BQ -How and at what point did you develop an interest in graphic design despite what you studied in school.
At school, we studied human cultures and in societies. We were trained on how to effectively unveil human cultural problems through survey and research. Using these tools, I figured Cameroon had a serious problem- Jobs. I could not wait for graduation to job hunt. I used a skill I had – Art/Drawing.
Luckily enough I understood that the comic book industry in Cameroon (at the time) had not reached the peak of its curve or anything close to it. I decided to go for an alternative that already had grounds in the economy.
And that was how Graphic design got into the picture. I realized digital artists used sketches and illustrations for blueprints in the logo creation process. Gave it a try and it worked out perfectly.
-BQ Is Bine Moukouri self-thought? How has he been able to build himself?
BM All the way. I was not schooled at any art school of the sort. My work is a product of hours of research, hard work, persistence and my dire love for new challenges and experiences. I am never scared to make mistakes.
I used open-mindedness and my hunger for more to fuel my skill and train my eye.Another word that gave me the spark to build myself was there is no excuse to be broke in 2015 and the only way anyone could perfect yourself at anything was to practice, test and repeat till you are good enough. Patrick Sile (one of my mentors). Maybe, just maybe if I tried to be a lawyer now! I could! Man no di Know! (Laughs)
BQ Have there been times when you felt like quitting?
BM Yea, The first two years when I just took up graphic design professionally. Those were the least funny years of my life. I had to do work for free, I was unable to pay my rent on time, I had to be patient with clients, I took insults, I was told it was not a real profession. It was a very very long 2014 and a longer 2016.
BQ-What has kept you going?
BM I knew what I wanted and I had to focus on the goal. The insults, discouraging messages and the shallow sleep was enough motivation to keep my head up. I was also able to successfully surround myself with people who believed in me BLINDLY! Clarisse Ndinge, Eva Ndumbe, Anyi Asonganyi, Yange Bermond.
I also think Mentors played a very very big role in my career. To correct, to instruct where necessary and to motivate. Later on, my brothers did not quite get how Graphic design would work for me, but they supported me nevertheless. Then my Mom got into the #teamBINE and it has been awesome since. These people kept me going.
BQ Oh! Did I mention the money?
BM Yea! The money motivated me very very well. It isn’t all Wikipedia books full of purple pages, but quand-meme. I can commendably afford a healthy life and not depend on anyone.
BQ-How do you feel about winning the award and has it encouraged you?
BM Happy. Very very happy. I could not be indifferent. In the beginning, I was so confident but as days went by man was I scared! man did I lose hope! (Laughs) I was confident CHUZIH could win. I was happy because I did not imagine myself winning an award (In a Country where all awards are bagged by artists/artists, philanthropists, people in the field of medicine, IT and writers.) Long story short, I did not plan an award for my career.
All I ever did was put in hours of work and to be able to provide better visuals than myself. Winning an award was not on my bucket list. But I won and I have some feeling of achievement. Now I can add Award-winning to my CV! How cool is that? (Laughs)
BQ-Has it given you any exposure, and have you had any clients through that?
BM Exposure? Yes.
New Clients? Not so sure. (Laughs)
Simply because Its hard to tell. How do I know clients come to me because I won an award, or they stumbled on my work or got a recommendation from someone?
Awards are good, but changing your life or chilling because you won are habits I would not smile to. It’s instead of winning this award that I realized that I had to work on growing my audience.
I honestly believe the award is instead a reason to work hard on my brand positioning. I’m not there yet but I strongly believe the BDMAs gave me some attention. There are definitely more eyes on me this year.