#BehindtheSelfie with... Kevin Dunbar
1. Where do you live, work and play?
Dunbar: I live in Cape Town, work in Cape Town and play wherever I can (at this stage, it’s mostly Cape Town). My plans include working abroad, but for now I’m loving sunny South Africa.
2. What’s your claim to fame?
Dunbar: I guess the fact that I was the only student nominee in the 2016 IAB Bookmark Awards. I didn’t come out victorious in the end, but I was extremely chuffed with the nomination alone. I was also a featured student in Design Times, the Young Creative Showcase and I got to represent Vega School of Brand Leadership, a division of the Independent Institute of Education (the IIE), at the 2015 Loeries.
3. Describe your career so far?
Dunbar: It’s just beginning, so I wouldn’t put it so much as a ‘career’, rather as an introduction into the real world. It has come with its ups and downs. The jump from studying to gainful employment is a fairly steep learning curve that comes with an adjustment period. The 9-5: not a fan; every day peak-hour traffic: not a fan; the paycheck: big fan!
The idea that I get to wake up every day and be a part of something new, while being able to grow with a brand is amazing. It is very exciting to be able to put the lesson I learned at Vega into practice.
4. Tell us a few of your favourite things?
Dunbar: A few of my favourite things are the internet, technology, design, sport, socialising, talking nonsense with friends, the outdoors, YouTube, Fifa and free parking.
5. What do you love about your industry?
Dunbar: The fact that I can spend all day online and still pass it off as work.
I get to go to work in slip slops and shorts, knowing that when I go to bed at night, someone out there is enjoying an ice-cold Sxollie that I managed to put in their hands.
6. Describe your average workday, if such a thing exists?
Dunbar: My day, like many others out there, generally starts with hitting the snooze button, coffee in the car, answering emails, procrastinating on Facebook for a bit then getting stuck into work. I meet with colleagues and discuss the day’s work agenda, spend the day working on various projects depending on what is urgent at the time, attend a couple meetings and wedge a few coffee breaks in the middle.
7. What are the tools of your trade?
Dunbar: The internet, lots and lots of internet, as well as the Adobe Suite and coffee.
8. Who is getting it right in your industry?
Dunbar: To be honest I’m not sure what industry I’m in at the moment. I studied design, I love design and I love digital, so I have an extremely close affinity to that industry and still feel very part of it, yet I’m currently not working in that industry. I’m working in the alcoholic/beverage industry. So with regard to that, I’d say Jack Black, CBC and Bos Ice tea. Those brands have seen massive growth in the last couple years and really changed the market as independent brands. We have similar hopes for Sxollie.
9. What are you working on right now?
Dunbar: Juggling the development of the new website, along with the design of new packaging material for exports to the USA.
10. Tell us some of the buzzwords floating around in your industry at the moment, and some of the catchphrases you utter yourself?
Dunbar: Single varietal, gas regulators, couplings, line cleaner, export regulations. I catch myself talking about a ‘dry cider’, but to be honest I’m not sure what that means exactly!
11. Where and when do you have your best ideas?
Dunbar: When I’m just about to fall asleep. I wake up, rush to my desk, jot down the idea and try fall back asleep, fruitlessly.
12. What’s your secret talent/party trick?
Dunbar: I have recently figured out I am an extremely good eavesdropper; this can be both a blessing and a burden.
13. Are you a technophobe or a technophile?
Dunbar: Technophile, I love technology and all that it offers. I am a new age, digital kid. I am all for technology, although slightly frightened by AI.
14. What would we find if we scrolled through your phone?
Dunbar: You would not find much, as I keep my phone pass-locked. But once you’re in, you would probably find a notification saying my phone battery is dying and Instagram would be open. You’d see screenshots of design as well as a lot of selfies my girlfriend has taken, with Apple Music streaming in the background.
15. What advice would you give to newbies hoping to crack into the industry?
Dunbar: This feels a bit weird as I’m a newbie trying to crack the industry myself, but the message still rings true: There is no substitute for just knuckling down and getting it done. Personally, I think it is a great time to be a ‘young creative’, the skill set for creatives can be used in any industry, so find something you love and carve your career with your skill set in the industry you love.
*Interviewed by Leigh Andrews.