Interview with Graphic Designer and Art Director Louise Mertens

Interview with Graphic Designer and Art Director Louise Mertens
Interview with Graphic Designer and Art Director Louise Mertens

Louise Mertens is a talented designer and digital artist from Belgium. This interview showcases her work that is full of subtle and abstract images. Be fascinated by her art as well as her personality, inspiration and design throughout this interview.

I would like to start asking about when did you start having an interest for graphic design and fashion?

My interest for fashion has always been alive. Since I was 3 years old, I knew exactly what I wanted to wear. I've always considered fashion as a way to express ourselves and as a source of inspiration regarding colors, materials, compositions, etc. I've always been creative in some way. When I was little, I had my own craft corner at home and I do so ever since. When it was time to choose something to study I discovered graphic design. It wasn't easy to begin with but trough the years I discovered my personal style and way of working. For now, I don't want to bind myself to a fixed category so the combination of fashion, art direction and graphic design works perfectly for me and I like the change once in a while. I’m still young and I want to explore my talents.


Looking at your work is obviously that you have an unbelievable skills in fashion, how do you define your style?

I shouldn't say my skill is in fashion only. Fashion is just a small part of the assignments I do as a graphic designer. I also design visual identities/brandings, posters, magazines and books. Of course, my personal photo montages and collaborations are very fashion-minded. I would describe my style as very subtle and abstract. I like to combine minimalist shapes with important details.I like the mysterious and incomprehensible and I’d like to achieve that in my artworks. The female body and faces are 2 very important elements I work with. Through the years, I discovered different techniques which I try to alternate now and then. It’s important to stay true to your personal style but change is good.


For how long have you been doing this and what keeps you going for more?

I've studied graphic design for 4 years and I've been working as a self employed designer for one year and a half now. What keeps me going is the need to express my creativity and of course, my clients and their needs. I absolutely love my job and I consider myself lucky to be able to practice it as a full time job.


Is there someone you know that inspires you with your masterpieces? Can you share a story? - if there is.

A lot of people and artists inspire me but not someone in particular. I think my biggest inspiration is Japanese Art. I like the sophistication and the great sense for details that can be found in many Japanese elements and art forms. For example, Takashi Murakami has always been a great inspiration. Even if you might not see this in my work. The way he expresses his fantasies in his work is something I admire. Like me, he has his own ideas of making his own creatures.


Can you tell us five lessons you believe are really important for every designer?

1. Don't be afraid of anything. There are very little rules and graphic design can not be defined. Don't try to fit in the box that says how design should be or look like.

2. Believe in your own personal style and find what you love.

3. Practice, practice and practice. Change, delete, start over!

4. Pick a thing, or a few. Don't try to be good at everything. Choose what you love to do the most and get better at it.

5. Show your work. Don't be afraid to put your work out there. Even if you don't 100% stand behind the result. You would be surprised what the reaction of people can do to your creative process, and I mean this in a good way. Don't be scared of people stealing your ideas. Let them, it’s only temporary.5

Which is your favorite piece so far? Why?

This work was designed for my series ‘Sentaku’ where I used beautiful Asian face-details. It is special to me because I printed this on a very very large scale. It’s my largest work so far and it hangs on the wall in my home. I feel in this example, I used a lot of techniques such as real collage in combination with digital finalization. It's mysterious, the colors are calm and there is a certain beauty and sophistication I tried to achieve.


Everyone is unique but for you, what makes you unique from other graphic designers?

That’s a difficult question. People say my style is very ‘louise’ but to me, every work is different. It’s so hard to see the connection between them. I think I don't try to fit in the designer-box. I try a lot of things and I make what I feel. I wont say I'm different from other graphic designers but everyone is unique and so should your work. I am confident and I stand behind my work. I’m not afraid to fail.


Is there a time in your life that you want to give up your passion as an artist? If so, how did you overcome it?

Yes, when I was still studying. The critics are hard and you can’t give up. When I failed, or when my work was disapproved I had to start over and over and over. I was sensitive and there were times where I thought about giving up the study or where I thought that design was just not something for me. I am SO glad I didn't! After my graduation, this all changed. Of course I still have bad days sometimes but I did find what I love and what I am good at. I couldn't imagine not being creative.


 More about Louise Mertens

Louise is always interested in freelance work/collaborations for different authorities. You can contact and find more of her works on her Behance profile and on her website.

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