Artist Crispe is a freelance designer and illustrator living and working in Sydney, Australia. With a love for dogs (especially one named Louie), a talent for creating hypnotic animations and a lighthearted sense of humor, Crispe’s portfolio has something for everyone.
Crispe shares his thoughts on how to stay creatively inspired, the best advice he’s been given, and his dreams for the future.
Where is home?
I live in Sydney, Australia but I grew up a little further down the coast in a place called Wollongong. It’s got sun, surf and a gigantic smog spewing steelworks.
What is your weapon of choice?
I spend most of my time creating vector art in Adobe Illustrator but I also sketch in Procreate on my iPad Pro, animate in Adobe After Effects and do a little 3D in Cinema 4D.
Please describe your work in 7 words or less.
Quirky and colourful illustrated and animated oddities.
How do you sustain yourself creatively and continue to find inspiration?
That’s a tough one as I don’t think that I have sustained myself creatively, and from artists, I’ve spoken to, they also tend to have the same periodic burnouts. Most of the time I am creatively motivated but I tend to create smaller work that I can complete in a few days. In my client work, I tend to have projects that drag on for a month or longer, so it is refreshing to set myself smaller creative projects that I can knock over quickly. Boredom is my biggest enemy!
In terms of finding inspiration, from a visual perspective I follow a lot of other artists on Instagram, Twitter, Behance, and Dribbble which offer a relentless stream of mouthwatering works. It can be intimidating seeing how skilled and prolific others are! From a conceptual point of view, I tend to just come up with weird little ideas that pop up into my head over the course of the day, or annoyingly just as I am falling asleep or waking up in the morning. I write them all down on my iPad and come back to them later to see whether they can actually be turned into an illustration or short animation (most don’t).
In a year’s time, just be better than you were a year prior, not better than the artists you see online every day.
A few interesting tidbits about Crispe.
His sidekick is a 2-year-old “stubborn, yet adorable” French Bulldog named Louie. He rocked out on Guitar Hero so much in his 20’s that he damaged ligaments in his hand (that is so metal). He’s also a self-proclaimed clutz and has fractured both his feet running (also pretty metal).
What’s been the biggest technical skill that you’ve nailed?
I’d say character design has been my strongest skill, but that may be more of a creative rather than technical skill. Learning character animation and the various tools to help with that in Adobe After Effects has probably had the biggest impact on the work I do nowadays.
What’s the one thing you’re most proud of in your artwork?
Probably humour, or at least a light-hearted quirkiness. I rarely create anything too serious and even if I do, I tend to approach things with a black sense of humour rather than a depressing take. I think that comes from growing up watching shows like Seinfeld and Frasier, which can be self-deprecating but warm at the same time.
I rarely create anything too serious and even if I do, I tend to approach things with a black sense of humour rather than a depressing take.
What is your dream project?
There is still a part of me that would like to make games. I created a few games with a business partner a few years ago but that ultimately ceased and we didn’t really end up making the games that I myself would want to play. Really, it would just be great to be able to earn a living that replaced my client work. Dealing with clients is one of the great challenges in my career.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given as an artist?
Don’t be afraid to focus on what you’re good at. Be special at it. It’s particularly hard in this social media age to not compare yourself to others. ‘This person is so much better than me?’, ‘Why can’t I draw that style?’. In a year’s time, just be better than you were a year prior, not better than the artists you see online every day.
What’s your favorite way to spend your time when you’re not creating?
I’m a bit of a homebody. I love reading, it’s probably the only time when I truly turn my racing mind off and relax. I also enjoy playing games and curling up on the couch to watch a good TV series.
Are there any books, blogs, podcasts you’d recommend to other artists?
If you’re hoping to get into animation, the number one book that everyone swears by is ‘The Animators Survival Kit’ by Richard Williams. You can get an insight into the workings of other industry animators on the ‘Animalators’ podcast.