Today we have a colorful chat with Landon Nothnagel about his craft. Awesome stuff, enjoy!
Who is Landon Nothnagel and what do you do?
Though people often mistake me for being foreign due to my Asian-like features, I’m actually a South African citizen with some Japanese blood flowing through my veins (my father is Japanese and mom South African). I’m 25 years old and can describe myself as an adrenaline junky who is a happy-go-lucky, fun and friendly kind of guy. My friends describe me as ‘The Crazy Jap’ due to my ‘push the boundary’ nature, my ideas are always out of the box, my thoughts creative and I’m the most daring person in my circle of friends. Art and design is what I do best, it is my medium of expression and it always has been. Besides art and design, another obsession and something I am really passionate about is skateboarding. It’s these activities that have kept me off the street and out of trouble when I was younger. I am most thankful that they’ve remained with me ever since as it’s taken me on the most amazing life journeys. I’m currently a Graphic Designer at a design agency in Cape Town called Creative Workshop. When I’m not hard at work I’m either watching anime, mountain biking, skateboarding, listening to music (Hip Hop and Dubstep is my favourite), playing on my Xbox, chilling with my friends, occasionally clubbing and mostly spending quality time with my girlfriend.
How would you define your style or art?
I don’t limit myself when it comes to a specific creative style as the design and creative world is always changing, so it is difficult to describe my exact style as I focus on so many different styles of design. As a child my imagination always transported me to happy places, where I took what was impossible in reality and made it possible in my mind. When people look at my designs my ultimate goal is always to provide them with a visual fantasy, so that they may create whatever story they want. I have a very wild imagination and usually all designs created by me begins with an ordinary everyday image, which I creativity morph into an extraordinary piece of art work. I do a lot of photo montage art, giving a fantasy like feel to my designs, taking realistically impossible things and making them appear real. Photo realism is something I focus on quite a lot.
What inspires your work?
Nothing in particular inspires me to create a great design….that is because everything inspires me. From the smallest texture or object on the floor, to tap water, anything and everything inspires me. I create designs according to how I feel and the experiences I have. Basically whatever I see in my mind at any point in time, I put on paper. I eat, breathe and live design. In actual fact I don’t need a wave of depression and sadness or happiness to hit me for me to create something, my mind is constantly in design mode. I am also fascinated by cartoon characters and this obsession is influenced by Japanese Animation. I have a great respect for Toki Doki’s creative style.
What are you currently working on?
I am currently painting custom designs on skateboards, doing a design and entering it into a competition on Photoshop Creative (which I’ve been featured in already). At Creative Workshop I am also working on a big campaign, it’s the re-launch of Hooch, where I am doing a lot of retouching of model’s photographs and photo manipulating the models into adverts. I’m always entering and looking to enter into design competitions, since I’m working hard towards establishing a name for myself in the design industry.
What advice would you give young creative’s looking to do what you do?
In the design industry I believe that you have to put your all into the work you create, always keep updated with the latest techniques and software, importantly keep up to date with the latest design trends but adapt your own creative style. Practice makes perfect, so never stop doing tutorials and continue to learn as much as you to increase your graphic and design skill level. Lastly think out of the box as unique creativity is what makes you stand out from the rest.
Readers can follow me at the following links:
My blog: http://thecrazyjap.blogspot.com/2011/04/all-about-design.htmlMy
Advanced Photoshop : http://www.advancedphotoshop.co.uk/user/punk21
Adobe Gocreate: http://gocreate.pro/members/crazyjap/
Piece Industries: http://pieceindustries.co.za/landon
My twitter account: @CrazyJapCtown