Grad Spotlight: Mouni Feddag
As part of our ongoing grad spotlight series, we talk to Nottingham-born and based illustrator, Mouni Feddag.
Firstly, you recently graduated from the University of Applied Sciences Darmstadt in Germany. What aspect of your course did you most enjoy?
Getting praise from people on a weekly basis, and being put in awkward and somewhat weird situations that you wouldn’t otherwise put yourself in.
Tell us a little bit about your career so far – have you taken on many paid commissions / client work yet?
Mainly, I’ve been contributing things to publications here and there for free, and getting used to the process of creating commissioned work.
I used to have this notion that after graduating, you could work hard at a portfolio, convince an agency to represent you, then just lay back and fulfil a steady flow of jobs coming in and out. Obviously, it’s a bit more challenging!
Are you looking for agency representation or happy to do it yourself?
I might manage the paperwork, but I’m still looking for a way to make self-promotion enjoyable so we’ll see how things go! I used to have this notion that after graduating, you could work hard at a portfolio, convince an agency to represent you, then just lay back and fulfil a steady flow of jobs coming in and out. Obviously, it’s a bit more challenging!
How would you describe your working process? What materials do you most enjoy working with?
It’s systematic. First, I like to collect a load of pictures to do with the commission so that I get really excited to start drawing – like how when people go on diets, they go out and buy a ton of beautiful vegetables and healthy food. And I use the cheapest, simplest materials to hand, so I can focus on the actual drawing. Everything is coloured in digitally, so I just use pencil & ink on layers of inkjet paper.
Do you take day trips or travel often? And how does this fuel your creativity?
Travelling is great, but a daily walk is essential! I swing back and forth between daydreaming along the exact same route for weeks at a time, and equally obsessive periods where I have to see a new bit of town every day. Looking at people is wonderful!
I’m a recovering peanut butter + Ryvita addict.
What about a go-to snack of choice to fuel your creativity and productivity ahead of a big deadline – do you have anything?
I’m a recovering peanut butter + Ryvita addict. When a deadline is pressing, my comfort food is porridge – unless there’s cake somewhere.
And do you work at home?
Yes. My uni never gave me a fixed studio space, so I never got used to drawing anywhere but my own desk. It’s comfortable, but may not be sustainable. I can see the day it makes me go a bit funny looming in the distance.
Are there any creative projects out there that you’ve seen recently that you wish you’d made?
Hmm… “I wish I’d made that” is something that we probably think while looking at nice things, but as far as I can tell, all that I feel is delight when looking at something I like. Although, “I wish I’d won that” is another matter.
And are there any writers / architects / designers / illustrators that you admire or look up to?
I admire Nicholas Stevenson, because looking at his paintings is sheer pleasure; Dan Berry, because his ‘Make Then Tell’ podcast has taught me to articulate so much relating to drawing and making; Josie Long, because her work is so loving; Rowan Atkinson, because Mr Bean was brilliant and used so few words; and Trent Reznor, because of many reasons…
Tell us about the last book you read / documentary that you watched – is there a subject matter interests you most?
This changes every day. I listen to a lot of podcasts! The last thing I heard was a short documentary about nurse number issues in the NHS. It’s all surely relevant to my work… somehow!
And finally, what would you most like to be doing with your illustration in 5-10 years time?
I’d like to still be doing it, and perhaps even be able to pay some rent with it! And, I wonder if I’ll move towards animation.
This post is part of our ongoing Graduate Spotlight series. If you’re a recent graduate and would like to get featured click here to find out more.