Mario Sargeant

Mario Sargeant is a self taught Digital Graphic Designer. His style is clean, simple and very effective. We like. Take a read and get to know him a little better, at least these 20 shades of him.

1. How do you define creativity and what does it mean to you?

Creativity to me is the most precious of God's gifts, since it is His gift. Because of this I think Creatives are the most blessed people on the planet.

2. How much of your creative ability do you think is innate? Or is your creativity a skill that you have developed?

I think all of it [is innate] since I've never been formally trained in any of it. Also, while the execution or the end product may be something tangible, which some sort of skill and tool has been used to achieve, the thought and feeling part of it, the most important parts are not really.

3. When did you realize that you wanted to express your creativity? Was it encouraged by others (e.g., parents)?

I always did, without even realising it. In fact, it was because it was pointed out to me time and again that I am always doing something creative, while thinking I was doing what anyone would do, that I ended up here. I never knew what a Graphic Designer was until I became one.

4. What is your standard for evaluating your own creative work and the works of other people? Do you think that monetary rewards can be compatible with creativity in general? Are monetary rewards relevant to your own work?

Evaluating mine? I have a few but my favourite is when the piece has the ability to, for one unexpected second, make me forget that I did it. Good work excites me, regardless of type origin. So, when my work excites me, I know it's good. Apart from that, the needful: form, function, balance. We all try to make them compatible because of our understanding of the world's need for art and artists' need to eat but it's really too difficult to put a price on creativity in general.

On the basic level of it being my profession, yes. Monetary rewards are relevant. Once you have decided to trade art for money you have decided that there is some sort of relevance. How each artist handles this is up to him. For example there are times I've given work for free in cases where this wasn't even requested; where people came to me with paying jobs, just because I felt it was more valuable to me to be able to give than to receive in those instances because there are many things in this life that n which I place higher regard than monetary gain.

5. Do you think your own perception and evaluation of your creative endeavors are influenced by the views of other people? What role do you think the culture that you live in plays in your creative efforts?

Most definitely! We all started off asking someone how your drawing looks and so on. Until you have gotten to that point where you feel comfortable enough in your belief of what is good or bad work, that's what you rely on. However, there is something innate that decides what you choose to receive or discard as proper teachings. So, influence, yes but dictate, no.

If you're referring to culture in the way it typically is referred, then my answer quite possibly zero role because I was never exposed to it like that, except for musically, ie. Calypso and Soul from our artists. I didn't know any of these people until I was a grown man and already shaped by everything else that was around me. So here I was learning from comics and magazines and clothing and album covers (everyone in my family used buy music) and all these imports that, whether people like it or not, is a big part of our culture. I think it paid off for me because one of the earliest and still most common kudos I receive is that my work looks very international.

6. What do you do when you experience a creative block?

Leave it alone. Find something else to do. It comes.

7. How do you make the leap from a "Spark" in your head to the action you produce?

Actually, it's so instinctive, I find myself having to try not to make that leap. Creativity is something I feel. Once I feel, I react. This is not a cold process for me at all. Sometimes I have to avoid talking to people because it's very difficult for me not to work on something after it's laid on the table. There are times I've completed jobs before agreeing to work with the client just because I need to get it out of my head, so that I can resume what I was doing before.

8. Do you have any special rituals that you do in order to achieve your creative goals?

I pray when I hit my creative spot/office everyday. That's it.

9. Has your creativity changed stylistically as you have matured? If it has changed, please explain how?

I don't think it's changed. I definitely think it has matured as I have. I have learned more and so I apply more. I've always preferred what commands attention without yelling, pieces that have bigger impact with less strikes and I've become better at achieving this.

10. What has been the greatest sacrifice that you have made for your craft?

Guaranteed financial stability. A number of times I have given permanent and or great paying jobs - jobs paying a lot requiring minimal work which would take nothing from me at all to execute on a daily basis - just so that I could continue to be creative and grow and improve and have pride in what I create when I look at them. And to know that I have not given anyone work that is second class. With that sacrifice came some shame, some embarrassment, some really bad spots and we're talking here about from people who are supposed to be closest to me and have my back and some who looked up to me as well as people who just couldn't wait to rub my nose in it. A lot of it came from myself even. It took a very long time to even see light of recovery from that. But the fruit of my choices and sacrifices have begun to bear and the best is yet to come.

11. Who or what has helped you to persevere and not quit?

God, a few loved ones and some ant-quitting mechanism that God placed in there somewhere that kicked in even in times when I tried to quit. It just wouldn't allow it.

12. Do you believe that it is important to be accepted by others as being creative or is just doing what you love to do enough to justify your work? Explain.

Every artist likes to know that his work is loved but satisfying that which dwells in your heart trumps what anyone says any day.

13. Has rejection ever affected your creative process? Explain.

Briefly. Honestly, I've never had much rejection to deal with. There were a couple of times though when I had to answer certain people who, bluntly, had no idea what they were doing and even less of an idea about design. So here I was, forced to do what they wanted in fear that if I did it my way, it wouldn't be accepted. When I realised that it began to affect my ability to create my way when called upon, I was out!

14. Looking at what you have created in the past, would you change anything today? Why or why not?

No, because I had to go through what I did to get where I am. I like where I am :)

15. Have you ever doubted your talent? If so, how did you work through your doubt?

Oh yeah! All the time. I think that doubt has often played its role in my development more times than it has broken me down. I doubt I'll ever get past that. I tend naturally to be hard on myself. The times that I leave something I'm working on to go get some water, get sidetracked with something else, come back in and the screen hits me and I go, "Oh gouuud that's.. wait, that's mine?!", make up for it.

16. What piece of work are you most proud of? Why?

I am proud of pretty much all my pieces but right now, the champion is Van der Vlugt because she is doing with it what should be done. When you create a brand, you create a life. It should be able to live. The way Ms. Darcel de Vlugt is nurturing that child, oh yeh! She's alive!

17. Have you helped or mentored anyone else? Is there someone that you see (name drop) that you would like to Mentor?

I've taught courses but never mentored even though I tend to take on that personality when I teach. I have been approached but life just didn't allow it. There is one guy. What he does isn't nearly my style but I believe I can point him in directions that would make him smile for a really long time. My dark horse in the race is Christopher Whittier II. I absolutely love his work.

18. To a young Creative emerging in your field, what advice would you impart unto them?

Learn from everything, creativity is everywhere. And stay strong; not disobedient, not disrespectful, not pigheaded, STRONG.

19. What would you most like to be remembered for?

I don't know. People know me as being genuine. I like that. I'll take that.

20. If you were a crayon, what would be the name of your colour?

INTENSITY

Check out Mario directly at www.mariosargeant.com. You can also email Mario or check him out on Facebook