Q&A | Montreal-Based Graphic Designer Freak Stewart Is About To Release His Own Trap Coffee Table Book
You've probably seen his work, but haven't really put a face on it, yet.
Freak Stewart has been around the scene for quite some time, more notably since the mid 2000s. He's a pioneer of the Quebec Rap movement, producing a multitude of artwork that has gained him a reputation unprecedented. Freak Stewart is also someone who has worked with notable names such as Method Man, Gucci Mane and a ton of Quebec artists amongst others, producing more than a couple of hundred of artwork for music and other endeavours.
Truly impressive work that shouldn’t go unnoticed, which is why we think it was about time he released a book showcasing his work throughout the years. Somewhat of a "Trap Coffee Table Book", his product is titled I Got You Covered and will be released on November 1st at an official launch event in Montreal. We decided to conduct a short Q&A to get to know him a bit better while we anticipate the launch of his coffee table book.
How would you describe Sebastien Stewart under 140 characters?
Creative, hustler, entrepreneur, introverted, trap connoisseur.
When did you start getting involved in the artwork/graphic design world?
I always worked with photoshop. At 13, I was designing t-shirts for my skate/bmx crew that I would hustle at school. Later on, I started designing bike parts and doing graphic design for the bmx company I was sponsored by. When my bmx career got cut short, I got into the Montreal rap scene. First I was an event photographer but quickly I started organizing events, managing artists and producing albums. Meanwhile I would design MySpace pages for my artists and flyers for my events. Finally in 2009, I designed my first cover for a compilation album I produced; "Chronic All-Star". From there I was hooked on designing covers.
Anyone in particular inspired you to get this going?
Not really, I didn't know any designers when I started. I only discovered years later that there was this whole mixtape cover scene.
If you had one gif to choose that represents your work, what would it be?
What is the turn around time for getting artwork done for let's say an album cover?
Depends. I've done amazing covers in less than an hour. Others took me weeks. Always depends on the inspiration and concept. But rule of thumb, for a front cover, 8 hours.
You are launching your first book featuring a collection of your famous work. What inspired you to do this at this point in time?
Last year I went to Atlanta to meet with some industry people and I made myself a book to showcase my best work. I got bunch of people and clients that said they would buy a copy, so that got me thinking. I always wanted to do a book but unfortunately, I can't write really good. So this was the perfect occasion.
If you had to choose your proudest work to date, which one would it be?
I like the OJ da Juiceman cover a lot, it's simple but it pictures perfectly the song. Also that cover Gucci used too because it was originally something I made for fun to announce his release from prison. Next day, I woke up and it was all over the websites/blogs and 1017 (Gucci Mane Label) had used it for a single. That cover opened doors for me with the Gucci camp and eventually they asked me to design Sean Paine’s (Gucci Mane right hand man and engineer) cover and last week I did the cover for 1017’s new artist Jenka.
What is the most annoying request you've gotten throughout the years?
Can’t think of one in particular, but I’d say when people give me fake carte blanche. The client tell me he gives me total freedom, but once the job is done, he starts telling me in details exactly what he wanted. It’s a huge waste of time.
What is something people would be surprised to learn about Sebastien Stewart?
I was homeless at the age of 20.
I Got You Covered will be released November 1st, in limited quantities, so get your hands on a copy as soon as it drops.
Click Here to RSVP.