Angel Alejandro is a graphic designer and digital artist I discovered while browsing the net some time ago. The first digital artwork of his I had the pleasure of laying eyes on was ABENAKI and immediately I was hooked! I decided to write an article about him here on Uniquespiration (click here), for, in my opinion, a designer with such a unique and inspiring talent deserves all the recognition he can get! After some time I asked Angel if he’d be interested in doing an interview for Uniquespiration.com, and I’m very happy to say, he agreed.
First of all I would like to thank you for taking the time to provide Uniquespiration.com with this interview. Tell us a little bit about yourself, your background and how you came to be a digital artist and graphic designer? Are you self-taught or did you go to college for design?
Actually both, I studied graphic design in high school in my hometown here in Peru and from these initial studies I taught myself different skills which led me to become a digital artist. This in turn led me to become a graphic designer. Today my work is marked by a fusion of these two skills, digital art and graphic design.
I love the style of the designs you create. Can you talk a little about your design process?
With respect to my work it always begins with a brief of what the client needs, then there is a process of conceptualization of the message to be conveyed, and then I move onto the visual part and the creative process, which is that fusion of skills I mentioned in the previous question. Customers come to me knowing my style and my skills in both digital art and graphic design and ask for my services without hesitation, with a desire for me to come up with applications that are daring, different and visually effective.
Click here to see the process involved with creating the project THE STRANGE
What or who has been the biggest singular influence on your work and style?
It would be unfair of me to say that a specific person has influenced me because in fact my influences are varied. I would say that the visual work that takes place in Brazil is something I’ve always admired, but I always seek out different projects to influence me because there is a lot of talent in the world and it is always good to have a predisposition to see it and learn from it.
How would you describe your graphic design style?
I think that it is functional, as in it fulfills its purpose to communicate, and when mixed with digital art it is definitely stronger and more expressive; it becomes more alluring, something that attracts and motivates to be seen to know what it is.
Which design/project of yours has given you the most satisfaction so far?
There are several that have made me feel satisfied, but if I have to mention one specifically it would be a project called CLOSE YOUR EYES. It is very special for me because it was created not for economic income, but as a concept that seeks to go beyond the advertising process.
This conceptual project has a social purpose, which is to make people reflect a little, in a paradoxical sense, to close your eyes in order to find or to see things you truly desire, to then open your eyes and make what you desire a reality. This concept holds true for the project itself for I did not expect the imapct that it had. It has been recognized in an art gallery curated by the prestigious Behance digital platform and has also been broadcast on many websites and print media.
Knowing that my work contributes something to society is my great personal achievement.
Sometimes it’s difficult to get started on a project, to brainstorm new design ideas. How do you get inspired and stay motivated?
I see lots of designs by very talented people across different websites. I am also very observant of everyday things; walking through streets that I did not know, watching a movie I really like or analyzing details such as the way people behave or simply listening to music I like. I think that motivation and inspiration are the result of being in a good mood, which I always try to be.
What are some of your favorite design blogs/websites?
What tools are in your designer’s toolbox? Is there any software, apps or hardware that would be difficult to live without?
I usually use Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator which are essential, besides Indesign.
What direction would you say design is taking today?
I think it’s more emotional with a social objective mostly focused on the future. People no longer look only for brands that meet their needs, but look for brands that are like friends who understand them, there at the right moment when one requires them. The designer must create a design that’s closer to the people; friendlier, more pleasant but also fun.
Would you say being able to draw/sketch is important in becoming a designer?
I started in this field drawing, something I’ve been doing from a very young AGE. I used to draw my favorite television characters in a notebook and have participated in sample drawings with other artists. Of course drawing is very important because it helps you attain a good sense of proportion, handling of light and shadow, and helps sharpen the senses.
However, I do not think it is something essential in being a designer, because now drawing has been replaced by digital tools which provide many options, but if you can draw it is far better.
Steering away from design for a moment, I have alway been very passionate about music. What kind of music do you enjoy listening to and are there any artists and/or bands you like in particular?
I love DAFT PUNK which I always listen to while working, also LED ZEPPELIN, METALLICA, U2, Michael Jackson, and MANÁ
In a few sentences, tell us about your life outside of design, a few main interests and how you spend your free time.
I love movies, concerts and to dance or have a drink with friends. Peruvian food is also very good, and to travel.
What advice would you give to young designers?
Gather lots of information, especially outside your country; design and designers from around the world. The world is full of very talented professionals, so the opportunities to learn new skills are endless.
Thank you so very much for the interview Angel.
Thanks to UNIQUESPIRATION for the interview and for the opportunity to share with you a little more of my work, see you soon.
Learn more about Angel Alejandro