Could you please briefly introduce yourself?
- Well, my name is Kevin Philippe aka ixnivek (Kevin XI = ‘kevin eleven’ backwords), I am an Art student attending Texas A&M International University. I’m constantly changing locations between Laredo, Texas and Nuevo Laredo, Mexico, so I try to enjoy the best of both countries. I enjoy football (soccer), reading, drawing, traveling, surfing the web, and playing videogames.
Please explain how and why you took up designing/art? Did you attend any art schools? What was your education like?
- Well, since I was a kid I would spend countless of hours drawing and playing on MS Paint. I would create worlds and characters to inhabit it. I would do these drawing thinking I was the best and that I actually could become an Artist through this program, but then I was exposed to the internet, to blogs like Abduzeedo I felt overwhelmed with the great talent featured at the site. I decided to watch video tutorials, study cases, talking to Artist, Designers, Photographers, etc. in order to find that secret formula to becoming better in what you love. I am currently going for BA in Arts with a minor in Communications at Texas A&M International University. The Art Program is great but still young, nevertheless, each year the bar is raised with new and fresh talent and creative students.
Are you more of a designer or rather an artist?
- I consider myself more of an apprentice to become an Artist since I’m constantly learning. After a hundred years of learning, dedication, hard work and studying nature I’ll be able to become a ‘Great Artist’. I also do design work, but still creating Art that comes from your inside is more passionate to do.
Many of your works seem to have an almost spiritual touch. Does religion play a role? What are the main themes in your works?
- My religious views plays a lot into what I try to depict or project, but at the same time I try to create art from a biased point of view. I try to get inspiration from the ‘sacred passages’ of the Bible and try to blend it with 18th and 19th century art or even Modern Art in order to get a message across. However, the names of my artworks come mostly from liquid dnb/hip-hop songs that I love. In the end, it is always a mixture of everything.
You seem to work almost exclusively with Inkscape. Is there a reason for that? What are the main advantages/disadvantages of Inkscape?
- The main reason is…that I can’t afford any Adobe software because of their stratospherical prices. When I learned about Inkscape, and its nature of being open source I gave it a try. Since that day, I fell in love with the program and decided to go ahead with it, converting it in a “container of my dreams". It’s free, with a user-friendly interface and a great community of developers that are always ‘watching’ over this program. One disadvantage is the incompability with CorelDraw and with other programs (although they are other ways to fix the solution. Another disadvantage is that some artists in the Vector Art community don’t take you seriously because you use an open-source program instead of CorelDraw or Adobe Illustrator.
More generally speaking, why did you decide to do most/all of your artworks as vector graphics? Is there a practical reason behind it?
- I decided to go with vector graphics since I wanted to depict my thoughts and dreams through a medium that would flow easily, that would help me ‘draw freely’. My mission after learning the basics of Inkscape was to create Art only using Inkscape. Creating my textures, my patterns, my brushes, my layers, my palette, my sketches and everything with vectors, 100% free of raster effects or raster elements.
Your works are extremely detailed. Even in a series you called “Quickies”, I was blown away by the level of details you created. Does this form a part of your philosophy/work ethics? How would you describe your style?
- I would describe my style to be painterly and messy. I also love to play with opacities in a single layer to play with the depth and the color. I draw inspiration from the Impressionist, the Expressionist and the Fauvism movement. I have a deep affection in seeing paintings that were done in a painterly fashion actually I always drool over these types of paintings since to me they are considered eye-candy. They are done very loose but at the same time very detailed, and that is something I am trying to achieve with what I do.
What do you want to achieve with your talent, commercially speaking? Can you live from your art yet? Is this a plan of yours? What do your future plans look like?
- My plan is to become an “Ultimate Artist" by the age of 90+ just like Hokusai stated, but in the meantime I’ll be doing freelance work, especially design oriented work (mostly working in print shops, newspapers, small studios, etc.). For my art, I’m looking forward to having two exhibitions (one is already secure, the other is pending.) I also have a small shop http://society6.com/KevinPhilippe where you can buy my art in form of prints, iphone cases, etc.
Any last things you would like to share with our readers? An advice, maybe?
− “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life."