Graphic designer Stephanie Specht has lived in cities all over the world – Cape Town and New York to name but two – but has found her way back to her hometown Antwerp. She has just opened her brand new studio in Borgerhout, a creative hotspot where she has her desk, but that also functions as an exposition space. Print and illustration aficionados will be delighted by all the graphic goodness on the walls.
1. How would you describe what you do?
I am a graphic designer and an illustrator. I love vectors.
2. At what time do you start your day and what’s the thing you do first?
I think I start working between 9 and 11, but every day is different. I don’t really have a routine besides drinking coffee before I start working. Sometimes I go to Caffénation to grab a coffee, sometimes I just go straight to my studio to have my cup there.
3. What is the reason you started doing what you do? What makes you so passionate about it?
As a kid I was always drawing, so in a way it all came very natural to me.
At first, I wanted to become an architect but during high school I was really bad at mathematics, so my teachers kindly advised me not to take up architecture. At that time, the mum of one of my friends, Lus Pittoors, was teaching typography and she introduced me to the world of graphic design.
4. What or who is your source of inspiration?
Music, art and architecture! But there’s too much to sum up really. I can’t work without listening to music. When I discover new music that I like, I get a lot of new ideas for work.
Bauhaus is also one of my inspirations. I love the architecture and the graphic design from that era. I recently visited the Bauhaus Archive in Berlin again – I never get tired of it – and each time again I am truly amazed by how strong those designs are.
5. Which is your all time favourite design?
This changes all the time, I can’t put a name on it.
6. Do you think you’ll keep walking down this path in the future or do you have other creative calls?
This is my path! I never want to do anything else. I never want to stop creating.
7. Which piece of work would you consider your very own masterpiece?
A New York Minute I think. The typography in this piece is strong, young and simple. It’s a very flat design yet there’s a little depth in it. I usually work with a lot of white space but here I didn’t.
A New York minute is a saying that appears to to have originated around 1967. It’s a reference to the frenzied and hectic pace of New Yorkers’ lives; it’s only an instant.
8. If you had a time machine, in what year would you be living?
I don’t need a time machine. I am happy to live in this moment. I feel satisfied with all the things that are happening right now.
9. Cookies and milk, or chips and soda?
None of them. I rarely eat cookies or drink milk. Chips and soda aren’t appealing to me either. I am not a real health freak, but I tend to think a lot about what I am eating. I always read ingredients on packaging. I can tell you it’s a bit exhausting sometimes.
10. If you could give yourself one single piece of advice before you started this adventure, what would it be?
Stand up for yourself.