The Creatives - Imile Wepener

05 October 2022


How did you find the jump between being a student versus industry work?
I found it quite smooth, as Open Window prepared me quite well for the pace of the industry and work life. After studying I did a few internships and worked for a design company for a while before I went full freelance.

Who inspires you in your practice?
The work of fellow illustrators and artists in the field mostly. Locally, the lecturer Nina Torr has always been a big inspiration to me, Piet Grobler’s imaginative use of watercolour, and globally the work of illustrators Carson Ellis and Carll Cneut has had a big influence on my practice.

A favourite Open Window memory?
Attending the Behance Portfolio Review Night and winning best Portfolio for my student work 🙂

Do you have any advice for an up-and-coming creative?
I always say create the type of work you would like to see in the world.

What is your favourite spot to work in besides your desk at work?
On the couch in my studio with a sketchbook and coffee in hand.

Favourite coffee brand/supplier?
I’m not a big coffee snob, so whatever is around is good enough for me.

What is one thing about studying that you miss the most?
Getting a lot of feedback from lecturers and students, and hearing other interpretations of your work that you wouldn’t have thought of.

What is a work mantra of yours?
Try your best 🙂

How do you keep yourself motivated to stay creative?
Constantly watching or listening to inspirational artist talks/podcasts/documentaries to keep that little creative flame alive.

What is an unpopular opinion you have?
I think all Superhero films are extremely overrated.

What is a dream you are still working toward?
To fully merge my illustration work with my puppetry work, and create something exciting!

What was your major, and are you still working in that field?
My major was Illustration, and yes I am very much still working in that field. But I have branched out over the years, experimenting with design, animation, puppetry, sculpting and other things.

Where do you currently work?
I’m a freelancer, so for myself baby 🙂

Do you prefer online or in-person work?
A bit of both. For most clients, I work solely online, but now and then talking to a human face is nice.

Your go-to creative snack?

How do you get past a creative block?
For me, I find the trick to getting past creative block is to remove yourself from a project for a small amount of time and to go work on something completely different. It also helps to just keep on drawing, to make something stupid and ugly just to get the creative juices flowing again.

Follow Imile Wepener