iThink (or, as his mum and dad named him, Jaime Robertson) is not just a talented artist, he’s also a professional graphic designer and DJ, passions that have seen him create some of NZ’s best gig posters and album artwork.
One look at his studio space and you can also see he’s most definitely a type nerd…
Two of the art prints from iThink we have at endemicworld.
Hi Jaime! Can you tell us a bit about your process… How do you tend to get inspired? What are the steps to creating a finished piece?
Inspiration for me comes a lot from popular culture. I am a big collector of things; Vinyl, Movies, Fonts, Shoes… You name it! And these things help to inspire me and give me ideas on where my art works go. Of course this lovely country or ours is also an endless inspiration to me. I really do wake up everyday and feel blessed to call Aotearoa my home. And finally my beautiful daughter gives me an abundance of drive to create, make, succeed and basically be a better artist/creator/person.
All this inspiration helps me to channel ideas from the dark recesses of my brain and into my computer. I have had a Mac in my home since I was 7 (and I ain’t that young anymore) and it has become a very comfortable tool for me to use, so my designs/artworks always start in my head, flow through my fingers into my computer and then the fun begins.
iThink’s home studio – stacked with cool vintage signs and design books.
I am a type fanatic, and I feel my work needs humanity and nature in it somehow, and the computer (obviously) lacks that, so I often create a clean typographic composition and then begin the enjoyable process of ageing/distressing/roughing up the composition to try and give it that imperfect feel and help endear the idea to the audience, almost try to include the viewer in some way, because we are all humans and we all have imperfections so hopefully we can relate more to it this way.
Tools of the trade
What’s the favourite piece of work you’ve done?
I am still working towards my best work. I am just a rookie in the art field. I would say i am a graduate of design but am still learning the art of art making.
So far my favorite works to create have been my hand painted, one-off, text based pieces on ply (image below), because they are fun to work on and say a lot about me and my language but also about our NZ vocabulary and the funny quirks that only us kiwis would understand. I like to call these our coloquialisations. This is an area that I’m really enjoying investigating and am looking to delve further into this idea for future works!
We want a wall like this at home – with one of each of iThink’s typographic works on it!
Besides street art and graphic design, what else do you love to do?
As i mentioned i am a hardy collector!
And music has for a long time been a huge passion of mine. I have been DJing since I was 17 (and again, I ain’t young anymore) and still love playing records and still play out regularly.
A professional DJ for many years, Jaime collects vintage vinyl
And as I now live on Waiheke Island I am well into the outdoor lifestyle that comes with that – Beaches, Fishing, Swimming, Walking… Its a hard life!
What’s coming up for iThink this year?
The next phase for me as an art maker is developing my 3D typographic works. I am looking at incorporating clever tools like computer controlled router and 3D printers to try and push my ideas to that next plateau. Whether it will work or not is another story. But I am going to continue to push myself, try new styles and techniques and see what I can come up with.
As I mentioned, I consider myself a rookie in this and am just enjoying the art of making art!
What would be a dream commission to do?
I would love to create 3D words in a variety of sizes and uses like customised light boxes or large scale building signage.
That would be pretty cool!
Yip, we love Type too.
Tell us about a person who inspires you…
I have already told you about my daughter who continually inspires me to push myself. I am also a big fan of anybody out there doing their own thing! Swimming against the rest as it were.
Internationally, I love the work of Mitchy Bwoy and Steven Bonner, type sites Hype for Type, You Work for Them & My Fonts, and type designers Alex Sheldon & Schizotype.
Locally, I admire the work and work ethic of Askew and Component.
There are so many inspirations in life and i could be here all day listing them. Anyone who resists the mainstream and does their own thing in life is an inspiration to me!
We couldn’t agree more, Jaime.
To check out all of iThink’s art prints on endemicworld, click here.