Lukas Yonis Abubeker
DESIGNER / ART DIRECTOR / FOUNDER OF STUDIOYONIS

LUKAS YONIS ABUBEKER

DESIGNER / ART DIRECTOR / FOUNDER OF STUDIOYONIS

Echo Park, Los Angeles, California

studioyonis.com
Instagram @studioyonis
Twitter @studioyonis

 

WHAT DO YOU DO?

I create solutions that help people and brands communicate effectively—typically through branding for print, web, and environments.

I also design typefaces, take photos, and in the future I am looking to do product and fashion design. I align with the Vignelli school of thought, that if you can design one thing you can design everything. The reason for this is that everything ties back to a concept in the end; if you can create a strong concept, then a strong end-product will follow in time.

 

WHAT STEPS DID YOU TAKE TO GET TO WHERE YOU ARE NOW?

While I did get an education in design, I think taking chances and making mistakes has taught me more. Learning to see the positive in those mistakes—and using that to improve workflow, output, aesthetic, etc.—is one of the most important skills to hone. I believe it will always be a driving force in my work.

 

FOR OTHER PEOPLE IN YOUR FIELD, WHAT DO THEY USUALLY LACK?

I hate generalizing, but I think a lot of it comes down to perseverance. To a fault, I have a hard time giving up, and that has helped in the long run. You also have to take life one day at a time. Don't get overwhelmed by everything to want to do; set goals at 1, 6, and 12 month intervals, determine the steps to get there, then make it happen.

 

WHAT ARE YOU WORKING ON RIGHT NOW?

Quite a lot. Commercially, working on a number of different projects that will help build the studio's digital and brand identity portfolios. On the personal side, evolving my photographic narrative, building a typeface, and formulating concepts for a fashion line. I try to have a nice spread of mediums that I can flow between. It keeps me excited and each medium often informs and inspires others.

 

WHAT'S YOUR STYLE/PERSPECTIVE/TASTE? DO YOU HAVE A PROJECT THAT REPRESENTS THIS? 

Minimalism/Modernism, with a twist, is the best way forward. Strict Modernism is starting to seem stale to me though, so I'm shifting my visual style to be more evocative and frank (even polarizing), while retaining the base values of Modernism.

 

WE ARE ALL SLASHIES WITH MULTIPLE SKILLS, WHICH ONE DO YOU WISH YOU COULD DO MORE OFTEN?

Photography. I have more work to do in terms of building a narrative with my own photographs, but I would like photography to become another arm of my studio in the future—whether thats art direction for photoshoots, or employing photographers to satisfy a particular demand in the market.

 

WHAT IS FRUSTRATING YOU RIGHT NOW?

Time is my biggest frustration at the moment; there's always something more that I need/want to do. A big part of dealing with that is breaking down my big goals into digestible pieces, and remembering that progress is a marathon, not a sprint.

 

IF YOU COULD HIRE SOMEONE FOR $20/HR, WHAT WOULD YOU HAVE THEM DO TO MAKE YOUR DAY EASIER?

The nitty gritty! Finances, scheduling, admin tasks, project management, etc. These are must-haves, but take me away from why I started the business in the first place.

 

LET'S BRING OUT THE TIME MACHINE. WHAT DO YOU WISH YOU COULD HAVE TOLD YOURSELF, WHEN, AND WHY?

I would have told my college self to take the leap to freelance (and building a design studio) even sooner. The learning curve can be steep at times, but the benefits are very much worth the time & effort. Learning the ins and outs firsthand, and doing the dirty work makes you a much more rounded designer, businessperson, and human.

 

IF YOU COULD TALK TO AN EXPERT TO GAIN MORE INSIGHT ON SOMETHING, WHAT WOULD IT BE ABOUT?

Business development, or studio growth/structure.

 

WHAT KIND OF OPPORTUNITIES/PROJECTS ARE YOU LOOKING FOR?

Anything creative and exciting! Branding for print, web, and environments is my bread and butter, but I'm open to anything from book/magazine design to packaging design, and art direction across the board. For me its all about the centerpiece of the concept; the medium is just how you choose to express that concept.

 

DESCRIBE YOUR IDEAL JOB/CLIENT/COLLABORATION.

The ideal client would be someone who is comfortable with taking chances and is open to unorthodox ways of thinking. In this line of work, these are things that open the door to success and and project standing out against the crowd.

 

WHAT IS YOUR HOURLY RATE, RETAINER, OR SALARY RANGE? 

I try to stick with project fees rather than hourly fees, so it fluctuates depending on the project. If the scope isn't clear, I tend to charge $50/hour. Salary is in the range of $65,000+.

 

HOW SHOULD SOMEONE APPROACH YOU ABOUT WORKING TOGETHER?

If you like my perspective and style, then email me at lukas@studioyonis.com. Thats definitely the best way to get a hold of me.

It is preferable that you've already got a scope and a tentative timeline outlined, but if not then I'm more than happy to help solidify those aspects.

 

HOW DO YOU STAY CREATIVE?

Running, Reading, Respirating, Regarding, Relishing.


This member profile was originally published in November 2016.