Maggi Noem is a young man from Reykjavik Iceland. As a graphic designer his practise covers many artistic fields. We had the chance to ask him this and that.
My name is Maggi Noem and I´m from Reykjavik, Iceland. I studied graphic design and graduated in 2007. Since graduating, rather than focusing on one area, I´ve been just having fun and trying out loads of things. I like letters in general, taking photos, doing fanzines and painting among other things.
-You make autonomous work as well as commissioned, were lays the border and how do you deal with commissioned jobs?
I´ve always tried to balance these two areas. I like working with people and getting commissioned jobs because the outcome is often something that you could never come up with while doing your solo projects. Still, no matter how busy you are with commissioned jobs, I think it´s always important not to forget your autonomous work.
-You openly show your graffiti work, this is something most people with the same background working in the same field don’t do so often. What’s the idea behind that?
At first I was rather discreet about my background in graffiti. But when my graffiti became more graphic and I started to do some type pieces, I really didn´t find it weird to display it on the same site as my design work. I feel like my graffiti background has had a huge influence on my illustrative typography and vice versa.
- You´ve done some fanzines. What is it that interests you in that media?
When I started making zines in 2006 I found out it was the perfect media to make something concrete from everything I had been sitting on for many years; photographs, cut outs, stuff I had collected, drawings etc. Of all the zines I have made, eight have been strictly photography zines. I have always taken a lot of pictures, and in recent years most of them are snapshots or documentary photos. I enjoy how the results of this type of photography are never forced and because I literally always carry my camera on me the outcome comes quite naturally.
-Inspirations, please name and explain how they influence or obstruct your working process.
My inspiration comes a lot from the ones that are closest to me. From our conversations and stuff we send each other. From my group of closest friends, a lot of them went either to study fine arts or graphic design, so a lot of my inspiration and feedback about my work is always a bit of a mixture between these two fields, which I like a lot. I think it´s important, and I do my best to be up to date with what´s going on in the art/design world but I´ve never been that active on surfing all the blogs to seek inspiration. Rather than systematically search for inspiration on these blogs, I like to research something random that fascinates me. That could be anything from safety cards from airplanes to boxing kangaroos.
- Anything else?
I´ve done some work with Arnar Ásgeirsson and Styrmir Örn Guðmundsson and I really like their work. We´ve done some fanzines, murals and a video together. I did a internship at the the design firm ilovedust located in London and Portsmouth. They do amazing stuff.