Interview with Joao Oliveira

Joao Oliveira, is a portuguese graphic designer and illustrator, based in Porto. Abduzeedo takes pride in featuring such an young and talented creative. You will def see him more often from now on.

1. First of all we would like to thank you for taking the time to provide with this interview. Please tell us more about your art and design background and what made you become an artist and designer?

My pleasure, thanks for the interview! My background as a designer and artist is really recent, I always loved drawing and I'm a creative person since I remember but my professional goals were never meant to be on the artistic area. I spent all my school time studying science and it wasn't until college (4 years ago) that I really found what I wanted to do, be a designer, since then I've been taking a degree on Communication Design and exploring the world of digital illustrations, developing personal projects and working with clients.

2. Your work is pretty unique and full of creativity. Where does your inspiration come from?

It will sound like a cliche and I'm sure all the other artists and designers have the same answer but my inspiration comes from everything... I listen to a lot of music and watch a lot of imagery, be it art related or not, so those might be the main sources of inspiration that feed my creativity. Another huge source of inspiration is definitely the 80's and the whole retro scene, from the old spectrum and 8 bit video games to the bright colors, disco and neons, a lot of people refer to my style as a 'retro futuristic' one.

3. Could you describe for us your typical 'start to finish' workflow when working on a design?

The process really varies, most of the times I start by creating a big shape, figure or typography that will act as the focal point and everything else will evolve around it, for my typographical pieces I begin by designing the typography on Illustrator and when I'm happy with it I export it to Photoshop where I can add textures, colors, lighting effects and other elements, etc. Other times I simply recycle an old piece, decomposing it in various ways, and using it to create a completely different and distinct image, most of the times by using the mask tools.

Digital Paintings by Joao Oliveira

Digital Paintings by Joao Oliveira

Digital Paintings by Joao Oliveira

4. What are your tools of the trade, both hardware and software?

I actually don't really like macs, which is unusual for someone in my area, so I have a PC bought months ago, it's pretty recent and powerful so I can easily handle huge files, both static Photoshop images or motion projects on After Effects, with a 22 inch screen. Software wise, Photoshop, Illustrator and After Effects are my main tools, sometimes I use Maya to render some 3D models or special effects.

5. What, for you personally are the pros and cons of being a designer?

Personally, being a designer is the best career in the world, I never considered what I do as a job since I have fun doing it and working for my clients, it's the kind of job that you get excited over your next project and it allows you to have a huge variety on your career, it never gets boring. Cons of being a designer? Probably the impossible deadlines and the constant seeking of innovation which can't be necessarily a con but it's not a safe area, you can't remain passive waiting for things to happen and innovation is the key factor.

Digital Paintings by Joao Oliveira

Digital Paintings by Joao Oliveira

Casablanca Infography from Joao Oliveira on Vimeo.

6. How does your job as an artist and designer influence your life? Do you feel that you see things around you differently for example?

Definitely, I suffer of that 'designer syndrome' where I analyze and criticize everything and imagine a better way of doing it, I often find myself cursing the person who designed that poster or that magazine spread saying how bad the selection of typefaces is and stuff like that.

7. What are your coming projects?

Everything is pretty calm right now, I have a couple of incoming tutorials, one for the UK Computer Arts magazine and other for the upcoming Portuguese Computer Arts but that's about it, will start seeking a job as a designer on any studio that will hire me and hopefully will finally start working as a full time designer.

8. What are your favourite 5 websites, and why?

Inspirational sites wise, I frequently visit,,, and of course Abduzeedo! I also visit for the latest music trends and to find new music.

9. Once again , thank you very much for the interview. As a final word, do you have any tips for upcoming artists and designers?

My pleasure once again! Work hard, that's the best advice you can get, never stop experimenting and have fun in what you do.

Where to find him on the web

More of this artist

Digital Paintings by Joao Oliveira

Digital Paintings by Joao Oliveira

Digital Paintings by Joao Oliveira

Digital Paintings by Joao Oliveira

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