10 Elo Designer Under The Spotlight

After a long wait and tons of requests Elo Designer finally gives up for an interview on Think Smart Designs. Lets have a chat with him!.

TSD: Tell us a little bit about you and where you came from.

I’m a graphic designer / digital illustrator and artist. I come from the beautiful Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. And for over 9 years I've been residing in San Diego, California, where I went to school and work as a designer.

TSD: What got you into design and why?

Well, long story. When I was a teenager I was an actor. My sisters and I were in plays and I had lots of fun with it. Then in my 20’s a formed a band and started to sing. We recorded some songs in studio and had some big dreams. But the music industry is a tough cookie and we all gave up. I moved to Europe where I spent sometime appreciating art and artists. In 1997 my sister was graphic designer and I used to help her a little bit, cutting Rubi leaves or unclogging ink pens for her. In 1998  it came the internet boom and my sister lost her clients and job since she was still doing manual stuff, while most were already getting into the computer era. I got really interested in html coding at that time. Dreamweaver didn’t exist and we had to do coding using nothing but the notepad. In 2001, I moved to San Diego to take a web design course. I felt in love with the place and decided to continue my education in graphic arts.

TSD: what exactly is digital art?

It’s a way of creating a composition or illustration when you suck at drawing. (laughs!).
I gather the images and put them together, spend hours moving stuff around, adding and subtracting. I have tons of unfinished art. But I’m 100% happy with the ones I have out there!

TSD: What you like the most about your occupation? And what you like the least?

When it comes to design, I like the development stage. The creation process and see the final product. My designs are like my sons. When they are fully developed I just don’t want to let them go.

When it comes to art, I like the fact that I can express myself freely and let my imagination flow. Some of my arts are also reflections of my past dreams. And to be honest, I have some very crazy ones!

I dislike the fact that the design industry is like a bubble, where sometimes you have to do some butt kissing to get accepted. Some designers have their egos bigger than their heads and that really throws me down. Well, I guess that is the artistic world for you right?

TSD: Do you think education is important or irrelevant?

I strongly believe and reinforce that school won’t make you a great designer if you don’t have at least a little bit of talent inside of you. I have seen extraordinary artists like JD Hilberry who is a self taught drawer who has sold thousands of copies of his drawing books among others. And I have seen people that graduated from very expensive design schools and their work is no better than someone who has been in a community college. But you can also learn great stuff from experienced teachers from various schools.

TSD: Tell us about your art how can you mix old vintage retro with color so well?

I grew up in the city but my mom used to go every weekend to visit her sister (my aunt) on the edge of town, and as a kid I was always thrilled to go along with her. I loved being in contact with the nature, the graffiti walls and the mix of colors. The weathered, stained, rusted and deconstructed textures had a great influence on how I create my art today. I also remember my aunt used to love those Victorian portraits that people used to hang on their walls. She had almost the whole family in Victorian art and I thought that was awesome!. Color is also my thing. I love the emotions they can bring. It’s the icing on the cake. I use them very carefully not to overpower my designs. And so far it seems to be working for me.

TSD: How and when did you decide to create Think Smart Designs Blog and Inprint? And what did you expect from them?

I was freshly out of school and frustrated with my career. We were told that there wouldn’t be any jobs for while. As my mind doesn’t stop, I started reading a lot of stuff on internet and I stumbled on a few interesting blogs. Since I was not doing anything, I decided to create my own with the stuff I would like to read the most. In the beginning it was just for my personal view. The first month Think Smart Designs had 100 views. And the Second 1000. It got out of control really fast!. Today Think Smart Designs has 90 thousand visits a year. And that is awesome! I’m glad I have people reading things I post , tweeting and making comments.

With InPrint it was different. They already knew my work and what I have accomplished. I put together a great group of artists and it was an instant hit, with 1000 downloads 6 hours after the magazine was launched. I’m bringing a lot of fantastic artists out of their shadows. Showcasing their art to the world. I love doing that!

TSD: Are you still unhappy with the occupation you have chosen?

No, Things are going really well for me. I sell lot’s of skins on society6 website and Urban Outfitters. My keds shoes are doing well too. My art is getting out there in people’s hands and feet. I’ve been doing packaging designs which I love. At the moment, I guess can’t complain about it right?!.

TSD: What would you be if not a designer?

If not a designer I would like to be a singer. I took singing classes for one year. But today, I don’t even sing in the shower! (laughs!)

TSD: Any words of encouragement for the new and up coming designers?

Be who you are, have an identity and if you like what you’ve designed, stand by it. Be open to critique (Constructive and honest ones) make good friends and do networking with great people. Ignore the ones that put you down. Those are the ones who are threatened by your talent. Never give up when people turn you down. The most famous artists have been turned down and they made it to the top!

TSD: Where can we find you online?

Well , in various places.
About The Author

This blog was created by ELO DESIGNER to share his wealth of knowledge and researches with other designers and design lovers, to give them guidance and inspiration. Comments and suggestions are always appreciated. Thank you. Follow my daily design links on Twitter or Add me on your social network.

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