Who is Eras Gous, where are you based and what do you do?
I’m an art director working at Owenkessel, a Johannesburg based full-service advertising agency.
You are an art director, graphic designer and illustrator. Which defines you best?
It all depends on what I’m currently working on. In my opinion, all three disciplines are essentially the same. The most crucial component is the idea – the fact that the final product should look pretty is a given. Good art directors should be able to design and good designers should be able to art direct. All three disciplines are simply a means to convey a message.
What creative process do you go through when coming up with clever ideas like the ‘edible invite’ and the‘Moss Poster’ ?
I worked on this project while working at King James RSVP Joburg, under Kassie Naidoo. Plascon briefed us to come up with an awareness campaign for their annual student design competition, The Plascon Prism Awards. Interior design and architect students had to design a space based on the Plascon Colour Forecast, which was inspired by the transience of nature.
We wanted to inspire a level of thinking in the students and demonstrate what can be achieved with transient materials.
We set out to design a poster that is temporary and that can be returned to nature once its purpose was served. We achieved this by stenciling a mixture of mud, yoghurt and pureed moss onto an A1 piece of wood. These were kept in a greenhouse for a month before they were sent to universities. We asked students to grow their posters and send us pictures. When the campaign was over, students discarded the posters and they decomposed naturally.
The call-to-entries were printed on rice paper with edible soy ink and bound with a ring of icing sugar. Once students digested the information, they were encouraged to eat their brief. It didn’t taste great, but demonstrated how they could approach eco friendly thinking in a new way.
What are you currently working on?
A very exciting type project. Inspired by handwritten typography in South Africa. I will eventually release 3 typefaces and promise to keep SA Creative Network posted.
What advice would you give to young South African creatives looking to do what you do?
Work under mentors that inspire you. There are some brilliant people in this industry who are very willing to pass on their knowledge. Find them and bug them! Evaluate yourself constantly and then decide what you need to learn next.
Where can our readers find your work?
You can view my work on Behance http://be.net/ErasGous or follow me on twitter @ErasGous.
Real monster Mask – Child Abuse Action Group
When you’re handed a free monster mask on Halloween everything seems perfectly normal. Until what you find inside drives home a chilling truth – “The scariest monsters don’t look like monsters.”
Halloween is all about getting a few harmless screams out of little ones dressed as Spiderman and bumblebees. Our campaign aimed to disrupt this very mindset. Volunteers handed out free monster masks to parents at neighbourhood “Trick or Treating” events, at costume hiring shops and mall Halloween displays. Parents expected a ghoulish zombie mask, but found the face of a very friendly looking “Joe Soap” instead.
The message from the Child Abuse Action Group (CAAG) reminded parents of the upsetting reality that abusers look just like the rest of us. Parents were directed to the CAAG’s website for a list of safety tips to help ensure that when our kids say “Happy Halloween” – it really is.
Art Director: Eras Gous
Copy Writer: Dohne Grobler
Creative Directors: Felix Kessel, Vaughan Owen.