1. Who is Justin Poulter, what did you study and how did you get into doing what you do as career?
I was born in Cape Town, and grew up on the Indian and Atlantic side. Probably like most illustrators, I was encouraged by family and school to draw from an early age. I did art in school as well as after school classes on and off. When it came to finishing high school I made the decision to go study graphic design, opposed to my original plan to study art. Illustration was my primary interest so by the end of it, my portfolio was mainly illustration.
2. Where there any key influences in your life that influenced you to lead a creative life. Did skateboarding influence you in any way?
Skateboarding was a big part of it. I obsessed about skate graphics as a kid, I think partly cause my mom could only afford to by me mini logo blanks… Certain graphics also always just stuck in my mind, like Sean Clivers boards for Hook-ups and Powell or some of the classic Jim Phillips graphics.
3. Before leaving to the U.K you started One Horse Town and then got a job at I LOVE DUST? Why the move?
I decided I needed to learn more from more experienced people. I also wanted the big studio experience and the chance to work on some good international clients, not to mention the British experience.. all good things.
4. Working for such a highly acclaimed international agency is incredible. What was the experience like working for them?
I learnt a lot at ILD and got to work with some very experienced talented people. Also living in another country was a good experience. The south of England, particularly Portsmouth was something quite different and unique. I got consumed in football and pub culture.
5. Was there anything valuable that you learnt why working there?
It is a very fast paced studio. Super quick turn around on jobs meant that I had to learn how to take lots of shortcuts when necessary. Also, before at One Horse Town I was purely focused on my own style but at ilovedust I was expected to be completely adaptable. However, I think this helped develop my own style more.
6. You were also lucky enough to travel to the States to work on a mural for Nike’s surf event. How was that?
It was my first time in the States so that was an experience in itself. Got to see a bit of LA and then quite a bit of the coast. I’ve done a few bits of mural painting before but this was the biggest I have ever been involved in, so it was a good learning experience. The illustration had to be approved by Nike before we did it so it was a challenge to get it looking exactly like what we had drawn up small scale. I also got to watch and meet a load of pro skaters I’ve followed since and early age at the Coastal Carnage.
7. You now back in South Africa working for an equally and well respected agency AMICOLLECTIVE. Are you happy to be back in a warmer country?
Yes, I’ve always been a huge fan of Am I so im very honored to be a part of it here. Also of course the weather is much better! I spoke to some friends back in the UK yesterday and they just got hit by a blizzard.
8. Do you think illustrators that are based in South Africa are disadvantaged in getting great client work like agencies based in bigger international cities like London? Or do you think the internet is bridging that gap?
Not at all. The internet is bringing everyone together. However, I do think that meeting clients and agencies in person helps build relationships and more personal connections that could get you the work over the next guy.
8. Any exciting news you’d like to share with regards to exhibitions or projects?
Right now I am pretty focused on work here at Am I. But, as always I will be taking on little projects that I am into in my spare time. Hopefully some so gig posters or skateboard graphics.
9. Where can we see more of your fantastic work?