Hailing from Reykjavik, Iceland with a ferocious and unapologetic approach to the futuristic abstract aesthetic, multidisciplinary designer Siggeir M. Hafsteinsson (a.k.a. Sig Vicious) has built out an impressive body of work since he first started using Photoshop on his girlfriend’s computer in the early 1990s. From designing for the Wu Tang Clan’s Ol’ Dirty Bastard, to where he sources inspiration in the Instagram age, we talked with Sig to glean insight into his work and what keeps his creative juices flowing across multiple mediums in the digital era.
Sig! So tell us, how did you get started in design?
I didn’t go to any art school or attend any classes. I was working shitty jobs at restaurants and had no idea what to do with my life. Partying every weekend wasn’t getting me anywhere. My girlfriend had this PC with Photoshop on it and I started messing with it. I soon realized that this was something that I had a genuine interest in and we bought a Mac and I spent all of my time on that thing.
I had done one flyer for some fashion show that my girlfriend was doing and her modeling agency. But the first real project I got was to design a poster for an Ol’ Dirty Bastard concert in Iceland. I only had one day to finish that thing. I remember staying up all night trying nervously to come up with something I was happy with. I woke up the next day and found what I had designed was really bad so I designed another one in an hour that I liked. It was printed but the concert was canceled because Ol’ Dirty didn’t show up. I have it somewhere deep in the basement along with most of the printed stuff that I’ve designed over my 21-year career. I always say 1997 is the year I started graphic design.
You have a unique approach to color and composition. How has your approach changed over the years?
In my early days, I used to design first and then tackle the questions. Now, it’s all about having a good overview and understanding of the entirety of a project before starting to design.
Is there a particular experience that led to your true style?
Maybe when i started doing Lavastract, back in 2014. I started mixing my photography with my graphic work, resulting in futuristic abstract artwork. It’s here where i believe i found my true style, at least for now.
How do you approach the creative process for a typical project?
I never sketch on paper. I might just think about it for few days, acquire all material and then start the design process.
What was your most recent commercial project?
My last project was a complete branding package for this new Icelandic production company including setting up the website and a hell of a lot of photography.
What are you currently inspired by?
When I was younger I thought I was the source for all things cool. Now I look to the younger generation. Seeing how creative they are inspires me to keep me updated with trends and new techniques.
Any advice for those just getting started in the industry?
Design design design. Find your style and what you want to focus on. Get your work out on the available promotion platforms like Behance or Dribbble and don’t be discouraged if you’re not noticed. If you keep doing you someone will notice. It just takes time.