Today’s Q&A will host one of MoI very own, professional graphics designer. His fervent aptitudes and insights make him the man behind many splendid graphical designs that goes by Jo?, his pen name.
We give you Yosef Aregehegn also known as Jossy.
I did my elementary school in Akaki Adventist boarding school, in Addis Ababa. In 1998 my family and I got deported from Ethiopia, along many Eritreans that were living there. And I have been studying and working in Eritrea ever since.
How did you get in to arts?
A year after settling in Asmara, in 1999 I got in Asmara School of Art and there I acquired basic know-hows of paintings and two years later I graduated from the school with a diploma!
I always believed that opportunities should always be grasped, at all costs I mean. So after my diploma from Asmara School of Arts I joined a yearlong didactic course organized by ‘Audio Visual Eritrea’ enterprise. The course was related to television production matters.
And that is how I laid base to my lifelong dreams!
I was recruited as a video editor at M.o.I in 2009. I loved doing what I was doing.It helped me grow. Working on news, documentaries and reportages for news followed by many TV shows and programs, was and still is something that reminds me how fortunate I am to be working on the job I have always wanted to do since I was a child.
Yes, lifelong. My dad passed when I was young so my mother raised me alone. She is someone that practices ‘noticing’ and ‘appreciating’. As such ever since I was a kid I was subconsciously doing the same thing my mother did. Noticing and appreciating are some the main traits of art, as a result art has been a lifelong aspiration. My mother, Mrs. Zewditu G/Tinsae, is the main drive force to my success. She is my first teacher and my first school, all in one!
It is my actual profession. After I started working as a video editor I was stimulated to get my hands on graphics. I prepare several logos, spots, promotions and more things related to graphics.
The reason why I like what I do is because in graphics you need few things to create some real masterpieces, all you need to do is to know your way around it and have an imagination with no boundaries, it lets your creativity fly with no limitation at all! Now, isn’t that we artists want the most?!
Plus, it is timely and precise. Even though it is not massively common yet in our country’s arts, it is of a great deal. It gives me pleasure when I see people enjoying my works, I get some sort of emotional serenity. But there is more to what I am keen of my profession.
What is that?
I enjoy passing dawn my knowledge to newbies. At any occasion I mean, I am more than glad to share. Often times when new recruits come to M.o.I the ministry organizes correlated didactic courses and so three I teach. I teach my juniors. It is honestly one of my favorite activities in life.
Some of your works
The logo for the 10th anniversary of the ERISA, for example: People, Liberation and Development. And what else? … The spot for the CECAFA games in Eritrea.
I like most of them. Mostly, artists do not discriminate amongst what we produce. Whatever task I am working or doesn’t matter what theme I have to exemplify I work with interest and dedication. Nevertheless there is one. My favorite and the one that gives me unconditional pride.
And that one is the one that gets aired, posted and printed in the season of our Martyrs. It shows a candle light backed up by two hands depicting the Eritrean flag and the emblem of the EPLF. This specific work has a gravity of significances that it conveys with a feeling of depth. I can say it is the absolute number one in my top list.
Secret ingredient to your professionalism?
No secret ingredients. Dedication and hard work. Studying is important, yes, but working by what you study is the greatest. My work place, to me and for me is a supreme university. I grew by the day, every time I found more work to do.
I would like to thank, on my way, my coworkers. There is so much I learned from them.
And at the end
My furthermost wish is to see graphic designing education installed in our country’s high education institutions.
And one thing I always tell my juniors, and I would like to repeat it now to the youth, is for them to realize that the best experience and the best tutoring one can get is his/her work place. So never, no matter the job or the place, don’t ever relinquish learning as much as you can from your surroundings!