Every once in a while you meet someone with talent that truly makes you look at the world in a different way and for MTL Blog one of those people is Erin Willett a.k.a Eebs Berenstein. Eebs grew up in Schefferville and then moved to Montreal to pursue a higher education and thus ended up staying here long after she had completed her studies. Her art and work with online marketing speaks for itself but we surely wanted to dig a little deeper and find out what shes all about
MTL Blog - Where did the name Eebs Berenstein come from?
Eebs Berenstein - I came up with my pseudonym while I was studying in Marketing at the John Molson School of Business. I didn't fit in as a marketer and I didn't fit in as an artist. It was important for me to forge my spot as someone who falls between the two - with business sense, creativity, a yearning for collaboration and adrive for success. Eebs represents who I can become. Eebs is all about possibilities! And quite frankly, creating under a different name allows me to be more bold. Being Eebs helps me to be fearless about my future. I'm open to what the universe will send my way.
MTL Blog - In a world where originality is key to staying ahead of the curve, where do you draw most of your inspiration and thought process from because you are clearly an outside the box thinker.
Eebs Berenstein - I'm sure every creative person will say that inspiration can come at anytime -- sometimes you aren't even really conscious of being inspired. This is true for me but recently I learned that my inspiration bank can easily become depleted. When you are constantly faced with an environment that isn't conducive to creative behaviours, you lose your gusto. This happened to be recently and I felt totally lost as a designer and artist so I decided to take control of my inspiration and creative process.
I actively pursue things that will keep my juices flowing: reading a ton of graphic novels and comics, on twitter multiple times daily, staying in touch with what's happening in the design world, listening to a lot of Motown, watching too many animated shows (I'm loving UGLY AMERICANS - It's just too out there and too witty), spending time with my amigos, who are all so creative and intelligent. I also do constant brainstorming which helps me to turn my inspiration into concrete ideas for next projects. But I think the key to staying 'out-of-the-box' is to PLAY with ideas and surround yourself with an inspired/open-minded
MTL Blog - What areas of the marketing and art business would you like to venture in the future or have you basically reached the niche you had always hoped to work in?
Eebs Berenstein - Gosh --- I have been mulling over my future a lot lately. This question is definitely fitting.
Firstly, no, I have not reached my niche. Yes, I am thrilled with where I'm at but creating is about change. The thing about having my feet in both marketing and design is that I never know what my next interest or opportunity will be. That's the beauty of this world - these fields cross over in so many areas. In the last 2 years alone, my passions have brought me to relationship marketing, graphic design, art, communications, illustration. I can't guess where exactly I'll end up but I know I will strive for constant growth.
I believe that we can only get as far as we envision so I want to aim high. I want to be on top! Sounds cliché but seriously though, I want to break into the international design market. Maybe that means owning my own creative agency. But, before I get ahead of myself, I want to explore graphic novels, typography, ideation, experiential and interactive marketing.
MTL Blog - Your use of vibrant and elaborate detail in most of your pieces are very well done, how did you come about to develop that style?
Eebs Berenstein - Actually - it was just by playing around. I love sketching in pen. I also love using scanned objects and drawings when I create digitally... I scanned a drawing one day, reworked it and it just really clicked. I love the little mistakes that make my drawings mine so when I work with them digitally - I don't fix them. I let them be what they are. Mixing traditional art - like drawing and painting with digital art is just so, so exciting! You can feel the hand-made aspect, the person behind the piece. I love that.
MTL Blog - This may be an obvious question but how important would you say is the internet for a graphic artist in terms of exposure and do you think you could do what you do without it?
Eebs Berenstein - The internet is king. Point finale.
SOURCE of inspiration - CONNECTION to other artists - international EXPOSURE - Allows you to be up-to-date and AWARE. It's an incredible tool if you use it to your advantage. I'm really lucky, as a young entrepreneur, to be living in this era. The internet = possibilities and opportunities.
MTL Blog - We are curious to know about your daily workflow, is it a 9 to 5er or do you proceed in the sense of being your own boss?
Eebs Berenstein - I want to feel that I'm making moves, so I take my freelancing seriously. I'm up early - music always on- stretching - then straight to computer. Work all day - if I'm not doing a project for a client, I'm doing creation for me - drawing, brainstorming, playing around on photoshop, working on my visual identity. And throughout all the work, I'm always doing my social media thing - trying to get my name out there! If I need a break from the computer - It's usually at a cafe and I'll be sketching or brainstorming out ideas for the next project.
MTL Blog - Taking into consideration that this type of work and art demands a massive amounts of concentration and cannot be a constant, how often to yo encounter "writers block"? What ways do you use to get the creative flow going ahead?
Eebs Berenstein -Since I am always jotting down thoughts -- I always have a project that's in the works. I make sure I give myself daily goals. This way my creation feels more like my "job". When I look at my work process that way, things just need to get done, and I just have to do them or I'm not satisfied. But I'm not going to be hard on myself if I can't get into the creative mind-space. I'll relax or putz around online and the flow will come back to me. It's important for me also to take it easy at night and spend quality time with friends, this way when it's time to create, I'm ready since I haven't been over-working.
MTL Blog - What do you think are your best qualities as well as what do other people in the same field say about your persona?
Eebs Berenstein - Wow... tough question!!
My best qualities as a designer: affinity for problem solving, marketing mind, eye for appealing combos and composition, colour coordination, ability to work quickly, ability to turn concepts into visuals and there's no limit to my inspiration in group settings.
I can't speak for others - I'd love to hear what they have to say about me behind closed doors! If I had to guess, I think they'd say I have something good going since I bridge the gap between marketing and design. They hopefully say that I present well and articulate my thoughts clearly. I hope that they think I sell myself and my ideas well (this is a major benefit of my marketing background). I guess they'd probably think I'm naive too. I tend to trust too easily and be too honest, I'm learning that creative fields can be cut- throat and you need to guard yourself to a certain extent. And if they're jealous, they probably say I'm a bitch cause I know what I want.
With Eebs in charge though - there's no limit - haters gon' hate!
MTL Blog - Your career is still young but surely you are proud about several things you have done in the industry, what have they been and why do they mean so much to you?
Eebs Berenstein - One big one that comes to mind is a month long drawing course in Italy to finish off my marketing degree.
That event represented my transition into design and taught me so much about composition, layout, drawing, intuition, creating with all my senses. It was not a 'career' move but it molded me in a major way.
My biggest career accomplishments have all come about in 2012 actually! Going freelance was the most liberating, creativity inducing and confidence building move I could have ever made. Being invited to Moment Factory to 'Expose Your Talents' was a huge one. I've been trying to get in there since graduating from JMSB in 2010. Recently, I've been freelancing at Sid Lee which is also incredible - just a huge learning experience and a great place to meet like-minded people.
To Be Continued...
MTL Blog - Care to elaborate on any big plans for yourself weather it being professionally or personal projects on the horizon?
Eebs Berenstein - I'm crossing my fingers to be chosen as a Sid Lee Bootcamper for the upcoming bootcamp in May. If that happens - it'll be a big game changer for me. Sending positive into the universe for that one!
Soon I'd like to expose my work. It's something I've never done and it will allow me to explore a new side of myself and the art world.
My personal creative plans include developing characters based around the 'Eebs is going COMMANDO' piece I recently completed. I've been thinking about working on a graphic novel or single-page 'snap-shots' of what could eventually become a graphic novel. This project is super exciting to me. Eebs has a whole posse, a mentor, a spirit guide, and of course a NEMESIS! You can't be a bad-ass without a villain coming after you.
And my personal life plans include.... a big, big move. The west is calling. For the next step with my boyfriend, to continue our education, to explore a design capital, to live by the pacific - I'll be moving to San Francisco within the next year!
MTL Blog - Lastly whats your poison big cup of coffee or warm mug of tea?
Eebs Berenstein - No coffee, thank you very much. Makes me agitated. Earl grey, all the way!
MTL Blog - Its been a sweet pleasure having you with us for this weeks feature, we wish you a great deal of success down the road.
Eebs Berenstein - Thanks for stroking my ego! Love always, Eebs Berenstein
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