An Interview with Charles Bergquist
This summer we shared some highlights from the Everyday Project, a series of daily experiments from San Diego-based director, designer, photographer, and Ghostly collaborator, Charles Bergquist. After discussing the work further with Charles, we became obsessed with the project and soon realized that it would make the ideal starting point for his participation in Ghostly International Editions, our expanding “label” of artwork and artists.
To coincide with our release of four limited edition works from the Everyday Project, we asked Charles some getting-to-know-you questions about his introduction to design and his current state of mind. Read below and follow the linked images to see the new works in further detail.
Detail from Voyager, part of the Everyday Project. July 26, 2012.
[GI] Let’s start with the obvious: Why are you a designer?
[CB] Design, photography, and motion work sort of pushed their way to the surface when I entered college. I became obsessed with them, but on a secret level. I’d study for classes, bounce from major to major, but at night and on weekends, I’d be in front of the computer, messing around with a digital camera or reading books on design and photography. At that time, I didn’t realize that this is what I was going to do for a living, just that I enjoyed it immensely. A lot of my initial influence and curiosity came from contemporary designers, artists, and filmmakers. Finishing school was a big turning point in my life, it’s where I gave up the degrees that I earned and dedicated all my time to design and motion.
I’ve always enjoyed jumping from one thing to another, from design to photography to video work. To me it feels like they’re almost all the same thing. When I feel like I’m getting burned out on moving images, I switch to photography; when I feel like I want to do more to an image than just a photo, I start to get into design work; and then back and forth.
It’s been a relatively solo journey for me as far as what I do now—meaning, I didn’t go to school for it explicitly, and it came from my desire to do it. Looking back, there’s a part of me that wishes I would have gone to school for photography or design, it would have saved me a couple years of trial and error. Then again, I think that’s part of why I’m doing what I do now, I kept working at it. When I started, I had a handful of people telling me that I should specialize in one thing or I was working too hard on one little detail of something and those concepts just never made sense to me. A lot of what interests me is that an image can exist as moving, still or constructed. Also, I feel it’s the subtle details that make something finished.
I think I’m a designer because I love imagery and creating imagery, I couldn’t see myself doing anything else. Also, I’m constantly in awe of the work of other designers, and that’s a component that inspires me to create.