Today, we had the great honor to catch a slice of time with MOO’s esteemed Global Creative Director Brendan Stephens. As lovers of great design here at Abduzeedo (and huge personal fans of MOO!) this was an enormous privilege to get a glimpse into a brilliant mind that helps to drive MOO’s ability to deliver game-changing products. With nearly 20 years spent in various creative posts for big publishers like The Boston Globe to the world’s leading car-sharing network, Zipcar, Stephens is a supremely talented visionary we can thank for ensuring MOO is delivering the best possible experience to customers just like us. Without further ado, enjoy our peek into how Brendan Stephens makes the magic happen at MOO and his creative process to get there. We hope you all are as inspired as we are by this creative force with a personal penchant for great food, an amazing magazine rack and the perfect Manhattan. Q: What's the absolute best piece of advice that has stuck with you throughout your career that you'd like to pass on to young designers today? A: A professor and mentor, Phil Geraci, once said to me “It’s your career. Take control of it.” That has always stayed with me. Don’t wait for someone to put opportunities or make decisions or see gaps in front of you. Be (self-) aware and take or make or fill them. Always be looking ahead (with insights from the past) and be proactive in building your career. It’s yours. Make it great. Q: What is your creative process? Have you taken out superfluous steps throughout the years? A: I’ve idealized it a tad here, but it kind of goes like this (even if we have some work to do…): When possible, we like to have discovery sessions. It gets all stakeholders, from marketing to social, into a room to understand the ask, the journey and what is (or isn’t) possible. Our Experience Design and Development teams are important members of these sessions, too, as they can help determine available resources. A discovery session can greatly shape a brief (in fact, we ask that a start to the brief is brought along so that we can input and ask or answer any questions ahead of submission). When the final brief is submitted, we are sure to read it carefully and come up with any follow-up questions. We look for a fantastic, tight, and not overly prescriptive brief. It is vital that the creative team understands it. If not, the expectation is that they will ask for clarification. We move to (collaborative) concepting: Working from the brief, using brand guidelines and values, and in tandem -- designer, copywriter and photographer/illustrator, whomever is on the creative team -- to come up with a single-minded, kick-ass, ownable direction. We are inspired by what is around us but want something all our own. We encourage rough layouts to get the idea across. Some ideas work, some don’t. That’s okay. It’s about brainstorming and getting ideas down on paper. From there we build presentation decks that include mood boards. We push to have plenty of time for concepting. Sometimes we get the time, sometimes we don’t, but we still strive to produce the best work. We then start to present to stakeholders and look for thoughtful, collaborative, honest and consolidated feedback. We hope that we have answered the brief, but may have also pushed beyond it, staying on (and pushing the) brand and toward the intended goals. In terms of collaboration, we have been working very hard at being sure the right people are in the room, at the right times. We strive very hard to not be “design by committee”. Creatives don’t want to be told what to do (as we are problem-solvers) but we do need to understand business objectives and goals. Work needs to be on-brand, but hard working as well. On sign-off (and there may be a few iterations before we get there), we move to make it a reality. Pre-production is just as important (if not more) as production. Don’t skimp here. It pays off in the end. We may tweak in studio (we shoot almost all of our imagery in our London office) but we go in prepared to deliver against the approved concept. We rely on a strong artworking team to bring us home. They are fantastic and don’t let us down. And we know it’s not over after it has shipped. As creatives we should always want to understand how our work performed. We push for post-mortems. To get results, see if there are any opportunities to A/B test or optimize the work. Q: During your career at MOO what is the one body of work that makes you most proud? A: Oh, man, we’ve worked on many great initiatives: our NFC Business Cards (embedded with a chip), our Cotton paper (made from recycled t-shirt offcuts) and our MOO Notebook (try picking a color, it’s harder than it looks!). But I would have to say our creative team, currently 24 strong between London and Boston, is the body of work I am most proud of. They are smart, driven, talented and tenacious. They inspire me, make me laugh and teach me every day. (They make me crazy some days, too, but I know that goes both ways). Q: Can you share any tips for taking printed design material to the next level? A: It starts with wonderful work. Our drive is to partner with our customers to deliver beautifully crafted and detailed products that showcases their designs, photographs, illustrations, etc. The best work may be overlooked if the printing or material is poor. We promise “to move heaven and earth” so that our customers are happy. We take that very seriously. Q: What are the stylistic trends you are seeing that you would consider timeless for print design? A: Strong typography will always be timeless in design. Editorial and book design, site design, on packaging, in wayfindinding (look to the NYC or London subway systems, for example). There’s no excuse for bad typography. Or kerning. Or leading. Q: What's the best part about working at MOO? A: Well, it’s a cool brand. It’s cool people. We have a strong set of values we honestly embrace and strive to live by everyday. And, lots of snacks. It’s a nice mix. Q: What brands do you most admire and how do they influence your work? A: I’ve been a big fan of MUJI since I discovered the brand in NYC years ago. The simplicity of the product is amazing. Something I, personally, and we at MOO, are fans of, value and embrace wholeheartedly. I also am a big fan of Airbnb. From the site to the search to the booking. Great customer journey. So far, my experience has also been right on. From selecting a space to settling in, it’s been flawless. When I am home, as soon as I walk into my apartment, I turn on my Sonos (Play:1) and leave it on all day. I love the site. I loved the packaging. I love the design of the speaker. Lastly, and a bit more local, I’m digging London Symphony Orchestra’s typography (commissioned by the London-based agency, The Partners). It’s so thoughtful and ownable. It’s mesmerizing. Q: What do you do to enjoy life NOT in the office? A: Cooking, running (offsets the cooking), travelling and theater. When I lived in the States, I had a garden plot, which I loved, but have not found that here in London. Q: What are the top three books you can recommend as must-reads for burgeoning designers? A: Oh man. There are many. Logo Modernism by Jens Muller. Thinking with Type by Ellen Lupton. Just My Type by Simon Garfield. Anything by Steven Heller. On my list to read: Branding: In Five and a Half Steps by Michael Johnson And I could stand in front of a magazine rack for hours. GQ, Bon Appetit and New York magazines are always in the seat pocket when I fly back to London from the States. I also love Communication Arts, Creative Review and Lürzer's Archive to see who is rocking the world. And I love to drool through annuals, checking out (not limited to) Comm Arts, Society of Publication Designers and D&AD annuals. Was that three? Q: What inspires you? A: Anything that visually draws me in. A beautifully designed book cover or magazine spread or website. An amazing living room, or bedroom or kitchen. Smart packaging (which I may hoard a bit, but in a beautifully organized way). A deliciously presented plate of food. (Sorry about that bad pun). A great pun. Confidence. Humor. Talent.
This is a different approach from our usual feature on ABDZ but this might be greatly useful if you ever get this opportunity. Last week, I (François Hoang - Chief Editor on ABDZ) was on my flight home from an onsite interview I had in San Diego for a UX position. This was my first experience and I wanted to share my thoughts about the things I've learned and what I would improve if you ever get this opportunity. Beforehand, I would like to mention that I won't share any details about the company I was interviewed because of a non-disclosure agreement I signed. Also, I would like to send my regards to the awesome folks I've met along the way (Cheers!). To be able to actually come to an onsite interview, you have to go through a series of phone calls and video conferences. It's usually about 2-3 meetings and if you made the cut. You will get to hear those words: " We would like to invite you to an onsite meeting". OH YEAH! Party time right? Not really, just hold off before you can say anything to your relatives or friends. This is just the beginning of your journey. First Tip The waiting game, I think this is the most brutal part of my whole experience. The wait for email replies and checking your notifications all the time, it almost feels like your current life has been put on hold. The first tip, don't get alarmed about what might be going through your head or the thought about they might have changed their minds on you coming or not. People are busy and they will get to you when it's the time is right. You would rather take this energy and be focusing on doing your homework. First Task: Homework This is an interview but try to change the perspective as if it was a UX project. For this first task is all about research. We are grateful enough to have Google as being the biggest searchable library ever, use it for your own benefits. Try to learn and understand the company’s history, philosophy, products/services, marketing, target audience, design process, tools and etc. This way you will be prepared when asked: What do you know about our X company". This exercise helped me a lot because I was able to understand more things beyond the company logo. Don't forget that user experience is not related to interfaces only, it's all part of everything the users interact within reach of the company logo. For my case, I had the opportunity to own the product for a little while. I decided to use it every day and see what was my feedback as a user. What I would definitely improve on the design side and if I've found any bugs too? It's NOT a vacation trip We are pretty excited (including me) when you get the chance to fly for free to a destination that you have never been before. Remember that you are traveling for "work" and usually what you have planned to do like shopping, tourist stops never ended up happening. You can always ask if the company is willing to book you an extra day or two but you will pay the extra for the hotel fees. It's always good to ask. Make a Presentation For my onsite interview I never saw the mention of having a presentation ready, gladly I made the right move and had one ready. Don't forget that you are traveling all the way across and some people you are meeting probably didn't even read your resume. Play it safe and have one ready. Your presentation should be short, on point and playful. When you going through your portfolio; focus on the points that they need to hear about what they are looking for that UX position. I made a mistake when asked about: "What is the one project that you are most proud of", I decided to go with a project because it was a team effort and process, we had a beautiful outcome on the client side. I was in fact very proud of this project! But I should have stayed with a project that was more around UX and what was the whole process behind to achieve success. Your presentation should also reflect your personality because you will probably talk about yourself for 20-30 minutes. Remember that you are meeting the team that will potentially see you as their next colleague. No harm in slipping a few jokes! Design Challenge or the Whiteboard Design Challenge That famous whiteboard challenge, the exciting part. I was a bit scared and skeptical about this challenge but to calm things down. The whole point of this exercise is that your future team wants to see how would you react in front of problems. Are you a problem solver? In this case, there are many solutions to the problem. Don't be shy to ask questions, sometimes the task can be super vague. For my case, it was about: Creating our startup as a pet caring company. We went through different steps including our goals, customer goals, and business goals as well. We didn't get to the point where we would wireframe but overall I loved this exercise. It definitely helps you think about the problem instead of trying to find the obvious. If this is something that you are not good at, practice makes it perfect. Always try to balance questions with answers, it helps to enhance the collaboration in the room. Be Yourself To end this article, I would like to share Fabio's advice. "Show that you are passionate about your work and simply be yourself". Don't try to be somebody that you are not. If they see you as a great fit for the company, well amazing news for you! If not, there is plenty of great companies out there. Take it as a learning curve! What you have learned from this experience and what would you improve on the next one. Recap Video More Links Follow my tweets @aoirostudio Follow my pictures on Instagram Cover Image by Marcel Fuentes
Exactly one week ago, we have introduced the Unsplash Awards on Abduzeedo. A celebration made just for you, to recognize the open photography movement. Have you started submitting your photos yet? There is still plenty of time, please do check out Awards.Unsplash.com In the meantime, we would like to take the opportunity also to share a little interview/sit down we had with the founder of Unsplash - Mikael Cho. Get his insights on what motivates him from the Unsplash community. Doing a yearly ‘awards’ type event was something we always wanted to do. But it was a challenge to do it in the right way. Mikael Cho - Image via Unsplash Tell us about what is the Unsplash Awards? The Unsplash Awards is a celebration of the people powering the open source photography movement. On Unsplash, millions of people every month are inspired by photography they can openly use to create. We felt it was important to create a moment that acknowledges the contributors who’ve made this possible by generously gifting their photography. We’ve created 10 photography categories where we’ll feature the photos from Unsplash contributors: Aerial, Animals & Wildlife, Astrophotography, Food & Drink, Interiors & Architecture, Nature & Landscapes, People & Portraits, Sports, Street Photography and Unsplash community. For each category, we’re inviting a guest curator to help select the photos to feature. Guest curators include Airbnb, Ultralinx, Squarespace, Imgix, Kodak, DJI, and Lonely Planet. How did you (and team) come up with the Unsplash Awards? Without our community, Unsplash would be nothing. Doing a yearly ‘awards’ type event was something we always wanted to do. But it was a challenge to do it in the right way. Unsplash originally started as a side project inside of our company Crew. So we didn’t have the team to put together an ‘awards’ event the way we wanted. Earlier this year though, we spun Unsplash out into its own company. This allowed us to expand our team and execute on Unsplash Awards the way we wanted to. Image by Nakita Cheung What is going to be the whole process of the Unsplash Awards? Sept. 1 - Sept. 30 - Photo submissions open at awards.unsplash.com Oct. 1 - Oct. 10 - Guest judges make selections Oct 15 - Announcement of featured photos How did you (and team) come up with the categories of the Unsplash Awards? Is it relevant to what is being shared on the platform? The Unsplash Awards photography categories were definitely inspired by the photos we see everyday on Unsplash. There's over 250,000 photos on Unsplash now and most fit into these 10 categories. Image by chuttersnap The Unsplash Awards is a celebration of the people powering the open source photography movement. On Unsplash, millions of people every month are inspired by photography they can openly use to create. We felt it was important to create a moment that acknowledges the contributors who’ve made this possible by generously gifting their photography. Links Learn more about the Unsplash Awards at awards.unsplash.com Follow Unsplash on Instagram Cover Picture by Julie Macey
Today we are proud to present this awesome animation studio for you guys, we're talking about the marvelous "Rubber House". We had the great opportunity to talk with Ivan Dixon, one the thwo founder of tis factory of dreamlike animations. Rubber House is ascending studio on the animation industry, having already worked with big clients such as Cartoon Network, Nicklodeon and Bethesda Softworks. Check out our interview below: You can reach Ivan on the following links: Website Vimeo Facebook Tumblr 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 began? I've been drawing since as long as I can remember. I distinctly remember my brother and I drawing little dinosaurs all over the walls of our house. Secret ones that only we knew about. Later I drew comics because I wanted to tell stories. I also made primitive computer games and learned to animate as I needed graphics. I had no idea that there could be a career in animation I just wanted to draw and learn how to get better. I looked to the internet to learn more technical animation terms and skills and I went through that obnoxious phase many young animators go through where they look at the real world and start noticing real animation principles in real life, "Look at that drag on that leaf!" / "Check out the secondary on that coat!" Cartoon Network- Summer Ident (FULL version) from Rubber House on Vimeo. 2) Which movies influenced you the most? Why? I'd say I was more influenced by television animation. I loved The Simpsons and a lot of the 90s Nickelodeon shows. I like how TV animation is able to explore more understated narratives, weird little side stories or side characters. I saw my first Studio Ghibli film when I was in grade four (Porco Rosso) and it blew me away. Honestly, they make the only animated films that I wholeheartedly adore. Because they don't pander. They let the stories be rich and complex and the characters multifaceted. Plus the animation, on a technical level, is so beautifully crafted. Every shot in one of their films is a master class in animation. Adult Swim. Player Hater from Rubber House on Vimeo. 3) You guys at Rubber House are pretty versatile with you projects, but at the same time there's always a recognizable element in your work. How do you guys approach the creative process on your projects? The Rubber House house style is essentially Greg Sharp and I trying to meet somewhere in the middle of our own personal styles. I'll do a sketch, he'll do a draw over then we arrive at this new place. So a third, new style emerges. The process normally starts with a question, what's the best way to resolve the brief? We fret over the internal logic of a design quite a bit. Lately we've been tasked with adopting different period styles. I like this because it gives us clear boundaries and a framework to critique each other's creative choices. For example: "could they have done this back then?" 4) The animation industry can be really rough, how do you guys approached big guys like Cartoon Network and Nickelodeon? They approach us. The only advice I can give on this front is that if you work hard, produce work and put it out there online you'll get noticed eventually. Something I say to younger animators is this: no one is going to pay you to do something until you've already proven you can do it. So make work. Tonk's Island from Nickelodeon International on Vimeo. 5) What would you consider the best moment on your career till now? And what you think was the lowest? What lessons you got from that? My highlight would have to be visiting The Simpsons table read, writers room and pre-prod studio after Paul Robertson and I made our Simpsons Pixels intro. Another highlight was having the Rubber House music videos we did for Gotye screen at the Sydney Opera House. Low point...there were some questionable jobs that we accepted early on that never made it to our site for good reason. Basically service work where we didn't influence the design or writing in any way. Every day I'm grateful that I get to work for myself. Seeing other more corporate work environments makes me shudder. I like the freedom that comes with running your own creative business. 6) How do you describe your daily routine? Greg and I actually work in separate offices in separate cities (me in Melbourne, Greg in Sydney). At this point we're like John and Paul near the end of the Beatles --we can't stand to be in the same room (jk). Each day the first thing I do is check my emails. As we work for mostly US clients these days we often have a wave of correspondence arrive over the evening. Then Greg and I get on Skype and discuss how we're going to distribute the day's work. If we're running a larger crew we'll do our daily approvals (going over shot lists and checking off animation, backgrounds etc). Then we just work all day and check in with each other when required. I try to stick to regular business hours as I think it's important to have a well rounded life outside of work if you want to make work that resonates with a broader audience (not just other nerdy animators). Adult Swim. Fab Sauce from Rubber House on Vimeo. 7) Being a multimedia artist, please tell us what's your favorite media/animation style to work with? Why? I originally learned to animate in pixel art, so I'll always have a soft spot for the precise, retro charm of plotting an image dot by dot, however I feel that there's probably more potential for greater subtlety and beauty in 2D traditional style animation. Like I mentioned earlier, we've been emulating a lot of older periods lately (1930's rubber hose, 1960's action shows) and it's been a lot of fun embracing the limitations of those styles. It's a lot harder approaching a new contemporary style because there's no rules, other than, "Does it look good?" which can be really subjective. 8) Tell us five websites that you like to visit frequently. Facebook Twitter Tumblr Pornhub Cartoon Brew 9) Thanks again for your time, please leave a final message for the ones who are starting out on this kind of business Never stop learning. Be critical. Embrace other opinions but know that it's okay to reject feedback if you can defend your position. Some clients want (or need) to be educated on the animation process. You're the expert and they'll listen if you explain why something is a bad idea, too costly, too time consuming etc. I see a lot of really introverted and shy artists accept unreasonable demands, not complain about it to the people they should be and then burn themselves out. Thanks for inviting me to be interviewed. Hope my answers were helpful...or at least not boring. Adult Swim. Triangl'd from Rubber House on Vimeo.
This month, we are celebrating the 10th anniversary of Abduzeedo. This is very special to us, Fabio Sasso created the blog as a side-project after he lost everything from a robbery back in 2006. It was in his way for him to backup files but also bookmark things he liked and inspired him. Since then his work has been used, shared and featured many times but beyond all, his goal was to inspired us to create and make more. That’s the philosophy and minset of Abduzeedo that will always lives on. Part of the celebration, we would love to share a sit-down we had with Fabio about his life, 10 years of inspiration and more. Hope you will enjoy it! I never imagined or planned to get to 10 years. I started the blog after my studio got robbed and I lost everything. After that day I tried to focus on the present more than ever, life is too unpredictable and we can get frustrated if something happens that weren't in our plans. That happened to me, it sucks, but I learned a lot. Sometimes things are much worse in our heads and imagination than in reality. - Fabio Sasso Tell us about yourself? What do you do for living now? I am a designer from Brazil currently living in Oakland, California. I moved to the US in 2011 when I got an offer from Google. After almost 6 years a lot of things have happened, I got maried, became a father. I still work for Google, I have a lot of fun and love Google's mission and their products. It' really makes a difference in terms of motivation. How do you feel about reaching this milestone of 10 years of Abdz? Abduzeedo started as a side project, a way for me to backup files but also bookmark things I liked and inspired me. That was in 2006, iPhone was a rumour, Tablets a sci-fi idea. Things were very different. The Web 2.0 was at reaching its peak of fame, everything was moving towards the web with web apps. Of course everything changed with the introduction of the iPhone, and especially one year after that, when native apps were announced. I never imagined or planned to get to 10 years. I started the blog after my studio got robbed and I lost everything. After that day I tried to focus on the present more than ever, life is too unpredictable and we can get frustrated if something happens that weren't in our plans. That happened to me, it sucks, but I learned a lot. Sometimes things are much worse in our heads and imagination than in reality. What was the biggest Abdz moment so far that you remember? There were so many fun moments. I used to do a lot of talks around 2008-2010 about the blog. At a particular moment around 2008 I was the person with most Twitter followers in Brazil I believe. I believe, however the biggest moments were always meeting new people. People from all over that I still talk and became friends. Like you Francois :) Do you remember what was your feeling when you posted the first article back in December 21, 2006? Yes, it was summer in Brazil. I was recovering from the awful loss of my laptop and all backups. I was just posting things to fill the blog and try to create a routine. I posted about designing a web 2.0 blog. It was a project I did for my brother. It's crazy just to go back and see that, it's a lesson of humility because you can see how much you have learned. I hope in 10 years to look back at my work and have the same sensation that I kept learning. What is your ideology behind your work? What's driven you all the time? There's no ideology, the only thing that drives me to do things like blogging or being a designer is curiosity and desire to learn more about things. I am an introvert, very shy and insecure. I always think I am wrong and that sort of helps me to try more I think. It's not a good thing but it definitely helps a lot. It keep my feet on the ground. Do you get creative satisfaction on your work? How much time do you give yourself for personal work and blogging? Do you have a system? I love what I do and my job. I love working on product and trying to solve not only the problems we are trying to solve for our users but also how to improve our process. How can we reduce churn and frustrations from all sides, UX and engineers.In terms of blogging, I use Abduzeedo now more as a bookmark/curation tool. There are so many design blogs now doing tutorials and other things that we used to do in the past. I believe the best thing right now due to the overload of information is try to be more like a filter. Try to help featuring new designers and help the community. Who were your creative heroes at the start of your career and how has it changed over the years? That's a great question. I think my heroes are still the same, the difference though, is that I added many more. I admire more people rather than just designers. For example, engineers, PMs, entrepernours. What is the one thing you learned at the beginning of your career, that you still go by today? In terms of career, for me, it is always think about not only the design, put the production process. I graduated in Industrial Design and in school our projects were always focus not only on the final design, but how to optimize the manufaturing process. Materials, bugdgeting, supliers, those were things we had to consider. Today when I design I still keep that in mind, it just changes the roles. Now we have to think about engineering work, legacy code, platforms, localization and a bunch of other things. How does Social Media affect your work these days? Not as much as in the past. I was an avid Social Media user but either I am getting too old and got a bit tired of it or it is definitely slowing down. I also believe that social media became really about showing off, rather than sharing useful things or knowledge. Where do you see Abduzeedo evolving in the next few years? I have no idea. I believe it will get smaller because blogs are becoming things of the past. I love the idea of keeping something that I can change the design, learn a bit more about coding and also sharing things. With that in mind I think Abduzeedo will be around. On the last note, what is the common mistake that most designers always make these days? I think I am not the one to judge because I make a bunch of mistakes too. If I could point something, it would be that designers, for some reason, became a bit selfish. They tend to focus only on the design part and forget a bit about the rest. I'd say focus more on understanding how things are build and how people really use products, than following trends. Some Moments I believe it will get smaller because blogs are becoming things of the past. I love the idea of keeping something that I can change the design, learn a bit more about coding and also sharing things. With that in mind I think Abduzeedo will be around. - Fabio Sasso
In all these 5 years doing interviews here for Abduzeedo, I always felt blessed for having the opportunity to contact and to know more about such great established artists and also some young artists full of talent. And today it's a great day, we had the amazing opportunity to interview one of the living legends of comic books, Richard Corben. I hope you guys appreciate the wise words and stories of this pencil magician. You can reach Richard on the following links: Website Wikipedia 1) It's really a pleasure to interview such a legend of comics. Since you're pretty much a overachiever, we really would like to know how it all started, tell us more how your journey as a comic book artist started? I've always been interested in comics, not only as a pleasant pastime, but as a medium that I could use for my own visual stories. The earliest comic books I remember were Superman and some westerns. All during this early period, I drew my own comics such as TRAIL, THE DOG. As a boy, I started collecting the EC Horror and Science Fiction titles. When they were hounded into oblivion I moved on to Tarzan during the Jesse Marsh years. Then I went to Art college and I put away my comic interests to study "serious" art. My earlier goals transformed from a career in comics to one in illustration and filmmaking. When Creepy (the horror comic) appeared everything changed again. It was about that time that a new phenomenon emerged, the underground comix. This had an incredible effect on me. Suddenly life was filled with amazing possibilities. The editors at Creepy finally started sending me scripts, after much courting I might add. So doing underground comix and drawing for Warren's horror books allowed me to resign from my regular day job and became a professional comic book artist. 2) Although you already have a really district style and imagery, please tell us who were the masters you got inspiration for your art? Of course comic strip and comic book artists were my first inspirations. They would include V. T. Hamlin (Alley Oop), Wally Wood, Alex Toth, and Graham Ingles of the E.C. books. During my "serious" phase I was most inspired by the Post-Renaissance artists, Durer, Michelangelo, Carravagio and Vermeer. Art Gods, one and all! 3) Having worked with comics, movies, animation and art, could you tell us what was the work you're more proud of? All those disciplines are demanding, but I feel I've been more successful at doing comics. My favorites would include Bloodstar, Den, and more recently, Spirits of the Dead, a collection of my adaptations of several Edgar Allan Poe stories and poems. 4) Describe us a bit about your creative process while creating a piece. I'm doing more writing these days, including my current project. Roughly, I start with a short story concept; the ideas can come from anywhere. Sometimes it might be based on a character I'd like to develop. From that concept, I sketch ideas. Then scenes must be developed and edited to fit into the number of pages, usually 8. From there some thumbnail panel breakdowns are done including some necessary dialogue and narration. Next, research is done and reference material gathered for more sketches. Finally, the artwork itself is started. When completed, the pages are scanned into the computer and additional tones or color are applied. Then the final text is written and set to the art with balloons. The last thing is to upload the files to the publisher’s storage web page. 5) How do you describe your daily routine? Being semi-retired and not desperate to maintain a strict daily output, I'm more casual about scheduling than in former times. I work a couple of hours before lunch and about 3 to 5 hours after lunch. Regular exercise, dinner, then relax with TV or work on hobbies in the evening. 6) You're still active on the comics business, having done some recent work for publishers as Dark Horse. Tell us what projects can we expect from you in the near future? Nothing has come out by me in over a year, but I'm hard at work on an anthology series, which I'm not supposed to specify. I can say there will be 8 issues of black and white tonal comics. At this point I'm over halfway through issue 5. 7) Being a comic art veteran, you already saw a lot of trends come and go. Could you tell us what you think about the future of comics? Predicting future comic trends is like trying to predict the weather; I really don't worry about it. I just draw my comics the best I can and hope they will find an appreciative audience. 8) Being a multimedia artist, please tell us what's your favorite media to work with? Why? An ideal medium for me would be one that is fast, direct, and able to render all the qualities I wish to include. For most comic artists it’s the simple technique of pen or brush and ink. I'm known for adding tonal modeling to my comic art. I do this normally with Prismacolor gray pencils on slightly soft paper that will allow some smear blending. Of course I've tried many techniques including computer tools, but I keep going back to the pencils. 9) Finally, what advice would you give to the youngsters trying to break into the comics business? To make a career doing comic art, drawing pretty much has to be easy for you. It can be challenging, but always meet the challenge. Skill with heads and faces is of upmost importance, followed by hands, figures, linear perspective, architectural and mechanical effects. And, of course, a sense of dramatic storytelling is vital. I've always drawn from life, photos, and imagination. Attending life drawing sessions for both training and relaxation is regularly part of my schedule. Such a career can be full of pitfalls. It helps to be stubborn.
The folks over at Adobe have been putting together a pretty interesting challenge entitled: Take 10 Challenge. In this challenge, you have to create an artwork using 10 Adobe Stock images and you can win a lot of great prizes. For the 2nd take, they are going with the word Weightless and all the submissions will be judge by the mighty Joshua Davis. For the occasion, we had the opportunity to share a few questions with him, hope you'll enjoy this interview. Tell us about yourself? What do you do for living? My Name is Joshua Davis. I’m the Media Arts Director at a studio in New York called Sub Rosa. Since 1995, I’ve been using computers as a medium to create work, lately focusing on the collaboration between hardware and software to create physical interactive experiences. Tell us about the Adobe "Take 10" Challenge. What was your involvement and how did Adobe approach you to be a judge? Over my career as a designer, I’ve had a long relationship with Adobe. The software they make helps me deliver the best visual experiences possible. The company reached out to me and threw me an interesting challenge: "you get 10 images from Adobe Stock and get to make whatever you want." It sounded like a fun project. Given I’ve never worked with Adobe Stock, or with any kind of stock photography, this seemed like the perfect opportunity to do something out of my comfort zone. I agreed to collaborate on 10 Adobe Stock pieces of content and to make something that sings with my style and voice and then to challenge the community to do the same. Then, I become a judge to award winners with some great prizes. What criteria did you look for while looking at the submissions? For this Adobe Take 10 Challenge the keyword was “weightless." The common reaction was to create something that embodied this word. Instead, I chose to use the word as a property in an animation algorithm. What would it look like if I suspended all this Adobe stock in a state of weightlessness and observed and rendered its composition? I wanted the challenge to inspire and push me. I would hope my finalists embody this same thinking. I want to be inspired by the risks they take. To me, a winning piece of work should always invoke jealousy for not having thought of what they made. Tell us your process behind reviewing all those submissions? I want to stop in my tracks and say, "Damn I wish I would have made that." This doesn’t always mean beauty. To me the most beautiful work might not be the winner. Being unique don’t always mean being pretty and I’m looking for unique. Aside from this challenge, do you get creative satisfaction on commercial projects? How much time do you give yourself for personal work? Much of my time in the Sub Rosa lab is split. Half of the time, I’m researching new code, new hardware, or new ways of remixing things to create visual aesthetics. This allows us to spend the other fifty percent of our time applying this research to commercial clients. Our goal in the lab is always to strive to innovate not replicate. How does social media affect your work these days? I have a website, but I imagine that no-one ever goes to it. Rather, social is 100% the megaphone by which I broadcast the things I’m working on to the world. Funnily enough, I have pretty strict rules about which content lives where and what purpose it serves. My hierarchy is as follows: I have 77k+ followers on Instagram. I use this space to permanently document thinking in flux, projects in motion. The content is usually somewhat final. This Instagram content gets pushed to 27k followers on Twitter and 24k followers on Facebook. If the work is really rocking me, I create larger selections from a series to post exclusively on Ello. Generative animation is a huge component of what I do, and longer, better quality animation renders go on Vimeo. After all this is done, and a body of work is complete, it gets packaged up as a final project on Behance. I use Snapchat to show day-to-day through my eyes. It includes mistakes, crazy ramblings, late night dance parties; stuff that should definitely evaporate after 24 hours, especially when you scream at your followers that you’re a wizard, while fully dressed up as a wizard, etc. Where do you see your work/style evolving in the next few years? I’m mostly following the evolution of gaming boxes these days. The evolution of gaming video cards has allowed me to explore using the GPU to render meshes and textures and animate in ways I never thought I would be able to do. Having just demo’d Microsoft’s Halolens in Barcelona, I’m much more excited about Augmented Reality-related experiences than Virtual Reality-related experiences. On a last note, what is a common mistake that most designers always make these days? I’d say, having taught in an art university for 10 years, a lot of education systems are about replication, rather than innovation. We teach, "copy Van Gogh" or, "copy Picasso." This can be fine to a point but what gets lost is finding your voice. Following your industry on the internet can be a slippery slope. Replicating those you admire only gets you farther away from who you are. Find you. It’s actually easier than you think, because you are pretty good at being you. For more information about Joshua Davis: http://www.joshuadavis.com and about the Adobe Take 10 Challenge: http://create.adobe.com/2016/2/17/take_10.html
I'm always fascinated by technological advances that mix more and more the real world with the virtual world. Whether through the already common resources such as augmented reality or the recent Oculus Rift. Paul Kaptein has a artwork that lives in this intersection, having worked for years in the digital world, his vision of art applies into several concepts that are still abstract in the real world. You can reach Paul on the following links: Website Instagram Facebook 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 carving and art started? Thanks for having me! I think at some point I really wanted to challenge myself as a sculptor. I’d been working across design and animation and video in my working life and that sort of drove my arts practice for a long time - and it became really comfortable and safe. I was also a bit tired of slick, manufactured works everywhere. There was an ‘outsourced aesthetic’ proliferating and I was resisting that a bit. I figured carving was sufficiently out of fashion and worthy of pursuing. 2) Which artists do you use as reference? Ricky Swallow was the first artist I knew of that had used carving in the contemporary art world. He still casts a long shadow in that respect. And he was also the reason not to try carving for many years! Stephen Balkenhol is another whose work is also really great from a carving point of view. Anthony Gormley, Tony Cragg and William Kentridge were the major points of reference when I started out. I didn’t imagine I’d become a figurative artist though. 3)Your style is quite influenced by glitch and surreal art. How did you develop this style and how would you describe it? Please don’t call it surrealism. It’s more ‘wonky realism’ than surrealism. I’ve never been a fan of surrealism. Ever! Apart from Magritte and small doses of De Chirico perhaps. Um…I became interested in the glitch aesthetic as consequence of working in video and animation and they sometimes you’d get these little disruptions and distortions and corrupted files that had a certain charm. I’d been looking at the paradoxical nature of time and the ‘now’ and onion skinning and playhead scrubbing were simple ways of disrupting the linear flow of time and I’ve tried to apply these media based conditions to sculpture embedded in the physical world as a way of extending the idea of how something sits in the world and occupies space. 4) Describe us a bit about your creative process while creating a piece I usually start with some photographs as reference and play around in Photoshop to get the frontal distortions. I don’t have any 3D software skills so I have to work out the missing information as I go. I don’t really have much scope for changing anything once I’ve started though. It might be nice to have someone run some algorithms on a 3D model and see what came of that. If you know anyone? Apart from some band sawing at the start to get the basic shape, it’s all hand done. I believe in the deep, dark mystical world of traditional carving though I’d forfeit the right to call it a carving as I finish the work with sandpaper. 5) What would you consider the best moment on your career till now? Having my work acquired by a few major public collections has been great in terms of validating my practice. Also winning a few art awards has many great side effects, not the least of which being income. Receiving email from around the world with offers of exhibiting is something I never expected and I hope it continues. 6) How do you describe your daily routine? I usually start with ride to the beach and swim, or surf if there is a wave. Getting to the beach as often as possible is great for clearing the head and sets the tone for the day. I get into the studio by 8.30 - 9 and work until 5 or 6. Time appears to move pretty quickly when I’m working. 7) Being a multimedia artist, please tell us what's your favorite media to work with? Why? At the moment it’s wood. It hasn’t refused me! I’ve been wanting to return to sound as well. Maybe this year… 8) Tell us five lessons you believe are really important for every artist. Work Play Take risks Work harder Schmooze 9) Tell us websites that you like to visit. Local surf report. I also check Instagram a few times a day, but I generally try and stay of the net. After emails are dealt with it’s time get going. 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 and lower your expectations.
It's really interesting to see a revival of old techniques into new medias, Javier de Ribas is an artist that brought cement tiles into street art, using them to enhance abandoned ambients adding some color and shapes. We had the opportunity to talk with this rising talent. You can reach Javier on the following links: Website Instagram Facebook 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 street art and patterns started? I always enjoy seeing art in the public space, how it relates with the enviroment and how it proposes a dialogue with the viewer. I studied graphic design and in 2010 with Mará López and Edu Pi started a project called Reskate Boards & Illustrators. It’s about recycling skates. We take old skateboards and reshape them, sand them and give to visual artists to recostumize them. This direct contact with illustrators, painters and visual artist makes me learn a lot and start developing my art. The interest for the patterns comes from other point. At the end of the 19th century, hydraulic mosaic factories began to appear in the Catalan countries. Many homes in this area feature this type of tile, and I have lived with them all my life. 2) Which artists do you use as reference? What inspires me a lot is looking how others work. I’m thankfull with internet I can see really good people and meet them. Collaborating with people makes me get a lot of inspiration. I don’t use to give names but Aryz makes me cry :D. 3) Your style is quite influenced by patterns design / retro geometric art. How did you develop this style and how would you describe it? I love patterns! They add personality and fill the space with a unique rhythm. I’ve work with geometrical patterns because it was the first kind of designs that appeared. Are synthetic way to represent flowers. Each tile is identical, but the repetition generates new forms, born out of how each of the tiles join and intersect. Like in abandoned tiled floors, flowers usually appear between the tiles. Is for this reason that the name of my project is “FLOORS,” comes not only from the use of flooring as a canvas, but also from “flors,” the Catalan word for flower. 4) Describe us a bit about your creative process while creating a piece For the Floors project, I don’t spend so much time painting. I work more previously planning and less on the painting, taking measures and looking for the location, then making the stencils. Sometimes I paint in various days/nights. Each day one layer (one Color) but other times i do all on the same day/night, it depends on where is the action. The biggest one that I did I spend 8 hours painting with kneepads. Sometimes I also spend time taking photos and video editing. The documentation of this action showing the space I think that is a big part of the project. In other projects I see what the projects asks and try to work their necessities. I believe that the medium is the message. So when I find a message to share I will look for the medium that express better it's message. 5) What would you consider the best moment on your career till now? There are many! The first exhibition of the “Reskate Boards & Illustrators”, the week with Minuskula and Guim Tió, the day that we present in Vienna the Harreman project with photoluminescent paint. 6) How do you describe your daily routine? (Send me a pic of your office). I don’t have, sorry! Unstable! I’m working now on my future studio. At the moment I’m working wherever I can. Every day is different and I adapt myself. 7) Being a multimedia artist, please tell us what's your favorite media to work with? Why? I love all of them. I think that the point is to diversify and take each medium an canvas with the motivation of the first time. 8) Tell us five lessons you believe are really important for every artist. 1. Research 2. Do what you say 3. Say what you do 4. Prove it 5. Ignoring the lessons of others and build yours working 9) Tell us five websites that you like to visit. I work a lot with www.behance.com but I don’t have a lot of websites that I visit regularly. For me internet is a place to get lost. 10) Thanks again for your time, please leave a final message for the ones who are starting out on this kind of business. One day I red a sentence that says: “Art change the people and the people change the world” . We should keep it real!
One of the most interesting aspects of contemporary art and design is that, beside some few trends here and there, you have market for any type of aesthetic. Ian Thomas Miller is genius of the 80's surrealistic style with revigorating new vibe, I can't just look into these paintings without feeling back in time, here's a brief conversation we had with him. You can reach Ian on the following links: Website Instagram Tumblr 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? Growing up I was heavily influenced by skate culture and album artwork, I feel like they offered a lens through which I could initially get inspired and see the diverse range and application that painting and illustration / art in general can have. I probably didn’t start taking and making art seriously until sometime in High School. 2) Which artists do you use as reference? I’ve always been a big fan of Eljin Suzuki, George Sowden, Gerhard Richter, Lee Jinju, and David Salle. 3)Your style is quite influenced by surrealism / 80's art / fashion. How did you develop this style and how would you describe it? Lately i’ve been really interested in 80’s interiors - the colors, shapes, and really just the overall aesthetics. In addition to that I’ve always been heavily influenced by realism / figurative based painting as much as I have been by clean / minimal design and illustration. 4) Describe us a bit about your creative process while creating a piece. I usually start by taking lots of reference photos once I have a rough idea of what I want to do for any given piece. I don’t consider myself a photographer by any means, but photography has become an important part of the process for me. After acquiring all of the reference material I need, it’s just a matter of collaging together imagery; a mix of preliminary sketches, digital mock ups (photoshop and what have you), etc... It changes from piece to piece, but that’s the general process. After all of that, the actual process of painting is all that’s left. 5)What would you consider the best moment on your career till now?Do you had any 'leap of faith" on the way? That’s a good question, and to be honest I’m not entirely sure. I’m still a very young artist and am pretty new in the game, but I suppose choosing to pursue a life in the arts is a kind of a leap of faith in its own right, haha. 6) How do you describe your daily routine? I’ve actually been traveling the past few months so my studio / work space is pretty temporary and in a state of disarray at the moment. But my routine is usually waking up as early as I can, making some coffee, sitting down and getting to work. 7)Being a multimedia artist, please tell us what's your favorite media to work with? Why? I would definitely say oil on panel is my favorite medium. It allows for a kind of depth that I think is difficult to achieve with other mediums. Otherwise I still like to work with ballpoint pen from time to time. 8) Tell us five lessons you believe are really important for every illustrator / artist. - I think it’s important to draw influence from multiple outlets and sources, look outside of just the people working in the same fields or mediums as you. - Go to as many openings and events as possible. - Patience, good work (usually) takes time. - Experiment with different mediums and subject matter. - Take virtually everything with a grain of salt. 9) Tell us five websites that you like to visit. Aside from this website: - Booooooom - It’s Nice That - Supersonic Art - AnOther - iGNANT 10) Thanks again for your time, please leave a final message for the ones who are starting out on this kind of business. I think the most important thing is to develop your style and run with it, be open to critique and criticism but take it lightly, and to make the work that you want to make, not the work that you think you should be making.
You might already know the work of Levente Szabo aka. Brisk Graphics for his recent work for the BAFTA 2016, but besides that, here we have a young illustrator with some impressive skills and awesome taste for art. We had the pleasure to make this brief interview with him, hope you enjoy it. You can reach Levente 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 digital art started? You can say it started pretty early as I studied graphic design both in High school and in the University where I finished at 2006. Ever since I worked as a freelancer graphic designer and tried myself in many areas from storyboard to concept art, comics, illustrated children’s books and of course the usual designer stuff (logos, business cards, editorials, etc) I bought my first tablet (A6 size Genius) around 2004 and it changed my whole career path. 2) Which artists do you use as reference? I try to be inspired by other mediums like films, movies and music (but a restful afternoon is the best choice if I have the time). Of course I have my favorite artists, I’m deeply in love with the works of Malika Favre, Vincent Mahé, Tom Haugomat and Magoz for example but the list goes on. 3) Your style is quite influenced by movie posters / double exposition photography / retro illustration. How did you develop this style and how would you describe it? This style (that I find hard to describe myself) is not uncommon nowadays, and I believe a lot of artists are turning back to the golden age of advertisement for inspiration. Incredible hand drawn posters were made in that area and I really hope that we’ll have a revival at some point. You should check out the fantastic works of Mads Berg, and you’ll know what I mean. 4) Describe us a bit about your creative process while creating a piece The most important (and the most demanding) part for me in each project is coming up with a suitable idea. Sometimes it takes a minute and other times it takes days or a whole eternity. I still haven’t figured out why. After that, you “only” have to make a nice illustration but that is definitely the easier part. 5) What would you consider the best moment on your career till now? The first email by Human After All (BAFTA’s creative partner) was definitely my greatest moment in my career. I had to read it a couple of times before I started to believe it’s not a joke. I remember the first BAFTA posters by Tavis Coburn in 2010. The whole idea seemed so incredible and at that time I never thought I’d be ever considered as a candidate for this work. 6) How do you describe your daily routine? Routine? Haha. That depends on the amount of work I have to do that day. As a freelancer your daily routine is 80% organized by your clients, but after a cup (well, it’s a mug) of coffee and a couple of emails later I start working on the illustration that is the closest to its deadline. In a rare occasions when I have free capacity, I will work on a couple of personal projects. 7) Being a multimedia artist, please tell us what's your favorite media to work with? Why? Although I work digitally at the moment which gives me a lot of freedom, my future goal is to work less and less digitally and turn back to traditional techniques. 8) Tell us five lessons you believe are really important for every artist. Never miss a deadline – for the most part you’ll be payed because you are reliable. You can tell if an illustration was made in a good mood or not. Design is a way of thinking. Start looking and studying other stuff, not in your own area. If you’re a freelancer always be polite with clients. Even if they destroyed your work. Find someone who can help with taxes. 9) Tell us five websites that you like to visit. Well, here’s a screenshot of my browser’s homepage. 10) Thanks again for your time, please leave a final message for the ones who are starting out on this kind of business. I don’t like to think about myself as a veteran (as I still have to learn new things every day) but I have a phrase I like to quote frequently: you will have the type of work that you have been doing. Clients won’t assume that you can make a movie poster if you’ve been doing similar but different works before, like editorial illustrations for example. You have to show them that you are capable.
We had the great honor of sitting down with Allbirds cofounder Tim Brown - a New Zealand native with a vision to build a brand and business that makes better products in a better way - to learn more about the inspiration and design approach of his newly launched, and might I confirm, insanely comfortable, wool runners. Besides the passion for design and comfortable shoes, we found out that we had another thing in common, the passion for soccer and to my surprise, I learned that Tim played for New Zealand in the 2010 World Cup held in South Africa. Tim let us in on the impetus for developing and successfully designing the "most comfortable shoe imaginable." "I think I started for a few reasons. One, I felt it was really hard to find really simple shoes. My perspective was that many shoes were over designed, overly colourful, overly logo-ed and that there was the opportunity to create something that focused on form and was extremely disciplined in its execution. I also felt a lot of those types of classic simple sneakers were really uncomfortable and could be designed to be more so. The use of premium natural materials (rather than synthetics) was the final leg of this that was a way to solve the comfort problem and also fulfill a really clear goal for me to make shoes in a more sustainable way." We were also super curious to learn about the challenges Tim and co-founder Joey Zwillinger encountered along the way, most specifically with the design process... "A shoe is such a simple thing but a really hard thing to make well. It has to fit, it is worn in different ways, people have different preferences. We – Jamie and I – boiled everything down to focus on simplicity of firm, of materials, and tried to maintain a singular focus on creating what in effect is almost a piece of anti-design. Everything detail on the shoe – and there are few – has a reason. There is as few seams as possible to help the comfort. It is in some ways naked because of that and it took an extremely long time to get the form right. We literally went through hundreds of tweaks and adjustments to get the whole thing to work." Peek some sketches of the Wool Runners by the talented New Zealand based product designer Jamie McLellan. Here are some photos: For more information check out http://www.allbirds.com/
A lot of people think that graffiti and street art already reached their maximum potential after the 2000's boom and so are slowing dying. But I gotta say that some artists are fueling the flame with new ideas and perspectives, one of them is certainly Bond Truluv, we had the opportunity to talk to this visionary, check it out. You can reach Bond on the following links: 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 illustration and Graffiti started? Around 2000 I spent a year in Savannah, Georgia (US) where I started to recognize the mysterious signs in skateparks and halfpipes that I used to skate at that time. Back in Germany I joined together for my first crew with guys from my school. I was hooked pretty instantly and eagerly pursued to style my name “menace2000” as diverse as possible. 2) Which artists do you use as reference? I was always interested in a lot of different ways of input, visually as well as through music. It would be impossible to name accurately my influentials as many of them quite subliminally influenced my artistic development in ways not visible from my point of view. I guess for the different styles I use, there are different references all together... 3) Your style is quite influenced by neon lights / futurism / geometric patterns. How did you develop this style and how would you describe it? Generally I was always drawn to the use of lights, glows and shiny blingbling effects, I admit. Surreal, spherical, dream-like moods and the illusion of depth always held an undenieable attraction for me. I rather see myself as changing my style quite often without thinking too much about the theoretics of it. Whatever I feel drawn to at the moment, I use more or less instantly. There are so many interesting visual ideas and ways out there, I keep listing them down and one after the other rework them in my four letters. Right now for me there is nothing more boring than artists who keep reproducing their work over and over again to play it safe. Taking risks and stepping on unfamiliar terrain is the real task to be performed. 4) Describe us a bit about your creative process while creating a piece This of course absolutely depends on the characteristics and context of the wall. Usually I have a brief idea of which kind of style I am going to start with. Or at least for one letter or single element(s) I want to use. Sometimes I have small black and white sketches too, but usually I dont. The color-combination is set before starting the work of course. From then on its usually 80% freestyle, one element defining the next one, jumping from one letter to another, or sometimes finishing a complete letter before starting on the next. Pieces I did copying a sketch usually come out stiff and liveless. The really graphic and clean stuff is planned more thouroughly and close to a concept drawing, also sometimes using digital tools too. I believe in whatever works. 5) Photography has a big role on your work, tell us more about the importance of making a good record of your street work. Usually I never see my pieces again, due to its location in abandoned places or different cities/countries so its very important to have a clean final photo as it will be the only memory that remains for me. At some point I found great joy in carefully orchestrating the compositions of the pictures using basic knowledge of photography and the locations I paint at. These places are also carefully selected and searched for. I prefer scenic locations/settings and those that carry a good or interesting vibe before ones that are actually seen by real people. 6) How do you describe your daily routine? If Im not travelling (around 4 months a year) I´ll get up around 7.30 have a coffee and breakfast and sit in front of the computer, planning my day. Then its either working in the studio/pc or go out to paint or follow up whatever project is on. Since Im an independent artist and do not follow a fixed jobscheme, I usually have the luxury of spontaneously deciding what to work on or not. I try to keep myself quite busy, though, executing the scratch-catalogs of ideas I collect through the time. 7) Being a multimedia artist, please tell us what's your favorite media to work with? Why? I guess I´ll always be in love with the freedom and handling of a spraycan. Its just the best feeling to hold a full can, no strings attached. Over the time, cans became just so natural to me... 8) Tell us three lessons you believe are really important for every graffiti artist. 1. Opposing to what most people think (even many writers themselves) Graffiti is superhard work and requires lots of focus. If you aim at high quality-output that is, of course. 2. There is a life besides the Graffiti-cosmos and its rules and realities that needs careful attention and handling. Don't take this game more serious than it is. If it hurts you, leave it. 3. What goes up, must come down. 9) Tell us five websites that you like to visit. www.classicrendezvous.com www.wetter.de www.truluv.de I really don't browse much. 10) Thanks again for your time, please leave a final message for the ones who are starting out on this kind of business. Hang in there, kitty. Its just paint...
What makes a good art? I always thought that a good artist it's a person who got a good background, know the masters of his craft, but also have an eye on tomorrow, watching the news and getting involved with latest trends. This is how I envision Shawn Huckins, a new talent we had the pleasure to talk to. You can reach Shawn on the following links: Website Tumblr Instagram1) 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 painting started? Thanks for having me. My interest in the arts, like most artists, started at a young age. For me, I was in elementary school on the way home sitting with a big kid on the bus. He showed me his sketch book of characters that he had drawn and I was fascinated by all of it. From then I started sketching in my own books - mostly of Disney and video game characters. I was introduced to painting when my Grandmother passed away and I was given her oil painting kit. I was age nine. I remember being very frustrated with the whole process as I didn’t know how the medium worked. I returned back to drawing and did not get into hardcore painting again until college. 2) Which artists do you use as reference? I’m influenced by a lot of old American masters such John Singleton Copley and George Bingham. From studying and replicating their work, I basically taught myself to paint portraits - a subject that was extremely intimating to me. And for recent contemporary artists, Ed Ruscha and David Hockey, for composition techniques. And lastly, Wayne Thiebaud for his immaculate use of color. 3) Your style is quite influenced by classic art / internet memes. How did you develop this style and how would you describe it? Like I mentioned before, painting the figure was incredibly difficult for me - so difficult that I avoided it all together. Chatting one night with my cousin about my work, he noted that I’m a skilled painter, but couldn’t paint figures and he sort of teased me about it. To prove him wrong, I went home and started replicating 18th century American artists (i.e., Copley) and began to teach myself the portrait. I never studied portraiture in college (one thing I regret), so learning how to paint flesh tones and getting the eyes just right was a huge challenge. One of my rejected paintings slipped underneath a piece of trace paper with the acronym LOL. I saw the face behind the text and found the juxtaposition to be amazing. And the rest is history. 4) Describe us a bit about your creative process while creating a piece It begins by finding text and researching museum public domain American paintings. Both separate at this point. When I find a painting I want to replicate, I have no idea of what text I will marry it with and when I find the text, I have no idea which painting it will go with. Once I find the right text and painting that will work together, I compose several compositions on the computer to get placement of text just right. From there, the image and text is drawn out onto canvas, letters are masked off with tape, and the under painting is started. Once the painting is completed and glazes are dry, I peel off the tape exposing the letters. Letters get a quick touch-up from paint that seeped underneath the tape and it’s signed, photographed, and varnished. 5) What would you consider the best moment on your career till now? It’s not a precise moment, although I’ve had a lot of accomplishments that I’m proud of, but I would say that I can paint everyday and make a living off it. No one looking over me, no one to answer to..I’m very lucky and privileged to be able to do this. So I suppose my best moment was leaving my day job to go full-time artist. 6) How do you describe your daily routine? I have a pretty mundane routine. Wake up, gym, breakfast, and in the studio by 9. Work from 9-5 while listening to NPR. Fiddle lesson from 5-6. Repeat next day. 7) Being a multimedia artist, please tell us what's your favorite media to work with? Why? I’m not a multimedia artist. My work is completely done in paint. People are often mistaken that I use Photoshop to compose these images, but rather, these are original acrylic on canvas paintings. And of course painting is my favorite media. It’s messy, it smells, and it’s perfect. 8) Tell us five lessons you believe are really important for every artist. A.) Persistence is key. If you want to be good (at anything really), you have to stick with it. Even during frustrating and overwhelming moments, those moments make you better. B.) Learn from other artists and study their work up close. If possible, ask the artist about it and their process. C.) Color is super important and very tricky. I would recommend spending time learning about color alone and the science behind it. Subject matter can come later. D.) Know what your good at and know what your not good at. Emphasize your strengths while working on your weaknesses. E.) Stay motivated. Surround yourself with art or whatever inspires you. If you lose your inspiration and motivation, then your work becomes meaningless to you and your viewers will see that. 9) Tell us five websites that you like to visit. I’m always browsing my Tumblr feed, as I follow a lot of awesome art blogs and artists. Second, would be Hi-Fructose. Third, Juxtapoz. Fourth, NPR. Fifth, Supersonic Electronic. 10) Thanks again for your time, please leave a final message for the ones who are starting out on this kind of business. I’ve said it once before and I’ll say it again…if you want to be in this business, you need to know your stuff. Without determination and motivation, you won’t get very far.
We are really proud to see that Brazil is nowadays one of the top 10 street art countries, we got so many awesome graffiti and street artist out there and we're trying our best to bring more about them to you. We had a short interview If São Paulo based illustrator / stree artist Alex Senna, we talked more about his unique and captivating style. You can reach Alex on the following links: 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 illustration and street art started? You´re welcome. Ii always draw in my life, since I was a kid. with 17 years old I had my first illustration comissions and at 24 I was painting more often in the streets.right now I am 32. 2) Which artists do you use as reference? I'm a huge fan of : Speto, Vitché, Twist, Ziraldo, Walt Disney and Will Eisner. 3) Your style is quite influenced by childbook illustrations / retro cartoons / animation. How did you develop this style and how would you describe it? I always reading comics, from Mauricio de Sousa to Ziraldo, Moebius or Mad Magazine, I like the style and the simplicity of it. 4) Describe us a bit about your creative process while creating a piece. Well, first of all, I sketch on my sketchbook, and then I put on the wall. it´s that simple. 5) It's really hard to make a living as an artist in Brazil, tell us more about the hardships and sacrifices you made in order to get this far. I always worked in my life, I worked 10 years in offices, advertising agencies, film productions, I've even been a waiter. So, I never depended on anyone, I always had my own money. But in order to live only of my art, I had to work twice as hard to be able to save a reasonable amount of money, which could give me a brea, and that left me free to devote myself just to do that. My life changed, I had to adapt to a different lifestyle, but I assure you, is better than what I lived. Is the old story, when you do what you love, you do not work at all.. 6) How do you describe your daily routine? Well, when I'm not working in a comissioned work, I'im on the streets. I like to have a certain balance, in my studio painting canvas and in the streets doing grafitti. 7) Being a multimedia artist, please tell us what's your favorite media to work with? Why? I love ink on paper. its my roots, its how I grew up, I love comics, and to me, paper is the best! 8) Tell us a lesson you believe is really important for every artist. Sincerity - do what you really believe and be sincere in your work, this reflects in the art. Love - do because you love it, not because it is fashionable or because you think it makes money. Save money - we, artists, don't have a salary in the end of the month, so it's important to save money when there is no work. Travel - the coolest thing about being an artist is able to exchange experiences around the world, what you get out of it, it´s priceless. Production - do not be lazy, an artist is made of all its cultural baggage and all the work you've done, it´s no use having one or two things out there, always remember to produce a lot! 9) Tell us five websites that you like to visit. My favorite websites I like to visit are: http://www.booooooom.com/ http://www.ignant.de/ http://www.pinterest.com/ http://www.megafilmes.hd.net http://www.ideafixa.com 10) Thanks again for your time, please leave a final message for the ones who are starting out on this kind of business. Thank you, it was a pleasure. What I have to say is: as much as people say it is a business, do not treat it as such. money is a consequence.
On the last years we've seen a lot of awesome anamorphic street art and graffiti thru the world and today we had the pleasure to interview of the top artists behind this type of art. Sergio, also known as Odeith, is a veteran graffiti writer who turned his style into the 3D/anamorphic path, check it out. You can reach Sergio 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 graffiti art started? Well, it really started by the very first time I saw a graffiti in Lisbon, back in the day there was no internet and it was also very difficult to buy graffiti magazines, so we had to get our inspiration on the streets. Since I saw it for the first time I never stopped doing it. 2) Which artists do you use as reference? So, I don't want to sound rude, but actually none. I'm trying to do something 100% original right now, I use personal and society problems as a inspiration to make something brand new. 3) Your style is quite influenced by 3D art / realism. How did you develop this style and how would you describe it? I was kind of tired of the conventional regular 3D letters, so I was always searching for something original, this was till I got the first leg from one of letters coming out of the wall, making a cool effect. Since then I'm always trying to reach a new level. 4) Describe us a bit about your creative process while creating a piece. Sometimes if I want to do extreme realistic shadows I use Computers to do a preview, than I go straight to the wall. When I just want to have fun, then I will do it freestyle. But, right now I'm trying to understand more about this my new style using chrome and reflections 5) It's really hard to make a living as an graffiti artist, tell us more about the hardships and sacrifices you made in order to get this far. I got to say that I'm still struggling, since I got to spend money on walls to practice, evolve my syle and publish my work on a daily basis. Sometimes I can reach really good results using only a few cans or a roller paint. It's way easier when you have all the right conditions to do your work, for example the alligator piece I did thanks to Kevin Harris. 6) Being a multimedia artist, please tell us what's your favorite media to work with? Why? Spray paint of course, this is how I started out, it's easy to control, there's nothing to wash and it's easy to change from color to color. 7) Tell us five lessons you believe are really important for every artist. 1- Follow your ideas; 2- Wake up and go to sleep thinking on them; 3- If you can't do it, then try again and again; 4- Know when it's done; 5- Keep pushing yourself to the next level; 8) Thanks again for your time, please leave a final message for the ones who are starting out on this kind of business. Just don't quit what you love doing, even if you have people calling you crazy or dissing you.
It's a great pleasure for us to interview one of the avant garde graffiti artist of the last decade, Pant1 not only is pushing the limits on the streets, but also on his gallery work, making huge experiments on so many medias. Hope you guys enjoy this conversation he had with us, cheers. You can reach Felipe on the following links: Website Facebook Instagram Tumblr 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 graffiti art started? Hello, it’s definitely my honour, thanks for having me. I’ve been seeing your website often for quite a long time and it’s a pleasure to be amongst your pages. As long as I can remember, I’ve always liked to draw. Then when I was 12 years old I grabbed a spray can and painted my first graffiti piece. After that I’ve never stopped painting walls for any longer than a week, so it can be said that it hooked me quite a lot, and one thing lead to another, I developed some real interest for art thanks to graffiti. 2) Which artists do you use as reference? I love kinetic art. Cruz-Diez may be my biggest influence, his developments about color are just one of the most amazing discoveries in art to me. Obviously other legends like Soto, Vasarely, or Yturralde, who’s from Valencia, where I live, or Julio Le Parc, from Argentina, where I was born. But I also enjoy a lot contemporary artists like Jonathan Zawada, Rafaël Rozendaal, Sam Songailo, Peter Kogler, Ryoji Ikeda, and many others... 3) Your style is quite influenced by geometry / optical illusions / glitch effects. How did you develop this style and how would you describe it? 5 years ago I realized that in order for a graffiti piece to stand out I could exaggerate the contrast and the bright (pictorially) and I started generating some black and white chrome effects. I wanted my graffiti to get a little more attention, to remain a little amongst the advertisement and the speed of our cities and our times. This led to strictly black and white graphics, then I bumped into optical art. Glitchs or computer generated graphics are to me a good sign of the times we’re living in, where internet and technology represent a disruptive change in relation with everything that mankind has known until now, I’m a son of the internet, he, he! 4) Describe us a bit about your creative process while creating a piece. When it comes to a piece on the street I usually have a little idea or a rough sketch like 3cm long (tiny), marking some directions. Then I like to develop it on the wall, this way there’s always some chance involved, since I don’t know what’s gonna happen in the end. If I had a finished sketch to transport to the wall, it wouldn’t make no sense to me to just paint it bigger. I really enjoy to accidentally find stuff on the way. 5) It's really hard to make a living as an graffiti artist, tell us more about the hardships and sacrifices you made in order to get this far. I am very lucky to be able to not have another job. Obviously I don’t work as a “graffiti writer” but I make some art projects on the side, even some collaborations with brands, that pay the bills. It’s nice that lately this collaborations are related to my personal work, so they allow me to keep developing my way. 6) How do you describe your daily routine? Nothing too special if I’m in Valencia. Wake up, take a shower, 5 minutes ride bike to my studio (I finally got a new one a few months ago). Make some coffee, check the email and the calendar and see what’s the plan for the day. Right now I’m letting the paint dry of a couple of canvases I’m working on while I answer to this interview. Other days I may just go painting :) 7) Being a multimedia artist, please tell us what's your favorite media to work with? Why? Definitely spray paint on wall is the shit. It’s the best technique ever. The fastest, the one that covers more space in less time. Clean, just your hand and a few cans, so simple and so perfect. I just love it. 8) Tell us a lesson you believe is really important for every artist. I’m no one to tell lessons! But I think it’s good to be honest with oneself and don’t follow trends too much. That feels really nice, since the deeper you get, the more you understand about yourself and your art will become more authentic. 9) Tell us five websites that you like to visit. I don’t have a lot of time nowadays to visit websites as much as I used to do. I barely reach the end of my feed on Instagram or Tumblr… But Velvet Liga used to be a must, Goodfellas Magazine, AllCity blog... 10) Thanks again for your time, please leave a final message for the ones who are starting out on this kind of business. It’s been my pleasure! Just try to please yourself more than others, and love whatever you do! Thanks.