A Graphic Designer with a specialism in Digital Media, Steven Bremner is a graduate of Gray’s School of Art. His main focus is in motion graphics and 3D visualization, but he always works in illustration and print design.
Who is Steven Bremner? What were your early creative influences?
I’m a recent graduate from Gray’s School of Art, I graduated in July and somehow managed to get a first studying Design for Digital Media. I make motion graphics, websites, 3D graphics and other digital things, though I’ve made the odd book and illustration as well. I would describe myself as a Graphic and Digital designer. When I first started as a designer I was inspired mainly by the work that was shown to me by my lecturers and peers, Saul Bass being the most prominent due to his title sequence work, which is where my interest in motion graphics probably started.
Which designers inspire your work today?
My recent inspirations vary quite a bit in regards to their style. Artists and designers like Syd Mead, Marianne Brandt, Andrew Kramer, Cyriak, Ariel Costa, Ben Newman, Studio aka, David Mach, John Newling and Anne Milne have all been interesting and inspirational. Of course these artists are all quite different from each other but they all have really interesting ideas and techniques that I think filters into my own work one way or another.
Would you recommend Gray’s School of Art as a positive place to study? What were the best things about studying there?
Absolutely, I really enjoyed my time there. It’s a very focused and professional place and the lecturers are very supportive in making you produce the best work that you can.
One of the best things about Gray’s had to be the way that the studio was structured. I think normally when you go into a course you get labelled as whatever it is you study, for example if you study Sculpture then you are only a ‘Sculptor’ and nothing else. At Gray’s the studio space was actually shared by a larger cohort of classes so my class shared a space and staff with two other groups to make up the Communication Design cohort. The advantage of this was that it was always possible to get lots of different opinions and feedback on my work. I could ask peers and lecturers who had very different styles and techniques from me to give an opinion on my work and from there I could decide on whether what I was doing was working or not. I think this might be where some of my versatility comes from. The Gray’s communication design website can be viewed at www.grayscale.org
It’s a good site to look at to get an idea of what the Gray’s School of Art communication design courses are all about. There are plenty of examples of excellent student work and detailed info about the course for anyone that’s interested. I should also mention that the Grayscale website was made by me.
How would you describe your personal style? What are your favourite projects to work on?
My style depends on the brief that I’m working on at any given time; a client project is mostly influenced by what they need, though I do try to get some personal touch in there somehow. That said when I’m working on a project that I have more creative freedom over I tend to create work that could be described as being “Dark” and maybe satirical. This means my portfolio has an almost split personality to it with some work being really light hearted work with other pieces being much more heavy. I really love to work on motion graphics projects, theres just something about the whole animation process that I enjoy, I think the storytelling aspect is the best thing.
You have a varied skillset, but what goals have you set yourself to complete over the next 5-10 years?
Honestly I’m not sure what’s going to happen in 5-10 years. Hopefully something creative, we’ll see what happens. To be more specific I’d like to get into motion graphics and advertising, it’s what I built most of my portfolio around during my 3rd and 4th year. I enjoy telling a story and animation is a great way to do that. I did try my hand at filmmaking briefly during 3rd year but the outcome makes me cringe every time I see it. I feel the concept was solid, but the way it was made was wrong.
Are you involved in any groups/events locally or online which you’ve found helpful?
There is a local pop up shop that I had work on display for called Offset57 late last year, they even had a few cool guest speakers do workshops there such as Shellsuit Zombie, Felt Mistress and Ben Newman to name a few. The shop is reopening in a while so I’m hoping to maybe have something up on display again.
Which creative sites online do you enjoy the most to read & be inspired by?
Creative review and design week are the “Go-to” sites but I also check out sites local to my area such as WLDWLVS and Offset57, which are both good sites for the work being made in Aberdeen, both of which I recommend having a look at. Greyscalegorilla and videocopilot are both handy for picking up new motion graphics techniques. The occasional wander on YouTube and Vimeo can be worthwhile, it’s sometimes a bit of a lottery but it can be a good way to find out about talented artists like Cyriak and Lee Hardcastle. Newgrounds can also have some creative stuff up on there.
Who are your favourite people to follow on twitter?
Charlie Brooker, Richard Herring and Jim Norton, mostly for some humour. Though I don’t technically follow Rupert Murdoch I do like to check up on his twitter from time to time, mainly for my own amusement… On a much more dry note I usually check up on BBC news and the guardian, I like to know what’s going on.
How do you like to relax away from working?
I find a bit hard to relax at times, I really hate being idle or having nothing to do which is probably why I put a lot of time into making things. Maybe I relax best when I’m working. When I’m officially on holiday I often head to Edinburgh festival during my summer breaks to get my yearly dose of comedy and culture. A highlight this year was seeing “The boy with tape on his face” who performed an hour of comedy entirely visually without saying a word. I also saw Simon Munnery for the first time, who is someone I’d been wanting to see for a while, his show was entirely orchestrated from a small wooden box from which he filmed himself performing using pieces of paper and drawings.
What are your favourite albums and films of all time?
My favourite film has to a Korean thriller called OldBoy, which is being remade into a Hollywood blockbuster, which may turn out good or bad. When it comes to my taste in music its really changed over the last few years, when I was a teenager I was really into old punk bands like Bauhaus and Black Flag. Nowadays I listen to a much more varied pool of music. Right now I’m really into these guys from Florida called Coyote Kisses who make some really punchy tracks, they also have some really awesome album art. Another band I’ve gotten into recently are called Saint Germain, who make really some cool acid jazz albums.