In this post we have the great pleasure of welcoming one of our all-time favourite illustrators to take a seat in our interview chair and share their thoughts & observations with us. Here’s an illustrator whose work is much sought after by discerning clients – and has earned the admiration of design and illustration fans across the globe for distinctive style that’s all his own. Yes folks, in the spotlight today is none less than the legendary Jaco Haasbroek! SL: Tell us who you are, where you’re from, whether you studied illustration, and if so, where. JH: Hello, my name is Jaco Haasbroek. I was born in Pretoria, grew up in Johannesburg, studied Fine Arts in Stellenbosch and am now working as a freelance Illustrator and Designer in Cape Town. SL: Your style is quite simple, yet clever and you make use of simple everyday phrases that have been converted into great – and funny – illustrations. Where do you get your inspiration from?
JH: I spent two and a half years working at an ad agency before going freelance. I learned a lot in that time and it gave me a chance to develop my approach towards creative work. It taught me to think more conceptually by trying to solve problems. A lot of time was spent on work that did not necessarily require creative thinking, but it all somehow fed back into my own work. It gave me the confidence needed to go on my own. Despite it’s challenges, I prefer the freedom of self-initiated work. However, sometimes you need the client-driven work to enable you to break out of your comforts in order to grow. It allows you to develop in ways you might not have arrived at on your own.
JH: It’s really difficult to single out one person. There are some amazingly talented individuals out there. I have a lot of respect for people who love what they do and do it well. With the incredible amount of work out there I do feel that a lot of it passes you by and you start passively consuming images without really noticing all of it. The artist almost becomes unimportant when you are bombarded with so much. However, sifting through all of it you do discover some gems.
SL: Lastly, when you’re working, what’s the likely soundtrack playing in the background?
JH: I alternate between three things: ‘Watching’ or listening to some series, music, or nothing but the sounds of the surrounds. Thanks very much to Jaco for his time and insights into his creative process – to see more of his work, go to his site. Stay tuned for more great interviews here on our blog – we have some amazing creatives lined up for you. (all images ©Jaco Haasbroek)