06 February 2014, writed by Yar
Yonil: T-Shirt Designer - Graphic Designer - Illustrator Interview
Tel-Aviv, Israel -- Jonathan Lax (also known as YONIL) and is an illustrator and graphic designer born 1982 in Holon (a city in Israel). In 2009 he graduated with honors from the Department of Visual Communication at the Holon Institute of Technology. He’s a strong believer of concept and ideas behind an artwork, so he usually devotes a great deal of time for an idea to emerge. Jonathan currently lives and works in Tel-Aviv, Israel.
We recently interviewed Jonathan, asking a series of questions about his life and design style.
Here's what he had to say...
When did you start creating art?
My mom majored in Graphic design too and always used to paint and draw. So my brother, sister and I always doodled and we all kind of learned to draw at a relatively young age. It was a hobby then though.
Was there a point when you began to take art more seriously?
This pretty much happened around 2003-2004. I was in London for a few months and was basically going to rock shows day in day out. it was right before I decided what I’m gonna do with myself and with my life and this world of graphic design for music (albums and posters and t-shirts and all those things) really was sort of a dream. This way, I thought I’ll get to work and have fun all in the same time! This wasn’t an obvious decision for someone who majored in robotics and math in high school...
If you go by one, where did your nickname, or "nome de plume" come from?
So simple – my name’s Jonathan, but in Hebrew, Yoni is short for Jonathan. L came from my surname. YONIL. dumb huh? :)
How would you best describe your style?
I get bored with my styles so I won’t describe. Don’t think I have a specific style. Hence the blender from my logo.
At what age did you develop this style?
Who or what are your artistic influences?
I hate this question. There are seriously so many influence from so many directions, but I’m really REALLY bad with artist names... don’t make me answer this.
When did you start designing t-shirts?
This happened between my 2nd and 3rd year of degree studies. I sent out 15 designs I did to a big tee competition held by Graniph in Japan and somehow won the gold prize. It was shocking and overwhelming for me but at the same time it was really nice to get that sort of recognition from the other side of the globe. I never stopped doing it since.
Do you look at this type of art as business or just a hobby?
My hobby is my business.
Do you have any business experience?
Yea a little. I mean I had a few t-shirt lines printed before and I just launched my new line. I have a new store at http://store.yonil.com
Have you ever been ripped off? If so, was it subtle or obvious?
It happened once I think but at the same time it wasn’t that obvious so I never got all pissed and never gave it too much attention. I can be lazy like that sometimes...
Is there any particular design you are most proud of?
In every line I design I always have a bunch of favourites. If I should mention a specific design that meant the world to me is the one called “Apparently cats only have one life just like the rest of us” which I made after losing two cats in one year. Unlike other designs, this one was extremely painful and personal...
Is there a design that you didn't like, but received high acclaim?
No, not really and I hope that I will never have to release a design I hate.
Do you have any formal training or schooling?
Yea, I studied for 4 years in the Department of Visual Communication at Holon Institute of Technology and got myself a nice shiny B.Des diploma.
What motivates you in life?
Wow that’s a huge question...in life...? I guess It’s the people who surround me; my friends, family, wife, cats, the people who buy my tees, who follow my works. The emails I get. Winter. Trips to Europe. I dunno. Tons of stuff.
Are you single, married, or have a significant other?
I just got married this winter in February.
Do you have a preference for screen printing or DTG (Direct-To-Garment) printing?
I’m a DTG guy.
Mac vs. PC?
Favorite clothing brand?
Volcom or Fly53
Are you a fan of any sports?
Basketball mostly. NBA though. I’m a Magic fan but no one cares.
Do you cook?
I _CAN_ cook. I don’t really like doing it though.
Are you a vegetarian or vegan?
What languages do you speak?
Hebrew and English.
Do you play any instruments?
I used to play a guitar up until I was about 18. Then I just stopped. I think I kinda sucked at it but the image being a cool-guitarist was always in my dreams. Man I was a nerd.
Who are your favorite music artists?
There are tons... Thrice, Gruvis Malt, Portugal.The Man, M83, Incubus, Pearl Jam, Coheed and Cambria, Glassjaw, Arcade Fire, Circa Survive, Tenacious D, Bon Iver, Foo Fighters, Soundgarden - to name a few. I listen to A LOT of genres. From indie to punk, punk rock metal, rock and some hiphop...
Do you have any favorite TV shows?
Right now I’m into Game of Thrones, The Borgias, Boardwalk Empire, Louie and obviously cartoons – South Park, Family Guy, American dad, Simpsons, Futurama.
What is your preferred method of transportation (motorcycles, bicycle, car, walk?)?
I like walking as long as it makes sense.
Do you produce art in any other mediums?
Yes. I’m a graphic designer as my main profession so that’s what I do on a regular basis. There might be room for debate whether what graphic designers do is art, but I personally can’t completely separate one from the other.
Do you prefer smart-phones or not-so-smart phones?
I use an iPhone. It helps me – so I use it.
What is something that you hate or absolutely enrages you?
Walking in an over-crowded street or place. When other people get in your way and you always get stuck behind a family of five walking all next to each other forcing you to their pace. AHHHHH%$#$%#$.
This interview took place 24/08/2012.