[Zupi] Tell us a bit about your professional life since when you were a student.
I went to school to learn about Criminal Investigation and Sociology. I didn’t go to school for art but when I could I took basic art classes. When I graduated college I realized I didn’t want to be in law enforcement and so I took another path. I worked as manager of skateboard shop, a buyer for a bike store, an assistant to a dean at Columbia University and then as a writer/designer for a web site. Now I do art, illustration and design.
[Zupi] How did you start out as an artist and designer?
I always was into design and art. All my friends and my love interests were involved in art. I think these relationships sort of rubbed off on me. I always did little art projects or designed flyers for my band using the old drug store copy machine. It wasn’t until I met my lady Amy and with her support I began to show my design work and art. I then became friends with Scott Snyder of Arkitip magazine and he sort of pushed me to show more of my hand done stuff and what I was doing behind closed doors so to speak. With his and my ladys support I probably wouldn’t be talking to you right now.
[Zupi] Why did u decided to open your own design studio? And how u get your clients?
I really don’t have a design studio. I don’t go after clients and do any type of marketing unless it’s related to my art work. The clients I do get just come to me by word of mouth or they stumble upon my website. The site doesn’t show any of the commercial work I do. I’m actually going to start showing that stuff soon on my commercial design website http://www.craigmetzger.com Engin.eSystem is more of the fine art and the other site will be for the person who wants package design, pattern design, graphics and other visual junk.
[Zupi] Do you have a team that work with u?
I’m a one man show. If the need ever calls though, I do have friends who are photographers and video people. So I could get a team together if the job is right and that team would be off the hook.
[Zupi] Whats the main attraction in your work?
The main attraction is the colors, textures and shapes. I have a drawing style that is very dirty and has a more sketch feel to it. I then incorporate flat imagery that is either hand cut paper or icon work that is made up of many different processes.
[Zupi] Tell us about your style if u have a specific one.
I think my style is a bit chaotic but is some how brought together by the flat imagery work I do, like the cut paper stuff mixed with my sketches. In terms of my design it depends on what the client is looking for. If you want traditional design, I’ll bang it out. If you want some thing more edgier I can do that to. it’s all about being able to adapt.
[Zupi] What makes u inspired?
Fashion, Music, anything that has a “Do it yourself” approach. I love folk art and religious inspired art. I think living in a city also inspires me. It is really hard to nail one thing down that inspires me.
[Zupi] Who are the artists or other professional that inspired your work?
I love Gustav Klimit ‘s work and the folk artist Henry Darger. As far as the new artists coming out I really dig Neo Rauch, Anthony Yankovic 3, Evan Hecox and so many others. In terms of design I love the work of Don Pendleton, Michael Leon, HUGA, Geoff Mcfetridge and Matt Owens.
[Zupi] Tell us about the visual tendencies? Where did u search and find your references?
I tend to use a lot of animal imagery in my personal work. I’m sort draw n to animals but more in the sense of them being magical creatures. Maybe it has something to do with my early obsession with Dungeons and Dragons the game. As far as references go with regard to the creatures they totally come out of my imagination. When I do a drawing of a face it’s a mixture of an image I might see in a magazine or on tv with a little freestyle thrown in to keep things interesting.
[zupi] Do you have any new projects coming up that you can tell us about?
I have so many things going on it’s hard to list them all. I’m currently putting together a bunch of new works to have photographed for possible grant applications and possible galleries. I’m trying to get proper representation with regard to my fine art. I feel sometimes I’m misrepresented but that can just be me being paranoid.
[Zupi] Do u think the design from your country have a unique style?
I think the United States has a unique style. It is very diverse just like any other country.
[Zupi] Do u think is necessary to study to become a good designer?
No, I feel you either have it or you don’t. You can study all the techniques and learn all the programs but it involves so much more than that. It’s good to learn technique and the programs but after that it should be more personal, whether it’s a simple logo or a whole ad campaign. It all comes down to aesthetic and that can’t be taught.
[Zupi] Any final comments?
Never doubt your ability and keep pushing towards that goal cause eventually you will achieve it. Also, don’t follow the trends, start the trends.