WHO AM I?
I’m a 27 years old graphic designer and an Illustrator. I live in south Italy, near Naples. Now I’m trying to become an art director. I started almost by chance. After Art School I thought of doing many different things. I learned to use Photoshop and the God Old QuarkXpress because it served to a group of which I was part. After that the graphic design had become a passion and I decided to take a course in Graphic Design (for advertising). After this course I won a scholarship in Art Direction. During this course in Art Direction I started doing illustrations to diversify my portfolio from that of my classmates. Even this has become a passion.
APPROACH TO ILLUSTRATION AND DESIGN
I don’t have a personal style. For example: All my poster for reggae dancehalls are different. It is the target of the poster what finally determines the style. All these posters were made for the same sound system, but by changing their guests (and the location), even the target, changed. This also applies to my “personal” illustrations.
CAREER AND PROJECTS
My carrer? I’m not famous (yet), and sometimes I accept unworthy work (very low level) as graphic designer. But there isn’t only the work. Now I’m looking for some collaborations, maybe for some project beyond graphics and illustration. Something more comprehensive, involving other people, in a collective and multidisciplinary project. Maybe something with social implications.
PROGRAMS AND TIPS
Always I use the Adobe “Holy Trinity”: Photoshop, Illustrator, Indesign. I don’t have some particular tips to share, but I know that study, experience and experimentation are the only way to learn. I can only say: be professional. Creativity isn’t enough. For example: be cautious when you are using Photoshop effects (maybe found in tutorials on the web). If you don’t know the printing techniques, you may have some bad surprises!
Sometimes I follow my inspiration. But usually I try to start thinking about what I want to achieve. And then I do some sketches (Some of them are scanned later). Only after that, I sit in front of my Mac. Sometimes I trace with illustrator (NEVER USING LIVE TRACE!) some particular gestures from a picture, (for example a human posture).
I’m very lazy, but when I like a project, I love to work hard on it, and sometimes I spend a lot of time for the details and the colours.
WEBSITES TO GET INSPIRE
The best website is FFFFOUND! (http://ffffound.com/). There is no doubt. It is the first site I look every morning. Then I take a look at the new projects on the Behance Network. I also like a lot of others websites (about art, graphic design, typhography, architecture and intetior design, fashion… etc. ), and I follow some of it by social network. Must keep abreast. This passion for research is so strong that I also collaborate with an Italian website: enquire.it (http://www.enquire.it/) as “talent scouter” for graphic and illustration.
CHARACTERISTIC OF MY WORK
The inspiration comes to me from what I have to achieve, not what I want to achieve (or at least I try to do so). Observing the work of others is important, to increase our sensitivity and our skills, to catch the modern trends, some new solution, etc. But you need to do it to understand what you can do, NOT WHAT YOU HAVE TO DO. As you can see I love search on the website (and I really love Art History, read art books and comics, going to the exhibitions, etc.), but sometimes I have to stop to watch them, because too many inputs can also “burn” your ideas, as happens with plants if you give them too much fertilizer.
I will try to explain how I created “The goat”. I wanted to create an illustration for my brand new Behance portfolio, with the purpose of showing my skills with photoshop. Especially I decided to show my skills with textures and layers masks.
I thought about what to achieve. After a while I decided to show an unusual subject. The idea of a goat is born from a random combination of ideas. At first I wanted to do something fun with this goat, but then I remembered an old (and very sad) poem by Umberto Saba I studied at primary school. This poem made me think of other poems and I also thought to represent another poem. But it was one of the early work that I posted on Behance, and so I needed a poem with English translation. By coincidence this poem, among the many that I had chosen, was the only which I found an accurate translation. It was decided: it would be “The goat”. I dropped immediately the idea to represent the “dialogue” between poet and goat. Poetry served only to give me an idea of the “setting” and “impression”.
I decided to show feeling of loneliness using “poor textures” and really simple shapes. After some experiments I knew I had to imitate a paper collage. To show my skills, but also to show the sadness of the subject. Poetry (at least in the Italian version) communicates a feeling of “moisture” due to rain. Unfortunately I had to decide to delete it. In my first sketches the sky was darkest and much cloudy. But after some experimentation I decided to create a sky at sunset, after the rain. The result is better than I hoped. Someone thought it was a real paper collage.
If my passion for dangerous women, alcohol and gambling will not kill me, perhaps I can become one of those snob creatives who live in Milan. One of those who puts words in English in every sentence, even when not needed, and sniff cocaine for breakfast.
Just kidding! I really don’t know what I will do in the future. Many things will change, regardless of my will, and It is difficult to forecast. I will try to do my best.
Thanks to you Pablo for this interview! It was very useful for me too. Answer your questions forced me to reflect on my creative processes, and on how creativity works.
So… I’m not able to give advice to anyone. I can only say: you never stop learning! Good luck to all your creative readers!