Kyle Kemink

KyleK.png

Kyle Kemink

Communication Designer / Photographer

South Africa

behance.net/kylekemink
instagram: @kem.inc

 

WHAT DO YOU DO?

I am a qualified graphic designer and photographer

Currently balancing freelancing and full time work. I work a lot for music artists, but I'm pretty versatile in what I can do. Love me some branding as well.

KyleKemink_Image_01 - Kyle Kemink (1).jpg
 

WHAT STEPS DID YOU TAKE TO GET TO WHERE YOU ARE NOW?

I studied a double major in Photography and Communication Design at The Open Window institute, graduating with a Crystal Pangolin award and a BA degree.
I've been freelancing for about 4 years now and I've worked within the industry at a company called Grid Worldwide, which specializes in branding and advertising.
Design is something I am passionate about in my free time as well though, the majority of my professional projects become informed by the skills I learn just messing around in my free time. I guess design and photography are as much a job to me as they are what I do for fun.

 

How do you stand out in your field?

My entire wardrobe is pretty much black so it's definitely not my fashion sense. But seriously,  I would say it's the edge that my work has in comparison to a lot of what I see, or at least a lot of what I see in my country (South Africa).
I love the grungy side of design, and of life really. I mean, like the trash, the 'anti' and the work that says something even if you don't know what that something is, and that's what I try and create.


The majority of my personal portfolio consists of designs I  create for the sake of creating, it's just an inner drive or whatever, I feel like I need to create. My work tends to be dark and for lack of a better word to describe it 'Cool'. I guess I just make what I like to make, and do it constantly which has informed a greater visual style I like to think I have.

 

WHAT ARE YOU WORKING ON RIGHT NOW?

At the moment I'm working full time but juggling a couple freelancing jobs and passion projects. For one I'm busy working on a full rollout for an up and coming music artist called James Deacon, meaning I'm doing the logo, photography, album design and social media management for the entire project.


I'm also in the process of rebranding Bad Future, A South African music label.


And on the passion project side, meaning the work that I enjoy the most but doesn't pay; I'm busy working on a fantasy branding project where I'm picking random characters from the universe of fiction and creating corporate identities for them, Right now I'm busy with Finn the Human (Huge adventure time fan).


I'm also working on a project called 'Fuck Consumerism' where I'm creating a bunch of products and funny ads for a fictional brand called fuck.


But it's taking a backseat to the numerous other projects right now.

 

WHAT'S YOUR STYLE/PERSPECTIVE/TASTE? DO YOU HAVE A PROJECT THAT REPRESENTS THIS?

Most of my work is pretty dark, not that I aim for it to be that way, I just create and it tends to come out that way. I love the grunge and experimental side of design and photography. And I love the night time, shooting between 22:00 and 03:00 is ideal for me. I also think that my music taste comes through a lot  in my design, I really like the bass in music like Trap, so there's that.


I think a lot of my work is informed by nostalgia, I can hardly call myself a 90's kid but that aesthetic is everything to me, grew up on Ratchet and Clank, DOOM,Star Wars... Basically all of the good sh*t

 

WE ALL HAVE MULTIPLE SKILLS OR WORK IN VARIOUS INDUSTRIES, WHICH ONE DO YOU WISH YOU COULD FOCUS ON MORE?

In the past 3 years or so I've become really good at photoshop, and even Illustrator, and I've used these to become a good designer.


I guess we all want to be multifaceted though, I for example film a lot but i'm not great at putting video together yet. I'd also really like to work on my 3D skills, I feel like the photography industry at least in some aspects is being replaced by the perfection one can achieve in a render.


I'd also love to learn how to build websites, the space we are moving into with website design is turning a design into an entire user-centric experience online,
people  are creating amazing stuff out there, and I'd love to as well.

 

WHAT IS FRUSTRATING YOU RIGHT NOW?


Tough one, But I'd have to say traffic,  I've recently started a full-time job and it's a huge transition from the freedom of studying or full-time freelancing. I know the experience is worth it and the working world is just part of life but it can be frustrating to spend so much time working for somebody else on stuff you don't necessarily want to be doing, but that's life, or at least life right now.


So I guess it's the lack of time that's frustrating more than anything else, between working full-time, freelancing part-time and working on personal projects, I have barely any time to be myself.

Kyle Kemink_Image_02 - Kyle Kemink (1).jpg

IF YOU COULD HIRE SOMEONE FOR $20/HR, WHAT WOULD YOU HAVE THEM DO TO MAKE YOUR DAY EASIER?

I wish someone would pay me 20$/hour honestly, I'd probably quit my day job.


But seriously, I would probably hire them to take some of the work I do full time off my desk so I could spend more of my day creating for the sake of it or managing an effective freelance business. Or I'd pay them to drive me to work in the morning, a 2-hour commute one way is not fun.

LET'S BRING OUT THE TIME MACHINE. WHAT DO YOU WISH YOU COULD HAVE TOLD YOURSELF, WHEN, AND WHY?

I wish I could have gone back to Grade 9 me and just told myself that only some of what I'm learning in school is important. Being in a Catholic boarding school there's like expected careers to come out of it you know:  Business, Law, Science. But little did I know that people get paid to drive expensive cars on movie sets professionally. But I'd probably tell myself to download the Adobe suite and mess around in that, Get an earlier start at this design thing which makes up most of my life right now.


And also I'd slap the cigarette out of my young hand and menacingly stare at my younger self. DON'T SMOKE KIDS.

Kyle Kemink_Image_03_1.jpg

IF YOU COULD TALK TO AN EXPERT TO GAIN MORE INSIGHT ON SOMETHING, WHAT WOULD IT BE ABOUT?

I think if I could talk to an expert I would want to know whether what I'm doing is a good use of Life. It seems kind of scary to see people who have worked straight from college or even before that and have just followed the scripted stages, Job - Wife - Kids - Retirement. I'd love to gain insight on what should be important rather than the material which we tend to favor in this generation.

 

WHAT KIND OF OPPORTUNITIES/PROJECTS ARE YOU LOOKING FOR?

Branding, Album and single covers, promotional posters!

 


DESCRIBE YOUR IDEAL JOB/CLIENT/COLLABORATION.

My ideal client is someone who gets stuff right from the go I guess, someone serious about what they're doing but not the corporate square kind of serious.


It's always easier to create for someone who enjoys what you create and is comfortable with the process of how you do it, Trust is always essential.


Recently, I've been working with an up and coming music artist and they initially approached me because they loved my work and the entire project has been a success. Creating outside of a comfort zone is always necessary, but If I am approached  because of work I have already done then I can't go wrong on the work I will do for that person.

WHAT IS YOUR HOURLY RATE, RETAINER, OR SALARY RANGE? 

It depends on the project, I don't work on hourly rates, I prefer retainers or once off but that also depends on the type of work and where it is coming from.
For example, If I am approached by a label on behalf of a music artist, a typical charge usually gets to about $2000 for an album over and possibly single covers before release.


I typically won't work for anything less than $500, but of course it depends on the project.



HOW SHOULD SOMEONE APPROACH YOU ABOUT WORKING TOGETHER?

I always like to be approached with an idea in mind, A vague brief is a bad brief.


What I typically ask for is a budget, a couple of external references and a couple of references of my work which the client likes if that's the reason I was approached. And of course something short  and sweet that describes the project as a whole, something I can build a concept on.

 

HOW DO YOU STAY CREATIVE?

I never stop creating.


This member profile was originally published in March 2019.