Marc David Spengler

A current student at the State Academy of Art and Design Stuttgart, Marc David Spengler's striking pattern-filled sketchbooks and accomplished use of colour hint at extremely promising things to come...

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Describe your work in three words…
Abstract, coloured shapes.

What first sparked your interest in design?
As a kid, I was always drawing motorcycles and cars, and I remember once when I had to write a profile about myself in my fifth-year class in school, I wrote that my dream job was to design cars. When I got older though, I became more interested in doing graffiti. After a few years of twisting letters with spray cans, I realised that I’m really into typography because that’s what graffiti is all about for me—it’s drawing letters. So I decided to become a graphic designer, and applied to the university right after I finished school.

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You're currently studying at the State Academy of Art and Design Stuttgart. How has this helped you develop as a designer, and what are the most important things you've learned so far?
It’s a place full of inspiration and variety, and we’ve been working on some very exciting projects. Everything I learned there is very important. Studying at the Academy also gives me the chance to push my own projects forward alongside the projects I’m working on for the class. My studies also aroused my interest in printmaking, and especially screen printing.

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Poster proposal for a Jazz and Pop festival in Stuttgart, 2017.

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You work in a range of media—do you have a preference for print or digital outcomes?
I like both, but if I had to choose one I would prefer printed matter. It’s a great feeling to hold something in your hand that you designed. That’s why I like screen printing, because it has a tactile quality, and you can actually feel the ink on the paper. Also,  because it’s possible to make editions instead of unique pieces. But that does not mean that I don’t like digital outcomes—for example, I have really enjoyed making animations based on my work, such as the sketchbook animations I created.

How important is sketching and experimentation in your working process?
Sketching is the most important part of my working process—everything I’m printing or designing comes out of my sketchbook. I’m sketching so much that I often have to buy a new sketchbook every two weeks because I’ve drawn hundreds of abstract shapes! While sketching I’m trying to push an idea forward, to perfect it and bring it to the point where it can leave my sketchbook to become a print, for example.

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Your work displays a distinctive and striking approach to colour and shape. How did this way of working develop?
I always go through phases within my work of focusing on a specific topic. For example two years ago, I spent six months only drawing stairs—I became somehow obsessed with them without really knowing why. After that, I experimented a lot with arrows and plastic chairs and then my work became more and more abstract. That was the point at which I set up my own screen printing table at home. I only printed using stencils, so I could only print coloured shapes without gradients or outlines or anything like that. So at the moment, I’m trying to push this idea of experimenting with abstract shapes in combination with colour forward.

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What would be your dream project?
Making an exhibition of my work.

What are you working on now, and what's next for you?
At the moment, I’m working on some graphics for the 30th anniversary of the Eramus exchange program—my class and a class from the industrial design department will be setting up a big multimedia installation in Heidelberg in June, including live printing, projections and more. You can see some of the work in progress here

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