Klion is a graphic designer from Bergen op Zoom, Netherlands and specialized in albums and mixtapes covers as well as photomanipulation and beats maker too, and HHL caught up with him to explore the geniosity and creations behind his works.
HHL: Whats gud Klion? First of all good looking for the cover you did for our first Unsigned On The Grind mixtape series, we hope you had fun working on that for us. Can you introduce your self to our readers?
Klion: My name is Klion, a graphic designer from Bergen op Zoom, The Netherlands, specialized in album/mixtape covers and photomanipulation.
HHL: Tell us something brief about your creations, I mean when you started, how you got involved and what types of graphic works are you into?
Klion: As a child, I was already interested in creating things in a graphical way; drawing and sketching. My second hobby was music; when I discovered the world of hiphop back in the late eighties, I was baffled by the originality of this new style. I started to make loops using a double cassettedeck and cutting and pasting photo’s together to make the cover.
Since then, these two elements never left me, so when I became able to combine these factors in a professional way, I felt like a fish in the water, so I just knew I had to keep going where my heart was telling me to go, and I did.
HHL: Did you take any courses?
Klion: Yes, in 1997 I went to the “Grafisch Lyceum” in Rotterdam and I graduated 4 years later in 2001. During a one-year period as an intern in several companies I learned the tricks of the trade, especially the technical parts. The school gave me enough theoretical knowledge about graphic design but in the end it was the practice that got me far enough to take it seriously.
HHL: As your own point of view or due to feedbacks, do you think there is still something you might be lacking, in which if you are able to cover you can be considered as one of the greatest designers of all time?
Klion: Of course there is a lot more to achieve; I feel like I’m at 60% of my total capabilities now. I’m doing a lot of mixtape covers, but I would like to engage in bigger projects like more total album designs and putting together complete campaigns. I am also destined to become a professional photographer; a trade that really got my attention when I was taking flicks to support my designs.
Of course I always have to keep track of what is happening in the designers world, take notice of what my competitors do and try to keep up with all new hypes.
Remember that almost all my designs until now had very tight deadlines; If I could be able to work on a project a little longer, the outcome will be much tighter and much more conceptual.
Nevertheless, I’m already enjoying my trade 100%.
HHL: We learnt your creations have been involved in a couple of notable works, can you name a few and how you had that opportunities?
Klion: In my country, my first opportunity was the creation of the artwork I did for the popular Dutch rapper Ali B. A mutual friend introduced me and I did the complete album design, a few single covers, his logo and a complete campaign which included posters, flyers, t-shirts, tickets, stickers etc. The album was a hit record and my name was on it, so that was a great achievement for me.
From then, I laid low for a couple of years, due to other priorities, only doing some designs for local artists and designing flyers until I got a call from Mr. Probz who asked me to do some artwork for him. I hooked up with Probz and he promised me to shout my name in the USA. He kept his promise and hooked me up with Tha Advocate who was already doing the Digital Dynasty series with Ballerstatus.com.
So I did the cover to volume three and Advo immediately liked the quality and the fast turnaround. So when he approached me to do the next one, hosted by Chamillionaire, I went and did it. Since then, I’m doing all of the DD series and designs for Tha Advocate, which got me shoutouts from Chamillionaire, Killah Priest, Stat Quo, Hussein Fatal, Sha Stimuli and Ransom.
So business started speeding up and I thank Mr Probz and Tha Advocate for that opportunity.
Next to that, I am also still into creating corporate identities and doing some things for the Dutch Ecko Unlimited website.
HHL: And still talking of creations, we learnt you are a beat maker as well, do you mind telling us something about that too?
Klion: Yeah, I’ve been producing tracks for years now, working with local Dutch artists like Algerino, Jimmy G, Mohcain, El Stylo and the new Lions Den project, which has an old school vintage hiphop sound. Earlier this year I signed with my long time homie / producer Kayaman who has his own fund at Universal Music, so from now on, shit is getting serious.
HHL: Where can someone like us curious about your beats preview a couple of tracks?
Klion: There is a full website coming, but until then you can check some video’s made to my productions here:
HHL: Do you do anything else related to the music industry besides graphics designing and beat making, that we might be missing?
Klion: No, not really. I’m already fully occupied doing these two things. If there were 48 hours in a day, I might think of something else to do, but for now I just keep going at becoming better and better in what I do.
HHL: Haha… Are you currently on any projects?
Klion: Yes, I just finished the cover of Digital Dynasty part 9, which will be hosted by Ras Kass.
I’m doing the cover to an Algerino mixtape, some logo’s, and a number of other Dutch mixtapecovers as well.
Music wise, I’m now putting the finishing touches to the Algerino mixtape / album, the new EP from Jimmy G, the Mohcain album/mixtape and the Lions Den project…so yeah..It’s quite a hectic time.
HHL: And what are your future plans?
Klion: Keep on working hard to achieve more and more; getting my name out across the Atlantic and picking up some major assignments, whether it’s artwork or music.
HHL: Is there anything else you would like to share with us and our readers?
Klion: First of all, thank you for giving me the opportunity to introduce me to the readers, and keep on checking me out. You can visit my website at www.klionproductions.com or www.klion-productions.com, or hit me up on facebook (http://www.facebook.com/Klionproductions), twitter (http://twitter.com/klionprod) AIM (klionproductions) or Windows Live Messenger (Klion@live.com)
HHL: Many thanks K., its been a pleasure having you with us and we hope to be able to keep collaborating with you on our mixtape series as well.
Klion: I will do just that! Thank you.
HHL: Have a nice day.