a good transparent pastel colour, by mixing about 8 or 9 drops in with some high vis clear base screen printing medium, the results are rather dreamy; it’s what I used for my recent fashion series prints.
Q6. What’s your all-time favourite procrastination pastime?
For anyone who follows me on either Twitter or Pinterest this one’s a bit obvious. I can lose track of time looking / posting on both. Along with these, just generally looking up new designers / illustrators, or looking on blogs. I also enjoy cooking, so I can spend hours tinkering away in the kitchen.
Q7. What are some things you do for inspiration? Do you have any specific rituals, sources or habits that help inspire you?
As far as getting inspired, I guess this is a bit of a cliché thing to say, but, I just open up Spotify and blast out some good music. For working I almost always listen to Hip Hop, there’s something about a real good beat that can really put me in the zone to get work done, and things just become naturally listening to it, anything by Blackalicious, Big L, Gang Starr, Jaylib and Mos Def especially.
Q8. What are five things you couldn’t live without?
Internet, iPhone, iMac, Bacon (the proper British back bacon, none of this streaky bacon rubbish) and Irn Bru (Google it ^^)
Q9. In an alternate universe you’d be…
A HUGE thank you to Levi for taking the time to do this interview.
Be sure to stop by Levi’s site!
All images ©2012 Levi Bunyan