Challenge yourself over and over
What is your occupation now?
I have just finished my MA Graphic Design and Art Direction postgraduate course (Manchester Metropolitan University, UK) and now am working as a Freelance Art Director. Next to that, I am applying for residencies at galleries around the world, to be able to further develop my artistic portfolio. Although I consider myself as someone who applies Art Direction to the commercial field, at the same time I keep on returning to contemporary artistic practice.
What expertise did you gain at WdKa?
I applied for the WdKA after graduating from an engineering course, so from the start, I had different interests than my peers. I didn’t have an education in typography or colour theory and started experimenting a lot to find my own style. I have always been told that I had a lot of ideas with potential but lacked the skills and language to turn them into solidly executed products. Throughout my studies at WdKA, I was taught how to develop visualisation techniques, how to choose the right directions and how to formulate my thinking to others. WdKA provided me with the time and space for development and learning from other students. The four years at WdKA have shaped me to the creative I am today, someone who works transdisciplinary and has an interest in science, art, design and writing.
What is the future of your profession in your opinion?
I see a lot of my peers working outside of the advertising industry: they are involved with music videos, product design, teaching or any other creative jobs. All this is within reach. I am not saying it to downgrade the industry, I think advertising is the biggest stage for creativity in the world. The thing is that a lot of advertising creatives have more potential than in the field of communication only. These creatives see the possibilities to succeed in every field they aspire.
You never leave your house without? Besides your laptop or smartphone...
My headphones! Music is very important to me, it helps me to get into a better mood, focus better or think differently. Walking through the city accompanied by jolly music is a fantastic experience, it helps to break through routines and before you know it you’ll be looking for rhythmic connections that make you play with your surroundings. A theme song to everything you do brings a lot of humour in the way you look at the world around you.
Any words of advice for future students?
Get professional! I was very lucky to have some fellow students around me, that were as passionate about their work as I was, and with whom I was able to discuss my work. As a result of this, I have learned to think more critically and to analyse better. Furthermore, I advise you to go to the movies and have a look at camera shots, character development and cuts. Look at art and try to understand why it works. Challenge yourself over and over. Be more confident about the quality of your work and you will notice the opportunities everywhere.
Name your favourite recent project
I have just finished my MA Graphic Design & Art Direction from Manchester Metropolitan University. I researched contemporary society for a year and developed a lot of interesting ideas within this time frame. It all came together in my final project: HyperAura. HyperAura tells the story of the preservation of my identity on the Internet and how the image-handling algorithms reproduce and alter my legacy using a completely web-based experience that utilizes early internet aesthetics. The research for my MA already started during my minor at WdKA, so I am happy to see the development of the concept towards a direction I aim to work in.
You can experience HyperAura on http://hyperaura.online/ (please allow pop-ups for the full experience) and read the research essay here. Would like to know more about Mick's graduation project? View it here!
An upcoming event with Mick's participation: IAM Weekend (Barcelona 2020)
"After reviewing more than fifty submissions from individuals, collectives and organisations, and doing a public review with eighteen finalists, we have selected eleven proposals to join the programme of IAM Weekend 2020." Mick Jongeling's presentation "Contradictions in Climate Activism" is one of the chosen few.