The process behind designing a product is all about understanding the goals, the audience and what it's intended to do. It doesn't matter if it's a chair or a mobile app, the process is very similar, what changes are the tools and materials. For mobile apps, one of the most difficult parts of the process is to prototype with a high level of fidelity in quick turn arounds so we could test on the devices. The past year we saw an insurgence of great tools like Framer, Origami, Pixate, Invision and many others. Today, we share a great interview with the folks behind Fuse, a tool that will help us to design and develop beautiful, smoothly animated native apps for iOS and Android. Fuse is a development tool combined with a rich set of libraries that help both developers and designers build better apps. Tell me about yourself. First and foremost, I’m a programmer and self-proclaimed problem solver. I’ve been programming since my early teens and I’ve always been interested in real-time graphics, in the form of games, demos, graphics hardware and anything in-between. In addition to all the pretty pixels I’m deeply fascinated by the complex problems you have to solve if you want to get the most out of whichever platform you are working on. Not just the technical challenges but also understanding the entire process involved in creating something great. My background is from the demoscene, a somewhat underground digital art community that originated back in the early 80s. It started out with young programmers trying to best each other in pushing the boundaries of their home computers but has evolved into a more free-form community of digital creatives who create amazing stuff for kicks. Out in the real world I’ve worked on creating software and demos for all sorts of devices and also helped build graphics processors that ended up in hundreds of millions of phones. A few years back I co-founded Fuse, a Norwegian design and development tools startup, to make it easier for everyone to build awesome apps. What’s Fuse, anyway, and why should designers care? Fuse is an app development tool suite that lets developers and designers work better together. It’s bridges the gap between static designs and fully working native apps on iOS and Android. It’ll enable designers to work directly on the actual app in much the same way as they do on prototypes and mockups today. It also makes it easy for developers to create things that can be immediately customized by the designer, without going through awkward iterations of telling the programmer “three pixels to the left, please”. What makes Fuse truly unique is that all this power and flexibility is available both through pure code in a powerful dialect of C#, as well as an artist-friendly abstraction layer that compiles down to the same source code. No compromises, just great workflow. The project started because we as developers wanted to remove some of the tedious plumbing work and repetition involved in creating interactive experiences that ran well on mobile phones. At first we focused on the programming side, building abstractions that make it easier for any developer to do things that have usually been reserved for game development specialists. However, we soon realized that the real problem was at a higher level: How could designers get the same level of control over the final application as the programmers, on their own terms? Since then we’ve been developing tools and frameworks to allow the two groups to work closer together and simplify the entire app development process. What should designers consider when creating a mobile app? User experience first. While many designers are already great at this it’s always worth repeating. Nothing should ever get in the way of the app’s purpose and how that is communicated to the user. That said; this is obviously not the same as making boring apps. With mobile devices today having so much power I often feel that we’re missing out on some great opportunities for taking user communication to the next level. Designers should definitely consider how they can use more of this potential to make their work really stand out in the crowd. After all, if all apps conform strictly to the same guidelines.. which ones will be remembered? I’m not necessarily talking about making stuff that looks like it came out of the TRON movies (although you could if you would) but about using motion and visual effects in meaningful ways. On the slightly more mundane side there’s responsiveness and making designs that work on a range of different devices and form factors. Android has been extremely fragmented more or less since day one and now that iOS also supports several different screens there’s no denying that designers have to master this in order to reach as many users as possible. Who are some app and demo scene designers who inspire you and your team? Starting on the app side, there’s obviously a lot of talent out there, and sometimes it can be hard to pinpoint who actually worked on the apps you like. Favourites around the office are people and studios like Marcus Eckert, Creative Dash, ustwo and of course Tommy Borgen and the team at Uppercase who have actually contributed to the design and direction of Fuse. To be honest, I’m often more inspired by prototypes and concepts than anything I find in the app stores, because they can take things further and offer a peek into the future and to what ideas can become reality soon. As for the demo scene I’m actually fortunate enough to be working together with a lot of people who do extremely exciting things in their spare time. The guys in Excess, Dead Roman, Spaceballs and Elix / Youth Uprising are all on the same floor as me in the office. Looking outside our own walls, we’re always amazed by what Fairlight & CNCD comes up with, and Still are also personal favorites. But what’s just as inspiring as the work done in the demo scene is what some of the same people are doing outside of it. An obvious example is the game industry where almost any studio you can mention is either founded or strongly powered by people from the scene. Rovio, Remedy, DICE, Supercell, Grand Cru - we could go on forever. Speaking as a programmer, are there code-related issues designers often miss? The key thing is how well the design matches the capabilities of the development tools and the target device. Something that seems trivial at the design stage may be extremely time-consuming, or even impossible, to implement in the actual app. The only real way to fix this, without the designers having to become programmers themselves, is through close collaboration with the developers and by getting their ideas into code so that they can be tested and tuned as quickly as possible. This also raises the issue of communication between the two skill groups: it’s crucial to get past the point of designers asking for “a softer bounce” and the programmer answering “which dampening factor?”. If we find better ways of communicating ideas between people who usually think and work very differently it will greatly benefit the things we build together. Another issue I’ve often seen is what I call “the danger of real data”, which is when something that looks great at the design stage falls apart when it’s hooked up to real-world data instead of mock content. Typical examples would be apps that display text from external sources and suddenly come across unexpected text formatting (like long names), or beautiful maps that weren’t designed for the very real case when all your highlighted points of interest are clumped together in one spot, or when you’re making a music player app and the cover images from music backend API for some strange reason aren’t as beautiful as the ones you hand-picked from Google when you designed it. Shocking stuff, I know, but you’d be surprised how often this happens. Again, the way to deal with this is to find a way, and sometimes the guts, to test your ideas in the real world as soon as possible. What current trends are you noticing in mobile design? We have evolved tremendously over the last 10 years. From overly rendered icons to strictly flat designs to “2.5d” and shadows and anything in between. I like where we’re at now, where something can be clean but still a bit more playful and spiced up. I don’t think this is just caused by a change in tastes and trends though, but also due to the maturing of apps design in general. Of course, many people still tend to jump on the latest bandwagon just for the sake of “Oh! Shiny!” (parallax on the web anyone?) but there’s a lot more willingness to experiment and try to carve out something unique with fine detail and personal touches. Another of the driving forces behind all of this is probably the users; they simply expect a lot more from their apps nowadays. How will the world of mobile app design change in the next 2-3 years? As I see it, there are three main points here: Apps will to a much larger degree define the personality of organizations and products, even in the cases where the app itself is not the product. While this is already happening to some extent there will be a shift to the point where the apps are the public face of what an organization does, more than just one of many equally important pieces in an overall brand. This’ll obviously means that designers will play an even bigger role in the app creation process than today. The internet of things will drive user interface innovation, also on the devices we already use today. New use cases and products spawned from the IoT revolution will require entirely new ways of presenting and interacting with data in order to be successful. While there already exists hardware and software that can implement sci-fi-style scenarios like fully automated homes and seamless integration between all your smart devices no one has yet come up with user interfaces that makes all of this intuitive and easy to control for most people! (e.g. all those people who didn’t actually build the systems). A new generation of tools that are not just “nice to have” but actually crucial. User expectations will continue to rise at an even higher pace than today, and while mobile hardware technology will increase at a more evolutionary rate than the phenomenal jumps we’ve seen in the last 5-7 years it’s still very much improving. Unless anything else changes this means that the investment needed to create apps that stand out from the rest may become back-breaking. The obvious remedy here (just as it has been in the game industry) is the creation of new and much better tools, allowing designers and developers to spend their time solely on building the products they want to instead of “fighting with the platform”. What's next for you and Fuse? We’ll begin to open up the beta program very soon and that’s the number one thing on everyone’s mind back in the office right now. There’s been a huge amount of interest so far and it definitely seems like we’re on to something that people want. Not just the cross-platform support but a massively improved workflow and a chance to create apps that really stand out. That said, we have ambitious plans for Fuse and the beta is really only the beginning. Fuse has been built bottom-up in order to be extremely extensible and we’re really going to take advantage of that. We are building higher-level WYSIWYG tools on top of what we already have today and there’s a lot of new features planned for both developers and designers. Some are already in development but ultimately it’s the feedback from beta users that will decide what comes first. We really would like anyone interested in app design and development to sign up for the beta, so please help spread the word!
Hi, everyone! Today we are going to meet Rafael van Winkel, a Brazilian graphic designer that works as Art Director at Art Machine, a Trailer Park company, based in Los Angeles. For those who don't know, most of Hollywood productions' branding (trailers and artworks in general) are done by Trailer Park. Rafael is originally from the state of São Paulo, Brazil, and has been living in L.A. for some time now, doing advertising material and package design. If you enjoy movies you most definitely have already seen some of his artworks, such as the Lego Movie and Pacific Rim boxes. Besides this interview, you may check more of his work at his personal portfolio and Twitter. Meet Rafael. 1. Hi, Rafael! I wanna thank you for taking your time to answer these questions. Abduzeedo's audience gets really inspired by designers that evolve and develop their skills to the point of getting acknowledged by the design community. First of all, how did the interest for design begin for you? Thank you for the opportunity! My passion for design started pretty early, probably when I was around 8 or 9 years old, even tho I had no idea what it was. I was always fascinated by CD covers and booklets. I would go over my parents CDs one by one looking at the art, noticing how the booklets extend and complement the main cover art. After I started playing around with image-editing softwares, I would try to design my own album covers. Eventually I started designing websites about the bands I liked. 2. How was your learning process in this field? Were you self-taught or did you go to school? It was probably 50-50. I was a very curious kid and I spent hours and hours every day clicking around in the computer trying to design things. I actually designed websites for companies as a side job prior having any web or graphic design classes. That actually encouraged me to pursue a career as a graphic designer. Those years of do-it-yourself definitely helped and gave me a good graphic design base and software experience. After I finished my BS in Computer Science, I moved to Los Angeles and did a graphic design course at UCLA where I learned more about design theory and started connecting the dots. While studying I created my portfolio focused on entertainment design. 3. How long did it take from the time you started learning until your first professional job? I actually focused on creating a good portfolio first. I spent two years creating different pieces for it (while in school) and then a few months after I graduated to organize it all together. I revised it a few times based on comments from colleagues, professors, people in the business, etc. Only when I was completely happy with it, I reached out to a few companies for job interviews. I got hired a couple months after. 4. How ideas for a specific project come to you? Describe for us your creation process. It's kind of a mixture of research and imagination. There are some tendencies in the movie industry we need to follow sometimes but we also need to put our creativity into it and take it to the next level, making it new and fresh. I like to take a moment and have a clear idea of what I'm designing before going to Photoshop or sketching. Once I'm set on a concept, I start a research process and go through the assets we have to see how I'm gonna execute. If you start throwing things on Photoshop right away it can take a while to form a solid concept and that can be frustrating. 5. As a designer, what are your greatest influences? What inspires you? I love looking at movie posters. I visit IMPawards.com at least three times a week to check what the studios are aiming for. I'm also a big fan of packaging design and how designers literally think outside the box. I'm constantly looking at special packaging, collector's editions, etc, for movies and TV shows. 6. From all your artworks, which one is your all-time favorite? Usually the ones you struggle with the most, end up being the favorites in the end. While I was working on "The Lego Movie" campaign, I had to digitally build a maze from scratch using Lego pieces for a children's magazine. It was actually like playing with Lego in real life, I had one lego piece image and I was placing it side by side, building the walls of the maze. It took me a long time but at the end I was really happy with it and so was the client. I also did a steelbook art for a "Kingdom Of Heaven" 10th anniversary release that is also one of my favorites. I re-created this shield from the movie with a cross in the middle, an iconic piece in the movie. They printed it in a metal case with metallic ink. I really like how it turned out. 7. What are your tools of trade, the ones that you don't miss a day without using? Most of it is Adobe Photoshop for me. I use Illustrator as a base for title treatments, logos and shapes and then bring them to Photoshop for textures, lighting, etc. I use a lot of InDesign as well. It's an important one to know if you're creating material for print. 8. Working abroad is the dream of many designers, even more for those whose home country doesn't offer much opportunities in this field. How was it for you getting to work abroad and how has your experience been until now? My dream was to work in the movie business and I knew I had to come to Los Angeles, the heart of entertainment design, to make that happen. I really wanted to be at the source and create art for the big studios. It's not an easy transition but I worked really hard to be where I'm at now and it definitely paid off. It's a big responsibility working with the greatest movie production companies in the world and very rewarding to see your work out there in stores all over the world. 9. If you could give an advice for those starting in graphic design just now, what would it be? Most of all, be creative. At the beginning it can be a bit difficult to develop your ideas and bring them to life. As great as they are, it may not look as good as you thought it would after you design them. Keep your mind open for criticism and reach out to learn how you can make it look better. A good knowledge of color, topography, design theory, etc, can go a long way. When it comes to mastering the tools, look for tutorials online, articles, videos, reach out to other designers, and actually click around and try to figure out how to get something done. It's one of the best ways to learn in my opinion.
Today we interview the minds behind the art design studio Brain Mash. Directly from Novosibirsk, Siberia, Russia, Brain Mash is a multimedia community that makes awesome interior and exterior mural projects usign their abilities from graffiti and graphic design background. You can se more from Brainmash studio on the following links: Behance Website Facebook Instagram 1) First of all I would like to thank you for doing this interview, it's an honor for us to present more about you to our readers. I would like to start asking you about when your interest for mural art and street art started? My interest to mural art started from graffiti. During my school years there was the first wave of hip-hop in Russia, thanks to Da Boogie Crew. Although we did not have internet access and spray cans, we had a TV programme with Da Boogie Crew once a week. I was highly interested in hip-hop because I had never seen anything like that before. I painted with sprays for shoes coloring at that time and left tags with ice-cream in the metro. I still have warm memories about those moments. Several years ago I was working on fonts but could not succeed quickly just because of the lack of any information. I took up art courses in 9th year of school and went to the art university after graduation. I chose art faculty on purpose to improve my graffiti skills then I became keen on art and it brought sense to my life. 2) Which artists do you use as reference? Today I am always on-line; I constantly monitor the works of lots of art-people. I am not only interested in those who paint graffiti but also computer illustrators, tattoo masters, canvas artists, photographers, graphic designers, calligraphers etc. I consider it is useless to point at far-famed artists but I can give a list of my friends from Russia who are really worth to look at: http://tak-nado.com https://www.facebook.com/basil.lst?fref=ts https://www.facebook.com/marat.morik?fref=ts https://www.facebook.com/AndreyAdno?fref=ts https://www.facebook.com/zakhar.evseev?fref=ts https://www.facebook.com/pavel.roch?fref=ts https://www.facebook.com/floksy?fref=ts https://www.facebook.com/parisincrew https://www.facebook.com/evgeni.dolzhanskiy?fref=ts https://www.facebook.com/max.toropov?fref=ts https://www.facebook.com/trunskee?fref=ts http://instagram.com/vadikvoodoo http://instagram.com/chervi1 3) Your style is quite influenced by digital art / photography / animation. How did you develop this style and how would you describe it? As I have already said I am fascinated by various art works. I think that is due to my love to absorb every piece of information. So it is not time to define my style, I think I am just at the beginning of my path and there are still too many things to be done. 4) Describe us a bit about your creative process while creating a piece. Most of my works have come out of music. I am a huge fan of music and people say that music is always around me. Music gives me certain emotions, which I try to express through my works. Sometimes ideas come spontaneously and I fix everything to refer later to it. Also I do interior mural for money. Clients have ideas and my work is to make them real and beautiful. My drafts could be both on paper or painted in photoshop. Occasionally I do collage of different pictures, if the task is to draw a person, just to make a portrait more resembling. I am trying to pay more attention to sketches and drafts. I even can draw them for some days and then need only few hours to paint the wall. 5) What would you consider the best moment on your career till now? It was the moment when I picked up a can. It is a unique material that has no boarders in use. I believe that painting with can will definitely be an academic subject along with canvas and acryl painting. 6) How do you describe your daily routine? My day starts at 9 a.m. and comes to its end at 3 or 4 o’clock at night. I go to the gym in the morning, I like keeping fit. Then I go to paint an order or prepare sketches at home. I also do graphic design. I enjoy living in Siberia where cities are not so big so you can manage to do a lot of things during the day: to meet with a client, buy cans and other materials, see my friends and discuss projects we share… Before going to bed I spend couple of hours surfing the internet or I searching for new music. 7) Being a multimedia artist, please tell us what's your favorite media to work with? Why? I use Adobe Photoshop to create drafts and sketches, web-sites and process photos. I have been working in that programme for many years because it copes with everything. If I have to do a logo, print or other vector image I open Illustrator. Another passion of mine is 3d graphic. I am trying to master Zbrush, Real flow, Cinema 4d but there is not so much time left for it. I wish I had much more time to know everything I adore. That is the only my regret in life. 8) Tell us five lessons you believe are really important for every illustrator. 1. Do not lose your interest to life. Always stay hungry for new ideas. 2. Make more experiments. Try yourself in different art spheres. 3. Contribute to your mind and soul development, visit theatre, cinema, read books. 4. In case you do not have strength or patience to achieve your goals create stricter rules for yourself. 5. Do not believe to mushrooms. 9) Tell us five websites that you like to visit. behance.net graffart.eu cghub.com….Unfortunately, this has been closed recently awwwards.com 500px.com 10) Thanks again for your time, please leave a final message for the ones who are starting out on this kind of business. Art creation is a praiseworthy activity. It could help you to become free and happy person. I recommend you pay attention on the fact that you can not take without giving in return. In case with art you should be totally involved in it. Be inspired and be the source of inspiration for others. Be surprised and be a surprise for others. Pull your socks to create something outstanding and you will definitely be fully rewarded.
For this week's interview, we have Meng To. Meng is designer and the maker of Design+Code Book. He's currently travelling around the World from North America to all the way to Asia. Let's enjoy this beautiful interview from a genuine designer. Tell me about yourself? My name is Meng and I’ve been traveling and designing for the past year. I come from a pretty modest background; born in Cambodia and immigrant to Canada. I never went to College. I am completely self-taught. In school, my classmates thought I was the shy kid who could draw well. I remember selling my drawings and made a dollar each. I won a few drawing contests. That’s my humble beginning as a creative person. I absolutely hated school though. Especially for the homework. My time at home was my sanctuary — that’s when I immersed myself in vivid computer games. My fondest memories were made during games. That’s when I felt the most engaged, though resulting in sleep during classes. In a way, games have the most amazing interactions; it’s no wonder that kids love playing them and get really good at them. When you make things interactive, people just learn better. I guess that’s reflected in the way I design things. I brought experience points to an art site that I built 10 years ago and it was one of the most used features. Some people got so obsessed with it that they would post hundreds of comments per day. I wrote my Design+Code book in a pretty controversial way. I gave almost no explanation about the theory, code and syntax. Instead, I provided hundreds of real examples, videos and resources. Traditionally, a book is entirely text-driven and a course has hour-long videos. I tried to marry the two. I have 300+ mini videos with texts, code and images for each step. Every time a person scrolls, the video starts, making it look like a GIF. If a video auto-starts, then the reader would have no choice but to go through it. If the video is short and un-intrusive, the reader gets the feeling that it’s just a moving image. With videos, I could save a lot of explanations and condense many lessons in an intuitive way. The challenge was to make them feel approachable. People can learn piece by piece and easily come back to the content. Things tend to be scary when you look at the whole scope. I don’t think too hard of what’s ahead. I try to avoid planning too much and focus on immediate results. Like that, it’s just me and what I love doing. When you break things down, it’s much easier to digest. It’s like slowly savoring a meal or sipping tea, you can always go back to the flavor. I never gave homework. You probably know why. Tell us about Design + Code I’ve always dreamed of making an iPhone app. Over the course of 14 years building Websites, I grew dissatisfied with the Web experience. I guess native apps kinda opened our eyes on how far we can push interactions. The adverse effect was that we began to expect more from the Web. It’s like upgrading to high-speed and going back to 56k. Every time I tried to imitate the native experience, I faced a barrage of technical difficulties. It’s like re-inventing the wheel every time. When I traveled to Hong Kong and finally had the opportunity to seriously transition to mobile development, I knew I had to share that experience somehow. I began writing blog posts “Learning Xcode as a designer”, which garnered close to a million views. That infused with my passion to bring Sketch to designers spawned the book. I aimed pretty high with this book, covering design studies, learning Sketch and building an app in Xcode. I could have easily written a thousand pages and it could have taken a year to write. Instead, I just focused on execution. In the end, the more I write, the more people would have to read. And the book wouldn’t be able to deliver on the promise of learning iOS in a matter of days. By marrying design and code, interesting things happened. Despite the fact that there are hundreds of iOS books out there, very few designers attempted to learn Xcode, much less write a book about it. A designer learns code differently. They focus on UI, animations and delivering assets. Storyboards, a visual editor in Xcode has been pushed for years by Apple, but developers have been hesitant to make the jump. They’re comfortable with doing everything in code. But for a designer, that’s the true opportunity to bring something new and efficient. Styling doesn’t need to exist in code. For one, it makes code cleaner. I was lucky to have worked with a developer who embraced Storyboards. That allowed tight collaboration and in 3 months, we launched 3 apps together in an iterative fashion. There was no wait, no bullshit. The communication was great. People are already building apps with the book. Designers are learning code and developers are learning design. Most importantly, they learn to collaborate and to build holistically, using tools that encourage that approach. Tell us about your philosophy about Design + Code? Design+Code is my first book. My friends and family have a hard time believing that I’m an author now. Even for me, I never would have imagined that in a million years. But it made sense. I wanted to help people learn things that they wouldn’t otherwise. Coming from a designer background, I wanted to bring code to designers, and design to coders. While I sing praises about the experience on the iPhone, there are many problems to solve. For one, developing for mobile takes way too long. As a designer, I remember preparing a design 3 to 6 months in advance. By the time it’s shipped, the design is already outdated. I already lost focus. Unless you’re a visionary company like Apple, products rarely succeed when they take 6 months to a year of development. That’s the lifespan of most startups. The most disruptive products were hacked in a matter of days with a team of 2 or 3 people. That team typically consists of one designer and one engineer. The closer the collaboration is, the better. So with Design+Code, that’s my goal. To create one-team armies. And there’s no better way to show that than to do it myself. And to sell over 4,000 copies. The work has to speak for itself. I always focus on simplicity. And I am relentless at simplifying. To give real examples: I always pick my apartment a few blocks away from my work to avoid commute. I have one card in my wallet to prevent loosing everything. I force myself to use a Macbook Air so I can work anywhere in the world. I only cook meals that take about 5–15 mins to make. Yes, it’s called laziness. But laziness is a problem worth solving. If you know your strengths and weaknesses, you can tune your life around it. You can do more of something you wouldn’t otherwise. There is no time to get frustrated, only time to turn that frustration into a solution. After all, that’s why we’re designers, right? How does traveling or where you live impact / help your work? Before I traveled, I thought traveling was a waste of time and money. I didn’t think there was any other city than San Francisco where I could be happy working. I couldn’t be more wrong. I needed to face the visa issue to realize that. Traveling allowed me to get out of my comfort zone, to take risks and to observe more. I found Hong Kong, a city that may not have all the talents in the world in one area, but so humble and so hungry for learning. It changed my perspective on what it meant to be successful. Be a small fish in a big pond or a big fish in a small pond? Can we help each other grow? Eventually, your playground is the world. I was no longer living in a bubble. And people connected with my story through my hardships and as I lived in their environment. I gained empathy and so did they. We all live on one planet, there is no reason to feel alienated. We’re all connected by our humanity, our stories. If our designs don’t carry that humanity, then we may as well design for machines. Do you get creative satisfaction on commercials projects? How much time have you got for personal work? I get some satisfaction doing commercial projects. But it always ends badly. Every project begins with the honeymoon period where the client expects the moon and the money seems good. Then reality kicks in. In mid-project, you’re still working on a static design and you have to explain everything about it: create style guides, prepare assets based on assumptions, wait on iterations because nothing’s done, etc. Communication is a huge problem. Unfortunately, no tool does a good enough job to replace real human interactions. That’s why I always suggest my clients to do as much as possible themselves or to hire people in-house. I also try to be on-location. For the book, I challenged myself to say no to freelance and give my whole attention to it for 2 months. I designed, coded and wrote new content. Within 2 weeks, I had a site up and running, ready to take pre-orders. I made over 12K that day. It was a huge validation and why I’m still adding content to the book. I never stopped. I iterated based on the feedback, then adapted for iBooks, listed all the resources discussed, and I am about to launch Chapter 4 as a free add-on. Most books see their sales eclipse after a few weeks. Design+Code is still selling strong. The key, I found, is to never stop adding value. Today, I make enough money to pay my mom’s mortgage. At 50+ years old, she no longer has to work 70 hours a week to make ends meet. She’s the hardest working person I know, so nothing makes me happier. I don’t need the world’s money, I just need enough to do what I love. After a year of travel, I decided to continue traveling for another year. This time, I will stop in Europe, Asia, Australia and back to America. I’ll do meet-ups and workshops to help people learn, from anywhere. Who were your creative heroes at the start of your career and how has the view changed since? Steve Jobs is most definitely my biggest inspiration in life. Even prior to knowing him, I had many emotional impulses, leading to me quitting many jobs. I’ve always viewed great products as the sum of its parts, not just limiting at one part. That’s why I decided to learn every step until the product breathe life. Sometimes, I don’t get satisfied with how words are expressed or how products are marketed. I don’t see design as just a static screen. Design is everything and I see it everywhere. I wake up to it and dream about it. Reading about Steve Jobs is like magnifying all my thoughts and experiences by a thousand times, into one extraordinary story of hardships and successes. Almost everything I lived, thought or designed, he did it a thousand times better or worse. Balance is not about living in the middle; it’s about living in the edges and finding the middle. What is the one thing you learned at the beginning of your career, that you still go by today? I learned early on to never take anything for granted. It doesn’t matter how rich or unfortunate you are, what matters is what you become. I never let myself give up. I always thank every person and treat each experience as new. I look for better ways to do things. People can change my home, but they can’t shake the foundation. Hard work always pay off. What you do for others always come back tenfold. The key is to not expect it. From your folio or career, what is the thing that you’re most proud of? By far, it’s Design+Code. It’s the culmination of all the things I’ve learned. Success does change the course of a project. While Shadowness was 10x more popular back in the day (10M page views per month in 2004), I wasn’t smart enough to get commercial success and allow myself to take the project further. I took every lesson I learned to heart and applied for this book. To anyone starting a project right now, I say validate your idea quickly and learn how to make enough money to do it full-time. Without that level of focus, you’ll never know what could have been. I still think that my best work is ahead. This is just the start. I have so much left to do and learn. That’s why I set up my life to be around exploring and learning. From your opinion, what is the common mistake that most designers make these days? Designers don’t take enough risks. What seems easy isn’t always the best option. Simple isn’t easy. Be fierce and learn things before everyone else. Learn the tools that make your skills desirable and take them with you, everywhere you go. Build real projects facing real problems, you’ll multiply your chances of completing them. Always do what you love, the money will follow. For one thing you do for free, sell another with conviction and purpose. Convincing people to buy your work is design. If you convince enough people, you’ll never have to worry about money again. If you fail once, it doesn’t mean that you’ll fail again. Real failure is in not trying again. How does Social Media affect your work OR promoting your business? I completely self-published my book. I did all the promotion myself, without paying anyone. Twitter, Designer News and Product Hunt were instrumental to its success. From there, it just spread organically. The first step was to convince a small amount people. If they find it interesting, they’ll share it. Understanding what is current and interesting is key to making that first connection. I told a story and I was very transparent about everything in the book, highlighting every page and section. I gave a free sample for every chapter. That sample wasn’t a teaser, it was very comprehensive and could be very well its own section. I didn’t want to give the idea that I did it to sell. There is a difference between designing to sell and selling to design. People will know. Many told me afterwards that they bought the book after reading my story. I couldn’t have hoped for a better introduction. Where do you see your work / style evolving in the next few years? I want to build a design cohesive experience by learning Mac, iPad and iPhone. I’ve always dreamed of creating my own Mac app because I use them all the time. But that’s me. I don’t think the future is on desktop. Good thing they all use Swift and Storyboards now, so the knowledge is easily transferrable. I want to design the best product I can and inspire people by making stuff. That’s why I built the book from scratch. If I can do it, then perhaps they can too. I rarely take shortcuts because I love the process. The journey has to be more meaningful than the goal. Luckily, there is no shortage of things to learn. Apple releases new materials every year. Tools get simpler and more efficient. For as long as people have problems to solve, I’ll have something to design, build and teach. You can follow me on Twitter. I typically share thoughts and resources about design.
After a while we are back with some new interviews with brazilian artists. Today we had the pleasure to interview Alexandre Cravo aka. Cusco Rebel, a artist an art director from Abduzeedo's hometown. You can reach Cusco on the following links: Facebook Flickr Instagram Mundo AG 1) First of all I would like to thank you for doing this interview, it's an honor for us to present more about you to our readers. I would like to start asking you about when your interest for illustration and art started? Thanks a lot for the opportunity! So, I always liked to draw since I was a kid this was one of the things I most enjoy in life. When I got my very first skateboard I started to notice art on a different way. I really got into the Skateboard lifestyle, the magazines, shape designs, the brands, also discovering the urban architechure and what obstacles the city gave me to use. I was living in Rio Grande, a city on the countryside of Rio Grande do Sul and there was not any skateshop at the time, this way I had to make my own gear, t-shirts, zines, shapes. That was a great experience back in 1989, since I had the opportunity to experiment new materials nad techniques like stencil, weatpaste and spraypaint. In 1994 I moved to Porto Alegre and started to work there on comercial projects using street art techniques for shops, companies and etc. 2) Besides your personal work, you're also known for your project on Mundo AG. Tell us more about the beginning of the company and your future plans. Mundo AG started as an art gallery with the will to get people from Porto Alegre art scene together. We did more than 30 exhibits over 2 years, since people loved a lot our decoration, furniture designs and interior design we started to get a lot of this kind of work on the following years. The possibilities transformed Mundo AG on a art studio focused on the creation of ambients and interior design. Today I work as a art director and try to mkae projects that involve people not just visually but also on a personal level, like our project called Jesus Felizão. 3) Which artists do you use as reference? I like so many, here some: Roa, Speto, Vik Muniz, Obey Giant, Aryz, Fintan Magee, Etam Cru, Pablo Etchepare, Renan Santos,... 4) Your style is quite influenced by cartoons, punk rock, skateboard culture and underground comics. How did you develop this style and how would you describe it? Maybe something a bit Punk Shamanic,because I get many influence from ancient cultures, but at the same time I really like to work listening to Ramones. 5) Describe us a bit about your creative process while creating a piece I try to get offline and disconnect from the world, I put some music, a deep breath and try to get inspired. I always try to put as much energy as I can on my projects and also a positive message on it. After that, I try to enjoy what I'm doing, being thankful for the opportunity to have this work, feeling free as when I ride a skateboard. 6) Describe us your daily routine? I like to wake up early and drink some coffee, I make some Chimarrão and try organize my schedule for the day. I occupy the morning with Mundo AG projects, on the evening I try to focus on my personal work. It's not always like these, but it's a way to plan my day. Most importantly: I try to draw everyday! 7) What's your best moment on your carreer till now? I think it's right now, I feel more concious and enjoying my life. 8) Tell us five lessons you believe are really important for every artist. Never give up; Draw and create everyday; Be useful; Work hard, but work happy, enjoy some music; Be thankful for the opportunity given. 9) Tell us five websites that you like to visit. juxtapoz.com / woostercollective.com / abduzeedo.com / retaildesignblog.net / vista.art.br 10) Thanks again for your time, please leave a final message for the ones who are starting out on this kind of business.. Believe, dream, but also plan. Without planning, hard work and dedication the path is way longer. You gotta know where you want to get, than you must just go. Focus, strength and faith! A big hug and keep strong!
Ben Johnston is a designer/typographer that got our attention recently for being on the highlight with some pretty well crafted projects mixing traditional and digital methods. Recently, we had the pleasure to interview Ben and know more about him, his career, technique and perspectives, hope you enjoy it. You can reach Ben on the following links: Website Behance Instagram Twitter 1) First of all I would like to thank you for doing this interview, it's an honor for us to present more about you to our readers. I would like to start asking you about when your interest for typography and graphic design started? I've always done art and painting throughout my school career when I was younger. After school I went travelling for a few years before deciding to study Product Design in Cape Town, South Africa. All the while studying I started playing around with Graphic Design and illustration. I dropped out of my course after a year and a half and decided to pursue graphic design. From there I got a job in a small agency and taught myself what I needed to know. After a few years of freelancing and working in ad agencies, I started working with lettering and type. From now, I'm currently living and freelancing in Toronto and I'm open to anything that comes my way.. 2) Which artists do you use as reference? There's no particular artist I look at for reference, but rather anyone that is doing something a little different to the usual. I have a great appreciation for anything well crafted, whether it be illustration, fashion or even product design. Recently I've had the chance of working along side animators and industrial designers, which has really broadened my perspective on what's possible for projects. The more industries you learn about, the greater the possibilities for collaborating on future projects become and it's a chance to really push things further. 3) Your style is quite influenced by classic graphic design and modern typography. How did you develop this style and how would you describe it? I do definitely enjoy traditional graphic design and branding work just as much as the lettering work. I work hard and use both interchangeably. I'm constantly busy with about 4 projects at any given time and like to work on as many different styles and mediums as to not to become too niche. There's a lot of styles i still want to explore, so I'm just going to keep at it and take on all the work that comes my way. 4) Describe us a bit about your creative process while creating a piece. I find the best way to get started on a project, is just to start. Do your research on the brand and make sure you fully understand the brief, but don't get lost trailing the internet for hours looking at inspiration. Your best bet is to put pen-to-paper. Once I start playing around with concepts and ideas, a clear direction becomes apparent. I normally do fairly rough sketches, and then scan it and play in illustrator. I find it best not to waste too much time on sketching, as my design develops and changes so much once I start working on the computer. Once I finish with the vector work, then the final application process begins, either painted or 3d printed in this case. 5) Tell us more about your next projects and steps as a professional you have in mind for 2014. I've actually got some really exciting stuff coming up in the new year. I'm currently working through the holidays on a big mural pitch and also heading up the design & creative direction on a new social media platform. I have also been in talks about joining up and working with another group of designers and illustrators. There are also a few projects and collabs that I've started and just need to finish up. Other than that, there's a lot I still want to learn, from animation to sign painting and I also want to try squeeze some travelling in. It's going to be a crazy year, but I'm pretty excited to see where things go. 6) How do you describe your daily routine? I usually get up around 7 and go straight for the coffee. I'm pretty useless until I've had my first cup, so I make that a priority. I then check for emails to see how quickly I need to get to the studio. After breakfast I'll walk through to the studio. I decided to get a space away from home as I feel it was important to leave the house everyday. It also helps to separate you work life from your social. I'm okay working at home at night when deadlines are tight, but on the usual day-to-day I like the social interaction. Once I get to work I'll get started straight away on whatever project I have at the time. So I'll either start putting pen to paper or get on the computer and carry on with the project. I try to get out of the office by 6 or 7 and then go for a run before heading home. I recently moved to Toronto, so it's thrown a bit of a spanner in the works being so cold, but I'm finding ways to adjust and keep busy without being outside. Basically a lot of the days are the same, but I do keep lists and set deadlines each week to make sure that i'm getting through everything I need to. I'm also a firm believer in working on side projects consistently, so I'll probably spend at least 2 or 3 nights a week on those. 7) Being a multimedia artist, please tell us what's your favorite media to work with? Why? There isn't one medium I prefer more than any other, but rather using all the tools together to create a great end product. I really love sketching on paper, but I'll normally only work up something quite rough so I still have a lot of room to play around once I scan it in and start working in illustrator. I feel that depending on the effect you're looking for, it will always determine what tools I use and how I go about it. I normally have a fairly good idea of the end result before I start, but I also experiment along the way and end up with something new a fresh. 8) Tell us five lessons you believe are really important for every type designer. Lettering really is a trial and error kind of process. I feel that I'm still learning every time I work on something new. Try to finish every piece you start. Even if i don't like the piece towards the end, I always finish it so I can then move on to something else. It's never a waste of time, as you are always learning what works and what doesn't. Try to practice new styles all the time. Even if you like doing intricate script, try out some calligraphy or big bold lettering, it helps to train your eye. Step away from the computer every now and then sand do some sketching by hand, even it's really rough. Don't wait until you get a new job in to try new styles or do new projects. If you have some spare time, do a tutorial or design a poster. The more work you do, the better designer you'll become. Easy. 9) Tell us five websites that you like to visit. Behance Designspiration Dribbble creative bloq Communication Arts & of course Abduzeedo 10) Thanks again for your time, please leave a final message for the ones who are starting out on this kind of business. Forget about trends in design or lettering, Just do work that makes you happy and it'll show in the end.
Here on Abduzeedo we really like to feature artists from all over the world and today we had the pleasure to interview Alejandro Milá, a spanish illustrator based on Santa Ana, Costa Rica nowadays. Working mainly with Publicity and Editorial Media, Alejandro shared more about his story, style and tastes, enjoy it! You can reach Alejandro on the following medias: Website Facebook Twitter Behance 1) First of all I would like to thank you for doing this interview, it's an honor for us to present more about you to our readers. I would like to start asking you about when your interest for illustration started? You are welcome, it’s my pleasure. My interest on illustration developed later than my interest on comic books. Since my childhool I've spent plenty of hours in the coach reading comic books of “Tintin”, “Asterix y Obelix”, “Superman” and “Mortadelo y Filemón”. Also I stared at my Grandmother’s draws (with an 50’s fashion way) that she draws in her few hours free as a housewife and then I imagined a profession in which I could draw everyday. My goal was always to become a comic artist but right now, due to the current market, illustration is my work and comic books my passion. 2) Which artists do you use as reference? There is an endless list of artist I love. Focussing only on the painting and illustration field, some of my favorite authors are Moebius, Daniel Clowes, Robert Crumb, Jaime Martín, David Mazzucchelli, Max, Lorenzo Mattotti, Jason, Quino, Gumbah and only focused in illustration as Roman Klonek, Magoz, Lim Heng Swee, Al Hirschfeld, John Burgerman and Mike Bertino.Among the painters who influenced my work are Ramon Casas, ToulouseLautrec y Félix Vallotton. 3) Your style is quite influenced by cartoons retro illustration. How did you develop this style and how would you describe it? I guess in my style converge several aspects of my personality and also all the aesthetic I’ve been in love from the beginning. I am an schematic guy, I don’t like to beat around the bush to explain an idea and I want the ideas have meaning. My drawing style is very comfortable with the aesthetic simplicity of 50’s and 60’s, Saul Bass, Wacky Races, Hanna Barbera, el Batman de Adam West, Alfred Hitchcock, la Bauhaus, Alexander Calder, Opisso, El TBO, Josep Coll, Muntañola, The Animals’ clips, Jacques Tati, Chupa Chups, Naranjito, Barcelona’s 90’s minimalism, Jim Jarmusch, and the long etcetera cliché. 4) Describe us a bit about your creative process while creating a piece. My goal is to build a story in each illustration, make a joke, tell a short tale for the main character, think about the esthetic elements that will define it. Then I draw as best as I can to create a beautiful illustration. Illustrations or movies with plenty of modern items and nonsense scripts make me nervous. 5) What would you consider the best moment on your career till now? One crucial milestone of my career was eight years ago when I was working in design. I went to Angoulême and I got a short comic published c in a small French editorial, “Onapratut”. Definitely, it wasn't my best, most shocking or better paid work, but this little pice meant that someone trusted me professionally for my work, and it was the first step towards becoming a professional ilustrator. 6) How do you describe your daily routine? I wake up early everyday. While preparing coffee, I cook lunch for my wife Vanessa so she can enjoy a good lunch while working in her architect's office. If I have tons of work, I tune Radio3 on my computer and start drawing, and if not, I have breakfast with Vanessa while watching spanish news on TVE. Usually I work barefoot because in Costa Rica (where I moved two years ago) the average temperature all year around is 25ºC. Around 13:30h I have lunch, I watch some tv and I have a spanish nap (no longer than 20 minutes). About 15:30h, I start drawing again until 21:00h, more or less, when I stop to prepare dinner. I keep my spanish schedule even though Vanessa scolds me for not shifting to Costarican timetables 7) Being a multimedia artist, please tell us what's your favorite media to work with? Why? While working digitally I mainly use illustrator and Photoshop and a Wacom tablet. If I draw something previously, I ink the illo, scan it, and I paint it with Photoshop. I never draw a sketch an paint it digitally. I don't like to use lots of effects on the illustrations and I like to use a short color palette. On the other hand I love traditional drawing and painting ( acrylic, gouache, indian ink, color pens, Posca, mural paint). I only use these techniques for special jobs, because in editorial and advertising fields, changes are the rule. 8) Tell us five lessons you believe are really important for every illustrator. Lesson 1 Tell a story Lesson 2 Draw properly Lesson 3 Don’t plagiarize Lesson 4 Check your illustration the next day you’ve finished Lesson 5 Sleep well fits perfectly with your illustrations 9) Tell us five websites that you like to visit. 1 Radio3 (best radio station) 2 Fermín Solís 3 Perarnau Magazine 4 FIDCR 5 Sofía Milà 10) Thanks again for your time, please leave a final message for the ones who are starting out on this kind of business. Success is not to become successful, success is always having work. Fernando Fernán Gómez.
It has been a while since I discovered the work of Chez Meka thru their partners 123Klan from Montreal. Meka it's a really skilful and remarkable illustrator with a great influence from underground cultures such as punk rock, motorcycles, tattoos and skateboard. We had a recent chat with him and here's the complete interview for your appreciation. You can reach Meka on the following links: Website Facebook Twitter Instagram 1) First of all I would like to thank you for doing this interview, it's an honor for us to present more about you to our readers. I would like to start asking you about when your interest for illustration and typography started? It’s a honour for me too. As far as I can remember, I could never stop drawing. My father introduced me to illustration when I was really young; he is really talented. My interest for typography came when I was a teen, i spent all my time reproducing the logos of brands bands such as Trasher, Vans, Santa Cruz, Black Flag or Pennywise everywhere. On my school bag, my school desk, my school papers... ;) 2) Which artists do you use as reference? I will go with some artists like Jim Phillips, Jamie Hewlett for my classics, and for my fave new school artists: L’amour Suprême, Mike Giant… There are so many awesome artists whose work you can stumble on every day! 3) Your style is quite influenced by cartoons, punk rock, tattoo culture and underground comics. How did you develop this style and how would you describe it? I was born in the 80’s, and grew up in the Nineties with the Tex Avery cartoons, Trasher mag, Comics books, Nirvana, Metallica, Pennywise, Black Flag, Beastie boys… All these cultures stuck. 4) Describe us a bit about your creative process while creating a piece. First: I find inspiration. The key here is to have a good library and some quality web references. Then of course, inspiration is everywhere: I often travel to Los Angeles and New York; changing scenery and shaking things up always help. Next, I start sketching some ideas on my notebook, working on the composition. It’s really the most important part; if your composition doesn’t work on little sketches (dynamics-, balance- and the impact-wise) they're not going to work on a larger scale. Finally I turn to paper, or digital if I need to go faster. 5) You've already worked with so many big clients and creatives such 123Klan, but looking back what would you consider the best moment on your career till now? It’s weird but my best moment so far I think is not a project I worked on: it’s when I received an email from Mike Vallely, which said « Your stuff is good … » . That day I felt like I was fifteen, like « OMG !! ». 6) How do you describe your daily routine? 7:00: Wake up, take a walk with my dogs, have a coffee. 9:00: Read my emails, check some blogs 10:00: Time to work! In the morning, I prefer to start with putting finishing touches on whatever I’m working on. 12:00: Lunch time with my wife (she’s a fashion journalist and we work together at home). 13:00: Coffee, then time to sketch some ideas or work on a new concept. 18:00: Pour myself a glass of Bourbon or beer, have diner. 20:00: Most of the time i get back to work, but sometimes it’s good to take a break and spend some quality time with your family. At the end of the day, that’s what matters most. The Art of Doing | Portrait of Meka, Illustrator (n1) from Arno Faure on Vimeo. 7) Being a multimedia artist, please tell us what's your favorite media to work with? Why? My favorite media is paper and pencil, because all concepts and ideas start here. 8) Tell us five lessons you believe are really important for every illustrator. Find inspiration. Work on your vision, develop your universe (don’t rip of ;) ). Pratice every day Learn new technics, explore. HAVE FUN. 9) Tell us five websites that you like to visit. Behance Dribbble OMG posters Abduzeedo FFFFound 10) Thanks again for your time, please leave a final message for the ones who are starting out on this kind of business. Be patient, work hard & have fun.
Contemporary street art got so much influenced by illustration and design on a positive way that nowadays we got some really impressive artists out there. I came across the work of Mr. Thoms by looking at some Behance profiles and I gotta say this guys got some serious skills. Today we had the pleasure to have this little chat with him. You can reach Mr. Thoms on the following links: Website Facebook Vimeo 1) First of all I would like to thank you for doing this interview, it is an honor for us to introduce more about yourself to our readers. Let me start by asking you when your interest in illustration and street art has begun? I begin my dialogue with the road back in 1996. She called me and I answered. Just as happens when you have an interesting conversation, I got carried away by emotions. 2) Which artists do you use as a reference? The artists that have most raped my mind: surely the Surrealist painters. The refinement of the painting technique that combines the concept of a free interpretation. In summary, that's what I try to do I also when I realize my works. 3) Your style is very much influenced by cartoons and graffiti. How did you develop this style and how would you describe it? When I am able to describe my style this will mean that I will not have anything else to say. I firmly believe that style is the death of the trial. My style is a mix of many influences that my mind subconsciously absorbs and continues to mix non-stop giving shape to new lines, concepts and colors. I dare say that the research itself is my style. 4) Describe us a bit of your creative process when creating a piece. My creative process when working in the street: It usually happens when I bring my trusty walking my little dog Kijo. This allows me to get undisturbed in the abandoned factories and places with the excuse that he has to do his business. Wandering free and distracted. Usually is the same wall that speaks to me. I put it in focus. At that time, the design is still imprisoned in the architectural structure and I scream :"Please! Deliver!" After a careful photographic report back to the studio and begin to sketch the idea on the location of the photo. A that point, the bulk of the work its ready. My rig Rollers and brushes stairs and run to free the hostage! 5) Nowadays street art and graffiti have been recognized as a legitimate art form, with many urban artist to be invited to exhibit their work in galleries. But also, we see many fine artists try their project on road surfaces. Tell us what you think about this topic. I am proud to be a representative of this wonderful and revolutionary art movement called " Street Art ". Of all the movements I think it is still the most altruistic and potentially less exploitable from the corrupt system of the art world. See mural art as a tool for transmitting messages that arrive and depart from the bottom up, upward. A half still pure , through which it is still not to be granted or conveyed instrumentalized. I remain of the view that street art is born and must remain in the streets, in contrast, would not make more sense to call it that. Of course I am not against artists who exhibit in galleries, exhibitions, and I myself can not bite the hand that feeds, but at this point given the general confusion on the subject I should make a clarification : "The Real Art " is and remains the noblest form of personal expression, because free and open, everything else is other stuff. I would only like to point out that there is a substantial difference between those who express themselves free in the streets without any desire to sell something, and those who are not expressing anything anyway try in all ways to sell their product empty inside the gallery. The road is my real gallery, all the rest is commercial . 6) How would you describe your daily routine? Fortunately or unfortunately, my days have not yet become a routine ever. The versatility and my innate curiosity always pushing me to experiment in new fields , learn to explore and learn everything that I know. Ranging in this way I can always find new stimulate in order to return enriched every time I build my new work. 7) Being a multimedia artist, please tell us what is your favorite medium to work with? Why? Although I often find yourself working with a graphics tablet computer as a matter of practicality and timing, my favorite remains the paper support, find them on the enjoyment of the sign affects matter, that's where it all started and it I will always want to return. 8) Tell us five lessons you think are really important for every street artist. I would not give lessons to anyone, everyone has to look his way alone, and once found, pursue it with enthusiasm and perseverance, while remaining faithful to the feeling that from the beginning has sprung the whole. 9) Tell us five sites that you want to visit. streetartnews.net behance.net collater.al globalstreetart dontpaniconline 10) Thank you again for your time, please leave a final message for those who are starting out on this type of activity. Be yourself and have something to say.
Knowing how to mix fantasy, surrealism and realistic drawing without making a mess is really a hard trick, but Michael Marsicano is one of this unique illustrators that made a long way to master his style. Working a lot for the editorial and advertisement market, Michael a really introspective and mysterious way to tell stories thru his artworks, today we had the pleasure to have this conversation with him. You can reach Michael on the following links: Website Behance Tumblr Twitter 1) First of all I would like to thank you for doing this interview, it's an honor for us to present more about you to our readers. I would like to start asking you about when your interest for illustration and digital art started? The interest on illustrated happened early on, although I didn't exactly know what illustration was at the time. The initial stuff that started to catch my attention was pretty typical of kids my generation: DC comics, Mad Magazine, Brett Helquist's Scary Stories illustrations- they were easy to absorb and process. It wasn't until I was sitting down and applying to college that I learned that there were programs specializing in this area. 2) Which artists do you use as reference? Everybody and everything serves as some kind of reference. The key seems to be not focusing to hard on anyone's particular style. However, if i have a problem with technique or anatomy I tend to refer to my peers. See if i can find a hack that will work for what it is that I do. But to pic one who is shaming me into being a better all around illustrator - it'd be Anton Ban Hertbruggen. This kid is maybe 20 years old and his work slays me. 3) Your style is quite influenced by realistic art and surrealism. How did you develop this style and how would you describe it? Marshall Arisman tells all his students to not get caught up fretting over your own style. In the end, it all comes down to your nervous system. The synapses in your brain dictate how you perceive and interact with the world around you. Everyone holds a pencil a specific way and therefore creates a unique mark. To this day I recognize similarities in my drawing style from twenty years ago. As content goes I was heavily influenced by heavy metal music. Over the top bands performing dramatic music in a big visual way definitely had a big effect on the kind of work I create. 4) Describe us a bit about your creative process while creating a piece. Like a lot of illustrators working today I tend to do start and finish most of my pieces digitally. I prefer to sketch in photoshop as it allows for a quicker process. The finished drawing is always done by hand but most of the final coloring is back in photoshop. Recently, I began the process of trying a new way to work mainly because I feel there are too many illustrators today who follow a similar formula. I want very much to find a unique way of working that relies less on the computer and more on tangible ability. While digital art can be mind-blowing, I get a little bummed out nowadays when I go to galleries and see framed prints on the walls. 5) What would you consider the best moment on your career till now? Definitely when I was able to quit the day job and work 100% on my own time. 6) How do you describe your daily routine? I get up with my wife at 6:45 am. She has to commute to the office so it's the least I can do. After breakfast, I try to sit down for a warm-up painting/drawing by 8am. The day officially starts 9am and goes steady (with plenty of podcasts) until around 8pm when she gets home. I usually fit an hour or so of exercise in so I can avoid being a sedentary slob. Social media plays a big roll in who a modern freelancer is but it can be quite distracting. So I try to limit email checks and twitter posts to once an hour. On days that I'm feeling needy and lazy, I use the Self Control app to keep me focused. 7) Being a multimedia artist, please tell us what's your favorite media to work with? Why? Lately, I've been doing these 30-45 minute gouache painted portraits every morning. Like I said, I'm trying to find a new way to work and I'm fascinated with this new fast drying wet medium. Years ago I got away from oil painting as it was such a slow process. I missed just drawing and wanted to learn how to make confident marks and render less. Gouache seems to be a way for me to return to painting while keeping a foot in the looseness of drawing. 8) Tell us five lessons you believe are really important for every ilustrator. Honestly, I'm still trying to figure out this magic formula of success. As there are plenty of interviews, podcasts and articles profiling illustrators around the world, everybody is going to pontificate on their own tenets of the biz. Speaking from a member of the illustration "middle-class" who's trying to get to that next level: 1- Be an interesting and not-awkward human being. Crowbar-ing your way into conversations does not ingratiate yourself to art directors and successful contemporaries. 2- Social media is not real life. We all put our best face outward and hide away moments of lesser confidence. 3- Being professional and punctual is necessary. But in order be truly successful (and I'm not saying I'm there yet) creating work that is relevant, consistent and unique only to yourself is vital. 9) Tell us five websites that you like to visit. For inspiration, I scroll through my Twitter and Tumblr feed constantly. Space Ghetto has a fantastic image feed if you like a touch of NSFW. Obviously, props to Illustration Age. Also, Building A Wolf is great. 10) Thanks again for your time, please leave a final message for the ones who are starting out on this kind of business. To those of you starting off in this business - Stay out! There's already too many of us. Just kidding (not really). Do your best to keep your head down and be yourself. Don't worry what everyone else is doing. Tastes change constantly but good work can always find it's place.
Trying out new medias and mixing styles is a must for anyone willing to be a successful and skilful designer nowadays. Snorri Eldjarn is a graphic designer and illustrator based in Reykjavík, Iceland that is for sure part from this new generation of creatives and today he's going to share more about him with us. You can reach Snorri on the following links: Website Behance 1) First of all I would like to thank you for doing this interview, it's an honor for us to present more about you to our readers. I would like to start asking you about when your interest for illustration and graphic design started? Thank you for having me, the honor is all mine. Well I guess my interest in images and drawing has existed since early childhood. I’ve always had a very visual approach to thinking. But I didn’t realize that it was graphic design I was interested in until later on when my love for posters began as a teenager. Propaganda posters especially. 2) Which artists, designers and illustrators do you use as reference? I surf the internet a lot so each day I am bombarded with thousands of images. They go through my filters, consciously or subconsciously, and fracture through my work. I always try to do something new and fresh but of course nothing is really original. But if I should say who are doing the nicest projects in my opinion, I would mention Sagmeister & Walsh, Muti and Hugo & Marie. 3) Your style is quite versatile and ever mutating, despite that we can still see some similarities here and there on every work.. How did you develop this style and how would you describe it? I really respect people who can pick their own style and stick with it. It’s the best way you can market yourself as an illustrator or designer . But style is a means to an end, a tool to convey a thought. My own ego as a designer should never get in the way of the right solution to a project. When I’m designing or illustrating, I am speaking through the client or the client is speaking through me. Therefore I have to choose a style that fits the project best. Each new project has it’s own voice which demands a unique approach. Being able to have control over a wade range of styles is like having a big versatile tool box. I have always been looking for my own style but I hope I will never find it because it thrills me to explore new things and discover new styles or aesthetic effects in my work. Therefore I hope I will never stop and settle with any certain style. I don’t want to do the same thing more than once. So having a personal style only means that you are more likely to do things within your comfort zone and you don’t try new things. 4) Describe us a bit about your creative process while creating a piece. It varies between projects. Sometimes I think everything through and visualize the idea before anything goes down on paper. And sometimes I like to see where the project takes me, just start creating without limitations, restrictions or a general idea of what I am doing and see what happens. The process is always more complicated than I wish it would be so I can never fully predict what is going to happen. But I have one main rule, and that is to start with a lot of sketch work on paper. What ever happens next beats me. 5) You have recently did a art direction for a videoclip, tell us more about this new experience. Last year I got a request if I could direct a music video with my friend. Without having a clue about how to make a video we accepted. It’s really exciting to be a first time at doing this kind of thing. I started out making a very detailed storyboard. Being able to put down on paper exactly what I wanted, I could get help from talented film crew how to execute it. It took some time but I learned a lot while doing it. ’m very pleased with the outcome so I can definitely see my self in the future doing more videos Working for musicians and other artists is always fun. 6) How do you describe your daily routine? I currenty work 9-17 at an ad agency. So I wake up early to go to work. I usually need to finish at least two cups of coffee before starting any real work. I have a three month old baby, soo when I come home the majority of my time is spent with him. If I’ve got any work left to do I finish it in my new tiny office at home. 7) Being a multimedia artist, please tell us what's your favorite media to work with? Why? I like all media but I specially like working directly with my hands; drawing or paintingI spend way to much time in front of a computer screen. It’s nice to feel the real world just for a moment. 8) Tell us five lessons you believe are really important for every illustrator / designer. 1. Be confident in what you’re doing but listen to criticism 2. Don’t underestimate the value of presenting your work right. 3. Try out new things. 4. Everything takes time, so be sure you’ve got plenty of it. 5. Don’t be afraid to throw away what you’ve been doing and start all over again. 9) Tell us four websites that you like to visit. Behance Stumble Upon Facebook Beautiful Decay 10) Thanks again for your time, please leave a final message for the ones who are starting out on this kind of business. Have fun.
Most people may think that game designer are only responsible for the visuals, but actually all their design should convey gameplay, storytelling and usability prior to anything. Larisa Kalinovskaya is a game designer from Ukraine with a vast experience on doing mobile games, today she shared with us a bit of her work and experiences. You can see more from Larisa on the following links: Behance Revision Twitter Dribbble 1) First of all I would like to thank you for doing this interview, it's an honor for us to present more about you to our readers. I would like to start asking you about when your interest for illustration and game design? Thank you Marcos, I always liked to draw and dream up, but for a long time I didn't know what exactly I want to do. Over 3 years ago I realized that creating new virtual worlds atracts me most of all. Game art and game design are easiest way to this (as for me). And I like the process very much. 2) Which artists do you use as reference? I haven't got any special artists for reference, I like many artistst and many works. But I always admired peoples, how can see unexpected in ordinary things. 3) Your style is quite influenced by childbooks and vector art. How did you develop this style and how would you describe it? I don't how to describe this. Develope... Hmm... Such things just appeares in my head... 4) Describe us a bit about your creative process while creating a piece. If it is commercial work, after talking with client, first of alI learn existing games, then think and draw sketches. After sketches I select colors and draw shapes in vector, then add shadows, lights and so on.. And correct colors, size, shapes and place of objects. Then I leave work for some hours before sending to client. 5)What's would you consider the best moment on you career till now? And what would you consider your best artwork? I have "best moment" every time when I have the IDEA and understand that it hits the bull's-eye. Best work... I like all my works, because I do my best every time, when I draw. but some time late I begin to see my mistakes and ways to do better every work. 6) How do you describe your daily routine? I'm a freelance and haven't got any office. I work from morning till noon and at night. 7) Being a multimedia artist, please tell us what's your favorite media to work with? Why? I'm 2D game artist and like to work with Adobe Illustrator and Manga Studio. 8) Tell us four lessons you believe are really important for every game artist. 1. Remember for whom and for what you create games. 2. Usability is foremost. 3. Study. 4. Keep your mind open. 9) Tell us five websites that you like to visit. 1. Behance.net 2. Dribbble.com 3. Cghub.com 4. Pinterest.com 5. Itunes.apple.com/us/genre/ios-games 10) Thanks again for your time, please leave a final message for the ones who are starting out on this kind of business. Don't be afraide to use new ideas.
Fine art and urban art for years have been considered separated genres that could not be mixed in any way. But on the last 10 years we saw the rise of artists that could be both classified as fine artists and street artists as they work are the perfect mix of both. Robert Proch is one of those young artists, earning respect for his incredible ability of mixing styles in any surface and situation. Here's a interview we did with him, hope you enjoy it. You can see more from Robert on the following links: Website Behance Vimeo 1) First of all I would like to thank you for doing this interview, it's an honor for us to present more about you to our readers. I would like to start asking you about when your interest for street and fine art started? In very early years I have started to sacrifice my time for it more than other things. In the start I’ve been doodling as other kids. But always treated it as nice, and easy thing to do. Had a lot of fun in finding something in empty sheet of paper. It gives exactly the same fun today. Street came along the way, when I was about 15. Just continued walking this line for next 12 years till now. Galleries appeared about 3-4 years ago. 2) Which artists do you use as reference? Mostly classics but it’s not a rule. Francis Bacon, Claude Monet, Miles Davis, Sat One, William Turner, Caspar David Friedrich, Edward Hopper, Józef Brandt, Boards of Canada, Jerzy Duda- Gracz …it’s all I can remind for now. 3) Your style is quite influenced by abstract art and realism. How did you develop this style and how would you describe it? Realism is my natural choice as it comes to choices and motives of my paintings. Having a common background is important to remain readable in final impression. Metaphor, Symbol, Deconstruction, Metamorphosis, it all works well if the first step comes out from defined universe which is possible to identify with. Good painting should speak itself. No user guides;) As it comes to abstract art, I’m taking small steps in this direction slowly. There are two reasons: • If you paint realistic way on and on and on and on and on, there comes a moment, you start to reduce this reality to search more into what’s behind the straight representation of each motive. Things like space, time, mood, tempo, rhythm, mood come to the forefront. • Nowadays the cities-environment of my world start to look extremely plain and futuristic. Try to imagine the modern city without all the small details like benches, trah bins and so on.. It’s a painting of a cubist! Hard to say if it’s good or bad phenomenon. 4) Describe us a bit about your creative process while creating a artwork Well first of all I have to find the right impact to create new composition. I look for it around me. Lucky, it comes itself in some moment. Straight inspiration is very important to remain authentic as it comes to the energy and the message of concrete scene. Technically I’m 100% based on my experience and imagination: go trough ‘searching’ process on the surface of canvas. I’m not using photography, many times I also avoid precise sketch for the painting. This makes painting process so interesting. You keep the major idea of finished canvas behind it and follow this path to reach the point when you decide ‘that’s it’. It took me almost 20 years to learn how to choose and operate with space and form of the objects. Right now I’m learning how to play with it for the final idea. 5) Nowadays the line between fine art, street art and graffiti is getting more and more blurred, graffiti is gettting more into galleries and fine art is getting more in the streets. tell us your opinion about this subject. This is natural process and it will continue for sure. I don’t see anything wrong about it. Street energy makes gallery spaces rebirth from stiff contemporary world. In reverse fine art goes out of white cubes to the people. What’s to complain about? No matter how those barriers will blur, we all have to do our best to see good level on both sides. That’s our thing. 6) How do you describe your daily routine? Work, work, work hehe. But seriously, I’m trying to keep regular rhythm of the day. Regular meals, taking care about my family, things around home, some mailing work. Usually I sacrifice around 8-10 hours to do my thing. My studio is at home, where I find the best energy to create. 7) Being a multimedia artist, please tell us what's your favorite media to work with? Why? Honestly right now I’m getting more and more distanced to animation medium. I was doing all these activities (studio painting, animation, outdoor painting) in parallel for about 6 years. But at some point I had to become more focused. There’s no way to do good on every field and remain psychically healthy. Naturally I made decision to step back and become focused on work in ‘analog’ way. Maybe because of simple and straight energy coming from the painting. No plugins, no software, no hard drives, no ctrl-Z. Secondary: on the canvas or a wall things happening really fast and you have to make decisions with the consequence that the painting bight be screwed up in any moment. I prefer this kind of unsecured play. 8) Tell us five lessons you believe are really important for every artist. At this point I’d like to use some help. Charles Bukowski wrote an accurate poem about it. True and universal: ‘So you want to be a writer?’ 9) Tell us five websites that you like to visit. I’m ignorant as it comes to researching the web. Mostly I visit the links someone recommends… 10) Thanks again for your time, please leave a final message for the ones who are starting out on this kind of business. If you really love to do your thing, you’ll never have to work! Thanks!
Motion Graphics have a become a huge field for creatives on the last decade, since technology and resources are available for almost anyone willing to learn the basics on modern animation. Markus Magnusson is motion graphic based in Malmö, Sweden with a promising work and really cool portfolio, we had a chat and he shared more about his story, career and creative process. You can see more from Markus on the following links: Website Behance Dribbble Twitter Vimeo 1) First of all I would like to thank you for doing this interview, it's an honor for us to present more about you to our readers. I would like to start asking you about when your interest for animation and motion graphics? It’s weird story actually because I used to work as a chef, cooking food for drunk after-skiers in Norway. I eventually grew tired of that lifestyle and decided to move back home and work up my grades, I think I was 22 at the time. When I came home I bought one of those 3ccd chip semi-pro video cameras, which where pretty fancy at the time, and decided to start filming nature stuff. I always been interested of being outdoors and there was a lot of animals around the place where I lived at the time so it just felt like good hobby. It didn’t take long before the animals got switched out with my friends and the calm nature scenes turned into silly video sketches. I still really miss those days when me and my buddy’s just made these crappy sketches, we kind of figured out that with the right sound effect you could make anything funny. With my newly found passion and my new grades I decided to a media school. One of our first assignments was to create a simple flash animation and I was instantly hooked. But we still did a lot of silly sketches in school and I think it’s the same kind of humor I’ve started to bring into my animations in recent years. 2) Which artists do you use as reference? Back In my early years Justin Harder was a great inspiration, his work just has this mix of cool graphics and comical storytelling that really caught my eye and made me want to become a motion designer. In recent years booth Buck and Animade has been 2 studios I’ve really looked up to in terms of animation and storytelling. Illustration wise I'm a sucker for Cristian Turdera. But ultimately I find my references by looking at many different styles and artists, both professionals and students. 3) Your style is quite influenced by traditional animation and vector art. How did you develop this style and how would you describe it? If Dribbble and Looney Tunes had a child. Just kidding, Im not really sure how to describe it but it’s definitely on the minimalist side of things. I like to simplify things graphically I also like to tell a good story so the challenge has always been to infuse these relatively simple designs with as much character and life as possible. Guess that’s one of the reason I’ve headed down a more traditional road animation-wise. 4) Describe us a bit about your creative process while creating a piece. It normally starts of with a lot of ugly sketches and unreadable notes, let’s just say that Im not gonna get sponsored by Moleskine anytime soon. Once the idea is there I like to jump straight into illustrator so I can play around with it visually. Im a designer at heart so finding the right visual treatment is very important to me. With the Cat Mayhem piece I probably went through 20-30 iterations before I was happy. It just happened to include outlines which takes ages to animate, but is a cost I happily pay for making it look they way it should. But I don’t go after any set formula when creating something, other than I try to make sure that there is a lot of room for trial and error. I try to mold the story all the way through the project because you discover so much when you actually start working with the piece. The tale of a Rando tolk a bit of different turn once I started working on it. He was just suppose to run away scared in the original storyboard and the title sequence wasn’t included at all. To be completely honest, some of the stuff I like the most have come from mistakes, like the walk-cycle in ”To This Day” 5) What's would you consider the best moment on you career till now? I have had a lot of good moments but the instant success I had with The Tale of a Rando was something I never experienced before. I remember sitting and gazing at Vimeo thinking: what just happened? It was especially awesome since I just started freelancing at that time. The tale of a Rando from Markus Magnusson on Vimeo. A promo for Rando - an anonymous photo sharing platform. Credit list: Design and direction: Markus Magnusson Animation: Markus Magnusson, Raoul Alpkut Soundtrack: Ergo Phizmiz - Tillys Punctured Romancer Sound design: Markus Magnusson with some help from www.freesfx.co.uk 6) How do you describe your daily routine? I normally start the day of with a large cup of coffee in my hand whilst checking my email and social feeds. When Im done with my morning routine I check my notes to see what task’s lay ahead of me, there is basically always some deadline peaking on the horizon so I’ve started to plan things a lot more. Whilst working I try to zone out from emails and social feeds just so I can focus 100% on the actual work. At lunchtime I check my emails again before heading out for food at a local cafe followed by a long walk.. It’s pretty common that I have Google Hangouts and Skype calls around 21.00 since the people I work with are based on the other side of the planet. When Im done for the day I check my email one last time before turning off the computer.. Then I probably turn it on again after 5 minutes to watch a Tv-series or something. 7) Being a multimedia artist, please tell us what's your favorite media to work with? Why? Im a big fan of stop-motion even though I hardly do it anymore, it’s just so much fun to make real objects come alive. Stop-motion also has that authentic feel that is almost impossible to re-create digitally. 8) Tell us five lessons you believe are really important for every motion designer. 1. Nothing comes for free and no one was born great at anything, we all need to put in the hours to get good at something. 2. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes, some of the best things are found where we least expect it. 3. Good things need time, don’t shoot down your initial design’s just because they don’t look awesome instantly. 4. Storytelling is key, you could have the most awesome visuals ever but without a proper story they are gonna fall short every time. 5. Being niched is not a bad thing. Ever since I ”found” my own style my offers has increased exponentially. So try to figure out what you think is the most fun and get really good at it, it’s gonna pay off. 9) Tell us five websites that you like to visit. behance.net dribbble.com vimeo.com motionographer.com ffffound.com 10) Thanks again for your time, please leave a final message for the ones who are starting out on this kind of business. Don’t forget to be lazy some times. The best ideas often come whilst relaxing. Thanks!
Glenn Arthur is one of the most interesting and stylish illustrator out there nowadays, he's a american autodidact artist with a extremely good taste for feminine themes and color pallets. We already posted about Glenn in the past, but today we had the pleasure to interview him. You can see more from Glenn on the following links: Website Blog Facebook Twitter Google+ Instagram Store 1) First of all I would like to thank you for doing this interview, it's an honor for us to present more about you to our readers. I would like to start asking you about when your interest for illustration and art started? I've been interested in art for as long as I can remember. I think my passion really began through reading comic books when I was a child. I've always enjoyed the stylistic way that the characters were drawn. 2) Which artists do you use as reference? I have three favorite artists that I look to for inspiration. Alphonse Mucha, J.C. Leyendecker and Gil Elvgren 3) Your style is quite influenced by art nouveau and realism. How did you develop this style and how would you describe it? I'm not really sure how I developed my style. I just kept working and creating art that was aesthetically pleasing to me and it sort of developed on it's own. I would just describe it as illustrative. 4) Describe us a bit about your creative process while creating a piece. Once I come up with a concept, I generally make a lot of rough sketches and notes in my sketchbook until I feel that I've reached some sort of realized idea. Then I clean up the sketch and turn it into a painting from there. 5)What's the best thing about working with illustration and what is the worst? Being able to bring my imagination to life is the best. The worst is not being able to realize an idea th way I see it in my head. 6) How do you describe your daily routine? My daily routine is always different. I always make time for art but sometimes I work in the morning and sometimes I work at night. It just depends on what I'm doing and how I'm feeling. 7) Tell us what's your favorite media to work on and why. I prefer with acrylic paints on wooden panels. I like to work fast and acrylics dry quickly so they are perfect for me. I also have a heavy hand and like to work on a flat surface rather than an easel so wooden panels are great for that. 8) Tell us five lessons you believe are really important for every illustrator. Make mistakes and learn from them. Stay true to your imagination. Don't let anyone dictate your vision. Be prolific. Never give up! 9) Tell us five websites that you like to visit. rainymood.com dictionary.com goodfuckingdesignadvice.com theinspirationgrid.com trekell.com 10) Thanks again for your time, please leave a final message for the ones who are starting out on this kind of business. Making art is a lengthy journey in which shortcuts are the fastest routes back to the drawing board. Put in the time necessary and enjoy the ride!
Dave Foster is a type designer based in Sydney, Australia whose work brought my attention while looking for typography works on Behance. It's really outstanding his ability to work with both digital and traditional as the result it's just impeccable. Today we had the opportunity to interview him and know more about his career and life. You can see more from Dave on the following links: Website Behance Facebook Twitter Blog Instagram 1) First of all I would like to thank you for doing this interview, it's an honour for us to present more about you to our readers. I would like to start asking you about when your interest for letters and type? Thanks for having me. I left school early, when I was about 16. I was invited to go to a graphic design college in Sydney where I received a degree in visual communication when I was 19. That course was the point when I began to learn about graphic design, and more specifically typography. I had a great teacher, Peter McGill who introduced me to letters and how to treat them with respect. From there, a curiosity propelled my interested and growth in that area. Holstee commissioned lettering2) Which people inspire you? Since finishing my masters in typeface design at The Royal Academy of Art in 2012, I've been fortunate enough to meet many practitioners in the field of type design and lettering that I respect immensely. My inspiration often comes from my many named and unnamed predecessors as well as my present day colleagues. Over the years many people have had a big influence on me. For lettering to name only a few, I love the work of Ken Barber, Jon Contino, Erik Marinovich, Alex Trochut, Martina Flor, Rob Clarke, Steven Bonner, Sergey Shapiro, John Langdon and Ian Brignell. For type designers I particularly enjoy the work and approach of Matthew Carter, Jonathan Hoefler and Tobias Frere-Jones, Christian Schwartz and Paul Barnes, Kris Sowersby, Fred Smeijers, Jean François Porchez, Jeremy Tankard, Jackson Cavanaugh and of course every one of my teachers from The Royal Academy from whom I began learning about type. Cycling Prints3) How did you develop your style and how would you describe it? I'm still trying to figure out what it is exactly that ties my body of work together. I don't know if I really have a style, not one I aspire to at least. For lettering, I just try to do whatever is appropriate for the message. Whatever it is though, I'm always searching for balance and it's extremely elusive. Lettering to commemorate a 50th wedding anniversary.4) Describe to us a bit about your creative process while creating a piece of lettering. Whether it's typefaces or lettering, iteration is my main tool. By that I mean I do it once, then I do it again, and again, changing details and developing it until it reaches a point that I'm happy with it. If I was drawing a word, I usually make a small scale rough, then I enlarge and refine or draw the word again from the start, or trace over the top in ink. 5) What's would you consider the best moment of your career till now and what would be the worst one? Please share with us more about your path. I know many people tend to dismiss awards as superficial and for the large part kind of pointless. But winning Gold at the Morisawa Type Design Competition was a real shifting point for me. Mainly because my work was validated by four type designers I hold in the highest regard. The cash prize was helpful, but this validation helped me more in deciding to concentrate on type and take it more seriously. It gave me confidence to at least try this path. I'm prepared for it to fail, but at least I won't have any regrets. The worst moments can seem bad at the time, but in hindsight I'm always happy they happen that way. I missed dream jobs, more than once, but if I'd got them, I wouldn't be doing what I'm doing now. It's all a matter of framing things in a positive way. As a graphic designer, I once worked in studio that made me incredibly anxious and even made me question my competence as a designer. But again, in hindsight, I found this was actually due to their culture, not my ability. But it doesn't change though that at the time it was horrible for me to go through. Roland DG6) How do you describe your daily routine? It's different every day, I just try to work hard consistently. Either way, it's filled with coffee and I generally work late too, when everyone is sleeping. I don't know why, I'm just more productive around that time. Lettering commissioned by New York based creative, John J Custer 7) What's your favorite media to work with and why? I love the feeling of oil enamel paint flowing from a fully loaded sign painters brush onto clean glass. That's just something special. Calligraphy as part of the Desktop Wallpaper Project8) Tell us five lessons you believe are really important. Do what you love doing. Know why you're doing it. Be nice to people. Back yourself. Be careful whose advice you take on board. Royal Life Saving Society9) Tell us five websites that you like to visit. www.lettersofnote.com, www.27bslash6.com, www.grainedit.com, www.recollection.com.au, www.cyclingcentral.com.au Custom lettering for the 2012 Annual Report and meeting of the USGBC. 10) Thanks again for your time, please leave a final message for anyone considering a similar path. Type design is hard work, only do it because you love it. Twitter Calligraphy
Any fan of street art probably already saw the works of the international collective of artists The Weird. One of their members, DXTR, just got my attention for his brilliant mix of design, illustration and graffiti into one interesting and amazing style. Here's a short interview we did with him recently. You can see more from DXTR on the following links: Flickr Behance Facebook 1) First of all I would like to thank you for doing this interview, it's an honor for us to present more about you to our readers. I would like to start asking you about when your interest for illustration and street art started? Thanks for your kind words Marcos, it's my pleasure. I draw as long as I can remember. In 1999, at the age of 16 I got into graffiti, introduced by some friends of mine - classical stuff. I really liked painting at night, but I also always focused on sketches and character based things since the beginning. Later on I focused more and more on characters, canvases and classic typography and moved to Dusseldorf in 2006 to study Communication Design at the University of Applied Science. 2) Which artists do you use as reference? There are a lot of artists that I really admire, first of all my friends from 'The Weird' collective, really learn a lot from them. Beside that theres a long list of people in the art world that influence me, the old masters, comic artists, pop artists, cartoons, … The list would be too long to be honest. 3) Your style is quite influenced by surrealism and typography. How did you develop this style and how would you describe it? I think this was a natural way, because these fields always attracted me the most. The love for the surreal and pop art beside my comic and graffiti background developed this specific aesthetic. I would describe it as some kind of "Pop Surrealism". 4) Describe us a bit about your creative process while creating a piece. This really depends on the project Iam working on. Murals with friends are often discussed in front of the wall, sketched out directly in front of it. Everything is very freestyle at those projects. You have to see the location, surrounding, catch the vibe, etc. When I work on my own, illustrating in my studio, I do a lot of research first. What do I want to say is the first question. This is mostly the hardest part, to find a subjet. Afterwards I do a few sketches about composition and what kind of aesthetic the project should get. Then I do some rough sketches on paper, canvas or on the computer (depends on the medium) and work this out finally, last step would be the linework. Lately I started working without outlines, very excited about this and a totally different approach to my usual work. 5)What's would you consider the best moment on you career till now? Beside founding the international supergroup of masterminds "The Weird" that's difficult to say. Once I've been involved into a great Amnesty International campaign for a stronger arms treaty. It was definitely a blast to create the key visuals and to see my work 4 floors high on Times Square NYC. But the best moments are all these travels and different cultures and people you get to know. I've been to so many countries I would have never seen without painting, so I consider this as the best moments in my career. 6) How do you describe your daily routine? Very hard to say. Due to the fact that I am traveling a lot, there is no daily routine at the moment. When I work on clients stuff in the studio its most of the time like this: Coffee, breakfast, emails, internet, lunch, drawing,, wake up, sleep, diner, coffee, simpsons, painting, cigarettes (in no particular order). 7) Being a multimedia artist, please tell us what's your favorite media to work with? Why? My favorite medium is definitely the spraycan. Nothing beats a nice day in the sun, painting with your friends and enjoying some cold brews. 8) Tell us five lessons you believe are really important for every artist. Preserve your inner child! Beside that: Dream, Plan, Act, Believe 9) Tell us five websites that you like to visit. the-weird.com juxtapoz.com ffffound.com beautifuldecay.com them-thangs.com 10) Thanks again for your time, please leave a final message for the ones who are starting out on this kind of business. Work hard, stay humble.