Alon Braier is a 28 years old freelance illustrator based in Jaffa, Israel. He graduated in 2010 from Bezalel Academy of Art and Design, Jerusalem, with one semester in Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA). In the last two years he has been working with a vast variety of clients, including several magazines, high tech companies, advertising agencies and design studios. We have the honor to host him at graphicart-news.com and share with us his experience as the winner of the First International Reggae Poster Contest 2012.
Tell us how you found out about the RPC and what is your impression?
I found out about the RPC trough an Israeli site that feature design contests from around the globe. I was immediately drawn to the whole thing, it felt very professional and important yet fun and friendly.
What’s it like having your work selected 1st place in the RPC?
What can I say, It’s an amazing feeling. This is actually the first time I applied for an international design contest. Being a part of something so extraordinary and creative was exciting enough as it is, so I wasn’t expecting any big surprises. I’m still getting lots for warm feedback and appreciation from all over the world, it’s truly a great honor.
When did you become attracted to Reggae music?
I was always fond of reggae music, but I really got into it about seven years ago. As a musician (I play the saxophone, and bass guitar) I played with several local bands and one of them included members that where connected to the Jerusalem reggae scene. Before I know it I was taking part in reggae jam sessions and festivals. As a result, the first gig poster I ever did was for an Israeli reggae band named Reggaestan. Since then I’ve been following the local reggae scene and really enjoying it.
How would you summarize your experience with the First International Reggae Poster Contest? Did it live up to your expectations?
It sure did, As the full list of participants was published I suddenly realized how big this thing is, since then I was really anxious to see what the others will come up with. It has been a great experience from start to finish.
Describe your design philosophy and the meaning behind your winning poster?
In my opinion, one of the key elements to an original design is the research stage.
When I start to work on a poster or an editorial illustration, I invest a great amount of time on searching the internet and reading about the subject I’m working on. When I started working on my poster for the RPC I knew it’s going to be about dub, because I’ve been listening to a lot of dub lately, and even though I had a vision and an idea to begin with, I spent a week just reading, viewing and hearing everything that had to do with dub.
By the end of that week, not only that it was really inspired, I also gained a full bank of visual elements, ideas, people, instruments, studio gear, sounds, colors and philosophy that I could use in my design.
Your illustrations have a unique style, specially your portraits. How did you come up with that style? Is there any particular artist that inspires you?
I believe my style is a result of many experiments. I’m constantly trying to integrate manual, old school techniques with vector graphics and vice versa. My portraits often start as a group of rough geometric shapes, when I feel my image is too graphic and vectorized I start to apply a more “human” approach until my illustration ends up somewhere in between.
One of my favorite artists is Prop4G4nd4. He is very popular in Israel and his posters are all over the streets of Tel Aviv. His line flow and use of color are just remarkable. I also draw a lot of inspiration from more minimalist illustrators like Philipp Dornbierer (aka Yehteh) and Olimpia Zagnoli.
Philipp Dornbierer (aka Yehteh) and Olimpia Zagnoli are really exceptional illustrators, and soon will have them in graphicart-news. Alon, are you working as a freelancer and what are you working on now?
Yes, I’ve been working as a freelancer for the last couple of years, trying to focus mostly on music related themes. Right now I’m working on several projects, including some more posters and a remake to a classic Israeli album cover.
What’s your thoughts on our objective to have the Reggae Hall of Fame museum built in Kingston, Jamaica.?
Your objective is very important, culturally and socially .
In fact, I always had the feeling that such a place must exist somewhere in Kingston.
Reggae music holds so much great cultural treasures that it definitely deserves such a place.
Thank you Alon for being here. I suppose that you will participate next year, to the Reggae Poster Contest 2013! Right?
I’m definitely going to participate in next year’s RPC, it is so inspiring to see how so many people from all over the world share the same passion and love for music and design.
We are looking forward to see your next poster! Good luck to your life and career!
Below we can see some more Alon Braier’s artworks selected from his awesome portfolio.