Must Have: What's Your Moniker?
Here are a few of my favorite quotes from Swiss-born creative director Kimou Meyer, a.k.a. Grotesk from his interview in The Great Content. Read the entire article and be inspired too.
"No. I wasn’t a graffiti artist, but I hung out with graffiti artists through people I knew at Alife. Each artist had a moniker. Rob Jest, the owner of Alife, said, 'Kimou, if you want to make it in the art world, you need a name. You can’t just be Kimou Meyer.'"
"I worked in fashion, so I was around a lot of nonsense and drama. During a shoot, I heard someone say, “This is grotesque!” And I kind of liked it. The word grotesque means stupid and absurd, but it also refers to my Swiss heritage. Where I come from, Neue Haas Grotesk was one of the precursors to the Helvetica typeface, which is one of the most used typefaces in the world—and probably one of the biggest points of Swiss pride. Even the word Helvetica comes from the latin word helvetia, which means Switzerland. So, I came up with the name Grotesk and drew the logo of a guy putting a coat hanger through his teeth because he sold too much fashion—he’s a fashion victim. I continued working my corporate career as Kimou Meyer, and as Grotesk, I could talk shit, make art, and draw t-shirts."
"As far as taking creative risks, I don’t know. I believe risk-taking is more about daring to try something new. You don’t want to be pigeonholed as the person who’s only known for one thing. Some people are one-trick ponies who don’t know how to reinvent themselves, and that is sad. It’s now common for somebody to find a style or aesthetic and juice it, juice it, juice it. The risk is saying, “Okay, let’s try something else.” If you travel and meet new people, that’s going to feed into your work. Don’t constrain yourself to the same cycle of people; try to go out and meet new people. It’s important to have those human interactions outside of your job and social media."
The Great Content, August 30th, 2016
Interview by Tina Essmaker
Photography by Ike Edeani