When I first saw the artwork Icelandic designer Siggeir Hafsteinsson, who goes by the name Sig Vicious, had produced for June Miller’s Converge/Neurosis 12″ on Horizons, I was blown away (also amazing music!). The whole vinyl and sleeve was designed to perfection and made a really nice product. Looking into him a bit more I realised he’d done plenty of work for both Horizons and offshoot label Inside as well as Metalheadz, and plenty of other work both in and outside of d&b. He also co-owns a clothing label, 2once, but was kind enough to give us a little insight into his mind.
Ok first things first, let’s learn a bit about you outside of your art, what else makes you tick?
Iceland has so many things to offer in terms of inspiration and creativity, I just need to look around and inhale the amazing landscape all around me.
Most artists, designers, musicians, painters etc in Iceland are heavily influenced by the energy of the Icelandic nature. Music influences me heavily as well as well and cycling gets my blood pumping.
Desert island disks, which 5 albums couldn’t you live without?
Public Enemy – It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back
Wu-Tang Clan – Enter The Wu-Tang 36 Chambers
Goldie – Timeless
Agzilla – Cats Can Hear Ultra Sound (out on Metalheadz later this year)
Bix – Animalog (out soon)
Have you always been a compulsive image maker? If not, how long have you been making art and when did you start taking it seriously as a career?
I started doing graphic design about 13 years ago and It evolved over the years till it soon became my career. I never attended any art classes or went to designer schools. I just have a lot of passion for what I do..
Why the moniker Sig Vicious?
How would you describe your aesthetic?
Abstract compositions, type design or photo manipulation are experimented with a good sense of humor. I think my work is somehow kind of futuristic. I do a lot of symmetrical imagery. The topics are things that I find inspiring, urban art, graffiti, cultural icons, music or movies. The outcome is something that I find interesting, surreal, funny and even political.
If you could pick 3 colours to use for the rest of your life, what would they be?
Cyan, Magenta and black. I don’t think any producer would just want to use 3 instruments for the rest of his life. If I could mix those 3 colors I guess I could learn to live without yellow..
What other artists inspire you?
I’ve always been a huge fan of artists from many different backgrounds and styles. Such as: Andy Warhol, Erro, Futura, Delta, Goldie, Kaws, Jose Parla and Amundi Sigurdsson.
The about page of your site heavily discusses the digital revolution, do you tend to incorporate paper based medium in your work or are all stages of it carried out digitally?
I do all my work digitally but for all kind of mediums. It’s much cleaner and less messy.
What equipment do you use throughout the production of your work?
The simpler i can have my environment the better. i usually only work within the computer and printer, digitally printing on canvas or other materials.
You started an Advertising Agency in 1999, can you tell us a bit about that? How did you find the transition between making images as a hobby and turning it into a business?
It’s always about the business wether you run an agency or are an independent artist making a living from his work.
You’ve produced some amazing work for a wide range of d&b labels such as Inside, Horizons and Metalheadz. Is d&b something you’re particularly close to or inspired by? How do you go about converting the sound scapes artists create through music onto paper?
I’ve been into d&b since the early days of hardcore. I cant really explain it, but no other music does what d&b does to me. Usually before I start on an album sleeve or whatever I first listen to the tunes and find out what the artist wants. Often I just ask for a couple of keywords and have the freedom to just design whatever I want. It’s after I start on the piece that the real idea comes to live.
I notice you’ve done some work based around graff for 2once as well, is graffiti something you’re influenced by at all?
Yeah, but not only by graffiti but the whole hip hop and urban culture. 2once is a t-shirt label i founded with a friend of mine built on that ideology.
What projects have you got going on at the minute, and what’s planned for 2011?
I’m currently designing some record sleeves for Horizons and Inside Recording. I’m also doing “Reykjavik Invasion – Vol. 2” involving the massive multiplayer game “Eve-Online” which will be launched in march at the EVE fan fest in Iceland. I think 2011 is gonna be one hell of a year.
Cheers for the time Sig! Any last words?
Love & Respect.