art Interview with Andres Alfonso by Iva Kancheska 18/09/2012
Q: How did you get into web & graphic design?
A: I went to school for Graphic Design at Tadeo University in Bogota, Colombia. While at school I was thought basic table based web development, which I still use today for e-mail templates and newsletters. Shortly after graduating I bought myself a CSS book and never looked back, I was hooked from the start and used various tutorial sites such as net.tutsplus.com, smashingmagazine.com, netmagazine.com and others to learn and grow as a Web Designer.
Q: That's your full time job?
A: Yes. I work as a Lead Designer for a science journal and I also do some freelancing on the side.
Q: I bet you really love your work. What's your biggest inspiration?
A: I get inspired by the things I see and love, skateboarding, art, traveling and enjoying fresh air are common things in my life, all of which fill out my sketchbooks.
Skate For Life Wallpaper - Collaboration with Oviart (www.oviart86.com)
Q: There are lots of designers around the world. Do you have any role models or people you simply admire?
A: I think the answer to this question is on the question itself, "There are lots of designers around the world" I admire the work, the dedication and the love of so many, that I couldn't really pin point one or two.
Q: You have a pretty cool style. How has you work developed over the years of experience?
A: I've become less self-conscious about my work and more willing to take on a challenge. I do what becomes natural and a lot of the times when I look back at it I can't believe it came from me.
Q: Funny Characters, random mix of colorful stories in almost every design. Is there any particular message that
viewers should see/read or It's just for fun?
A: Every single piece has it's particular message and reason behind it, now this would refer mainly to my art and illustration work, when it comes to design the message is that of the client, I listen to their needs and work with them to find the best way to communicate to their specific audience.
Q: How much does the character design help you to express your own personal opinions, stories? Why did you choose the character design as your main creative line?
A: It helps a lot, is my way of communication, but I'm not defined by it, I have various skills that I put to use depending on the project I'm working on.
Q: Seems like you love to work on many different mediums. From digital art and skate boards to acrylic and custom made bottles. Awesome!! Which one is your favorite, where do you find most creative freedom?
A: I can't really decide, I love it all. It is because of this openness and willingness to experience and to challenge myself that I feel complete creative freedom in everything I do. This also feeds into my creativity, it is all connected, very crucial and important for me to work on various mediums.
Q: Talking about skateboarding... Gosh, that could take a year... or more!! (laugh) Since when do you skate? Is that
the first true love?
A: We sure could take a long time with this one, hehe. I've been skateboarding for over 12 years now, and got my first skateboard from my older brother, who had skated when he was a kid. I can't really say is my first true love, but is very close to my heart. My first true love is art, being able to express myself with images.
Q: What prompted you into skateboarding?
A: I really got into it because of my friends back in Bogota. We had an awesome group and we would skate all day long, but not only skate, we would play basketball, soccer, etc., we were just very active.
Q: I bet some people are even scared to try. Once I trued
some tricks - damn, It was like Eddie Murphy in Bowfinger -
Crossing the Freeway Scene!! Lol!! How did you learn the basic tricks? Do you skate in group like your own team etc?
A: I watched a lot of skate videos (still do) and tried to replicate as much as possible. I also had a perfect group of friends who were as passionate about it as I was, but because I traveled a lot I just skated where ever, with who ever was around. My real skate group is in Bogota "El Parche del Batan".
Q: To me, skateboarding is an art, a form of self-expression, a life style. What is most challenging in being a
A: It takes a lot of effort and dedication, but the feeling of landing a trick and riding away is indescribable, and that's what keeps me hooked, looking for more.
Q: What is your favorite trick? Is there anything you won't try? (laugh)
A: I don't have one favorite trick, I like them all (the ones I do, and the ones I don't), but I'm really happy with my Hardflips :) I would try anything within my capabilities, so I'm not really gonna jump off a rooftop or something crazy like that.
Q: What is the weirdest thing you would love to try? Are you always into learning new tricks or you keep it spontaneous?
A: I love to drop in and jump into a foam bed, I think it would feel great. I'm always into learning new tricks, but I like to make sure the tricks I do are done the best way possible (style).
Q: I suppose you're traveling a lot. Where is the most amazing place you've ever been riding?
A: Barcelona is amazing, but I really enjoy skateboarding anywhere, a couple of cities that come to mind are Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Bogota, Boston, New York and Madrid.
Q: Your skateboard designs are awesome! Are all the skate boards custom made? Have you ever worked for a
company-brand? If so, share some of your experiences.
A: I worked with an Arizona based company (www.artilleryskateboards.com) for which I design a whole series "Skate Jungle Army" along with their logo and website. I've also done a couple of customs for various clients and design tutorials as well. I look forward to working with more companies.
Q: I saw you have a skate community blog. What are the basic ideas? Guide me a bit.
A: The skate blog is a communication medium for everything skateboard related. It is meant to show the great talent of every individual that is part of this wonderful art form. Skate videos, photos or anything skate related is shown on the blog, let it be skateboard and wheel designs, illustrations, art, and whatever can be found.
Q: After all the years of traveling, skating... Do you still enjoy as much now, or do you feel jaded at all? Do you
still have the enthusiasm?
A: I enjoy it now more than ever, I will never get tired of it.
Q: Are there any particular goals you'd like to achieve in
A: I would like to make a positive impact on the design, art and skateboard worlds.
My dream would be to work for a skateboard related company, with passionate individuals.
Q: Art could be a great influence on someone's personality. What is the best lesson that you've learned from your
A: It doesn't really matter if you think you're good at it or not, what really matters is that you do it. Everyone can draw, but we create barriers that stop us from doing it, I've learned that I can do anything I set my mind to, there are no limits and I love a challenge.
Q: What's your best motivational lesson for the beginners?
A: Never stop, always create and be passionate about your work, hopefully this passion shows through your work and people will relate to it.