Q&A - Emil Boye | Designer

Initially, what made you want to get into design/creating?

When I was a kid I played music, then for many years I really enjoyed writing, now I'm designing. A turning point for me was when I worked in advertising some years back. I didn't have any certified design skills but I had good taste, so they gave me small design tasks here and there which I really enjoyed. After a while that was all I did and people seemed to like it, so I kept going.

Has where you grew up affected your personal style?
Definitely. I think that's the case for most Scandinavians. Whether it's clothing, furniture or interior, the majority of Scandinavian designers have a very clean and minimalistic approach to design, which reflects in our surroundings. If you're in a restaurant, in a store, or even at the airport you'll be surrounded by Scandinavian design, and you can't help but be influenced by that - which for me has been a good thing.

If you could choose and album to go with your work, what would it be? 
While I'm working though most of the time I listed to British grime - Stormzy, Skepta, Section Boyz, etc... It has a lot of anger to it and I love that. If I have to get through a long working night I'll put on a Ben Klock mixtape and get really productive. German techno get your through the night.

Can you tell us about a time that you first learned of an artist and were in awe?
It happens to me all the time actually. With the amount of online exposure and social channels that artists have these days, you'll learn about a new cool artist or designer all the time. I remember going to art exhibitions as a kid and really enjoying artists like David Shrigley and Basquiat. Maybe because I could recognize my own (terrible) way of drawing in their work, haha. I'm still a big fan of both today. When it comes to design, I clearly remember the first time learning about Kris Van Assche. My dad was wearing these boots from his SS10 collection, which I really liked. Later on my dad gave them to me. It might be my favorite pair of shoes. 

How do you decide what to embrace in terms of fashion?
I take a look at the simpler things like quality and design. Material is crucial for me. Also the social and cultural position it's going to leave me in. What you're wearing says a lot about your personality, so you want to keep that in mind.

What's something you disliked at first, but now are into? 
Drake. In the beginning I thought he was so annoying. But he kept on dropping bangers to an extent where it was impossible for me to dislike him.

Is there a place you have traveled to that been particularly inspiring? 
New York of course. The obvious choice. Mainly because of the cultural diversity and the confidence of the citizens. Its very inspiring to see how people in New York are so different, and how they couldn't care less about what you think of them. They're just doing their thing and it works.

Do you have any advice for a designer trying to get their foot in the door?
Work as much as you can. If nobody gives you work, then give yourself work. Do whatever is possible to improve your skills.

If anyone dead or alive could paint a portrait of you who would it be?
Basquiat. He was one of the first artists I remember appreciating. Or my mom. Her paintings are really cool too. But probably Basquiat.