Born in Breslau, Poland in 1978, Sebastian Onufszak is a German visual artist focusing on print, interactive media and motion graphics.
Since 2002 he has been working as a designer and director for an international range of high-end clients. Alongside he is reknowned for his experimental live visuals which supported Funkstoerung, Mouse on Mars, Michael Fakesch and many more.
His works were featured in numerous publications and exhibitions worldwide. He is founder of the well-known artist collective "Propagandabuero".
How would you describe your personal style?
That's a hard one. It's very difficult to describe my personal style. Every time I start a project I attempt to create something new, not to stick to old attitudes. My first step is to figure out what I could optimize and which new inspirations I could include. Most of the time it's really tricky because you always take the easiest way to solve a design challenge by using the same techniques or ideas as in a project before. Do you know what I mean? This is how one could describe my own style: it is the attempt to create somthing new and in the end be a miserable failure!
When you were a child, did you want to become a designer?
When I was a child I always wanted to become a graphic designer. And now I want to do this job with the same passion and the same fun just until the end. I want to create new styles, never mark time, keep pushing forward.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
When I have no idea, I try to get inspired by my environment. I read an interesting book, view the latest fashion magazines or walk through the city watching people doing their stuff. A good many times it is the details that lead to a brilliant idea. An alternative is to find several different words in a lexicon and to attempt to combine them in a special kind. But also a talk with colleagues or a brainstorming within your team will help you to start a project successfully, too.
Could you describe your working process?
That's always different. Commercial projects are created according to the wishes and needs of clients. It's important to look into the subject in the run-up. Especially when you are developing design concepts for campaigns or something. Compared to that my personal works are relatively different. On one hand I love to experimentize with shapes, lines, plains and colours using my computer and creating abstruct ideas. It is my small laboratory, where I can design without any guidelines and where I have the freedom to be artificial without any certain ambition. It is like a journey, you take your bike and just start travelling. Thereby you are influenced by your natural surrounding, at crossroads you decide to turn left or right spontaneously. Hence your journey could always lead to a different place, depending on your mood. The inspiration arises from the way you choose. On the other hand I start with a particular idea. For example, currently I am working on a series of hand-made illustrations where I pretend to use human beings. I design without any examples, but during the process I keep looking for key words. I may then integrate in a graphical way.
What would be the ideal working setup for you?
Apple G5, 30" display, a sheet of paper, tidiness. I can't stand messy workstations. Nothing must disturb or influence me when I am working at a project. I am quite fussy, maybe even paranoid. My psychiatrist says I'm on the up and up though. Then in the meantime I like listening to music - using headphones of course so I can totally focus on my tasks.
What do you love the most about your life as a designer?
Being creative and have the possibility to beautify our environment.
If you had to do something totally different for living, what would it be?
Don't know what. Jobless. Maybe I would become a gardener cropping a flowerbed with roses, vegetables, fruits next to a small pond and a ant-hill. And besides there is of course a blinking LCD screen saying: "Think different!"
What kind of music do you listen while working?
Depends on my personal mood – it's always different, but mostly electronical.
If you could go anywhere tomorrow, where would you go?
I would like to take a ride from Toyko to Singapore, Berlin, London and New York within half an hour and directly into my office (of course). So that I could absorb all these amazing impressions, be inspired by people and surroundings and could finally include all of these new ideas into my projects.
Who are you all-time favorite artists?
Pablo Picasso, Egon Schiele and Salvador Dali.
Who has been the most inspiring non-artistic person for you?
Yoda and Tron.
What is the most bizarre dream you ever had?
Do you dream in colours or black and white? I think my most bizarre was the yellow one.
If you could meet any great name from known human history, who would it be?
Ludwig van Beethoven.
Thanks for your invitation. It was a pleasure for me.