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Interview with Oscar Bastidas

Home > Designer Interviews > Oscar Bastidas

Editor Frank Scott (FS) from DesignPRWire has interviewed designer Oscar Bastidas (OB) for A’ Design Award and Competition. You can access the full profile of Oscar Bastidas by clicking here.

Interview with Oscar Bastidas at Monday 19th of March 2018

FS: Could you please tell us more about your art and design background? What made you become an artist/designer? Have you always wanted to be a designer?
OB: I'm a Venezuelan Graphic Designer currently living in Brooklyn, New York. I have 15 years of experience on the development of advertising material and art pieces. My work has been featured in international publications specialized in Design such as: Logoism, Logo Decode, Logos 4, Graphics Can Be Managed and Eat & Go.

FS: Can you tell us more about your company / design studio?
OB: Mor8 Design Studio is focused on Branding Design, or what I call "Hand-crafted Branding Design", which is a closer definition of my work style. Designing brands with their own personalities, through illustrated logos, lettering and irregular details that make these brands unique and real.

FS: What is "design" for you?
OB: I would say that "Design" is any visual element that generates a reaction in you, when you see it or touch it.

FS: What kinds of works do you like designing most?
OB: Branding Design

FS: What is your most favorite design, could you please tell more about it?
OB: I don't know, I think is hard to choose a favorite design, there are too many variables and styles that are good and complete different each other.

FS: What was the first thing you designed for a company?
OB: A small obituary for a newspaper.

FS: What is your favorite material / platform / technology?
OB: Adobe Illustrator

FS: When do you feel the most creative?
OB: When I'm alone, mostly in late hours by night with a beer.

FS: Which aspects of a design do you focus more during designing?
OB: I would say the concept, I think you can not design something because it looks cool and that's it. Everything needs to have a strong concept background.

FS: What kind of emotions do you feel when you design?
OB: Joy, sometimes frustration, surprise.

FS: What kind of emotions do you feel when your designs are realized?
OB: I would say Pride, relief. My favorite part is when the work is neat and finished. Seeing something big, solid and real work that resulted from sketches; that is the moment when all the hours and late nights of work pay off.

FS: What makes a design successful?
OB: In my opinion, a good branding design is the one that you’ve never seen before and jump onto your face like something really fresh and different.

FS: When judging a design as good or bad, which aspects do you consider first?
OB: Right now due to softwares and internet tools, everybody in the world can use the same typography that you are using, and you can see the complete market, trends and competition look without leaving your computer. You can even buy a logo for $10 on a website. All these aspects of the current market make different brands stand up over the others, and by “different”, I mean custom fonts, illustrations, organic shapes and unexpected concepts.

FS: From your point of view, what are the responsibilities of a designer for society and environment?
OB: Never loose the functionality aspect. Always look for a best and different final user experience.

FS: How do you think the "design field" is evolving? What is the future of design?
OB: Right now everything is changing faster than never. The Design Softwares are getting more versatile, saving you hours of work, the esthetic trends changes almost per week, the delivery deadlines are shorter, etc... in somehow all these aspects makes the market more competitive and tough. I think at the moment you avoid the must quantity of plugins or templates possible, you will bring up as a truly different designer, using the most important tool of design, that is the Human Factor.

FS: When was your last exhibition and where was it? And when do you want to hold your next exhibition?
OB: By 2017 I was invited to participate on an international Expo called "36 Days of Type" in Barcelona, Spain. The concept was about the artistic interpretation of each letter of the alphabet.

FS: Where does the design inspiration for your works come from? How do you feed your creativity? What are your sources of inspirations?
OB: I’m always looking for references. They don’t have to be trendy or even about design, but the references are always a “must” in my design process. I do not believe there is such thing as a “free of reference” design, everything has an influence, every graphic story you want to tell has something that came from your memories and tastes.

FS: How would you describe your design style? What made you explore more this style and what are the main characteristics of your style? What's your approach to design?
OB: Currently I'm focused on Branding Design, or what I call "Hand-crafted Branding Design", which is a closer definition of my work style. Designing brands with their own personalities, through illustrated logos, lettering and irregular details that make these brands unique and real.

FS: Where do you live? Do you feel the cultural heritage of your country affects your designs? What are the pros and cons during designing as a result of living in your country?
OB: I'm actually living in Brooklyn, New York, I spent two years in Florida, but I came from Caracas, Venezuela. I think everything that you see, listen, eat or touch always affect your design style. The worst thing you can do is keep locked in your apartment behind a computer without interacting with anything or anyone.

FS: How do you work with companies?
OB: I try to adapt my style to the project as much as possible. I’m a good team player when it comes large projects, I feed from other people’s opinions and points of view while trying to contribute in my own way.

FS: What are your suggestions to companies for working with a designer? How can companies select a good designer?
OB: The first thing a company should do is to establish exactly is what they’re looking for in a designer; Creative Director, Art Director or both. By looking through the designer’s portfolio you can have a good idea of the approach that he or she puts into their projects; and that’s the best to determine if the person is fit for the position. Also, a good interview is key; you need to know if you’re in front of the brilliant guy who sits in the most hidden desk or if on the contrary, you’re facing a real extrovert who dreams of becoming the real leader of every project. All those aspects are of upmost importance when you’re scouting for a great designer.

FS: Can you talk a little about your design process?
OB: I usually take one day or two to digest the brief of a project; I need to make sure that I understand what the client wants of what I want to deliver. Then I start doing my research; background of the brand; competitors… all the information I can get is important since that will be the baseline of the project. Finally when I have an idea or concept in mind I start sketching; sometimes I make lot of sketches, and when I get to something I like, I start working on it and make several versions of the same idea until is polished and finished.

FS: What are 5 of your favorite design items at home?
OB: 1. Coffee Table2. Sculptures3. Lamp4. Frames5. Chair

FS: Can you describe a day in your life?
OB: Freelance life is very open and you can manage your time as you please, but skills aren’t good if you lack discipline and I learned that at an early age. I get up at 7:00am; make myself some breakfast and a good shot of espresso, I check my emails and social media, then I begin with the project I’m working on, I make an hour-and-a-half lunch break, more coffee and then get back to work until I feel like I’ve already achieved what I wanted for the day; then I can go out for dinner or watch tv with my wife and I’m usually “out of service” by midnight.

FS: Could you please share some pearls of wisdom for young designers? What are your suggestions to young, up and coming designers?
OB: Don’t be afraid to experiment and wiggle around projects and trends. If you have the time, don’t hesitate to try new things because they can lead you to the style you’re looking for.

FS: From your perspective, what would you say are some positives and negatives of being a designer?
OB: Designers don’t become designers by compromise. You can see people who study Law but want to be designers, but almost never the other way around. Designers have the advantage of being passionate about our art and we are able to display it and make a living of it, and that is the silver lining of this career.On the less bright side, even though things have improved in the last few years, graphic design is still very underestimated; some people do not consider it a proper job and even some companies refuse to pay the value of good design.

FS: What is your "golden rule" in design?
OB: Stay true to your art. If you think you can make it even better, do it.

FS: What skills are most important for a designer?
OB: I think that conceptualizing a project is one of the most difficult things to do, but certainly the most important. A weak concept can ruin a great opportunity to make something cool.

FS: Which tools do you use during design? What is inside your toolbox? Such as software, application, hardware, books, sources of inspiration etc.?
OB: Tools: Adobe CC: especially Illustrator, Photoshop and InDesignReferences and Portfolio: Behance.net, Instagram, Vimeo

FS: Designing can sometimes be a really time consuming task, how do you manage your time?
OB: As I said before, freelance designers have the advantage of being “our own bosses” but the key to not wasting time is following a daily schedule and respecting your own deadlines.

FS: How long does it take to design an object from beginning to end?
OB: It all depends on the complexity of the project and how “gentle” the deadlines are; I can certainly develop something in a couple days but definitely, the more time I have the more detail I can put to it. So, lets say the range goes from two days to a month.

FS: What is the most frequently asked question to you, as a designer?
OB: “Where do you get your inspiration from?”

FS: What was your most important job experience?
OB: I worked as an Art Director at an advertising agency back in Venezuela for twelve years, and I gained most of my knowledge of marketing and adversing there. However, I must say that the real experience in Branding Design was On The wok; the first brand that I designed from inception to completion.

FS: Who are some of your clients?
OB: Toyota, Johnnie Walker, Ciroc, Buchanan´s, Budget, McDonald’s, JW Marriott Hotels, Imaginary Forces, Taikin, Samán, among others

FS: What type of design work do you enjoy the most and why?
OB: I like projects that allow me to work freely and don’t limit to a certain set of rules like colors, fonts, grids, etc.

FS: What are your future plans? What is next for you?
OB: I want to keep doing what I love and I will always be open to new experience. For example, I’d love to design a line of toys or maybe a Movie Poster.

FS: Do you work as a team, or do you develop your designs yourself?
OB: I develop all the graphic concept and visuals, and if the project demands more professionals, I am open to work as a team.

FS: Do you have any works-in-progress being designed that you would like to talk about?
OB: I’m illustrating an art piece for an American Restaurant Franchise. Two big murals where I had the opportunity to illustrate with almost no limitations.

FS: How can people contact you?
OB: I’m very accesible on my social media; especially Behance and Instagram. I have Linkedin too, and of course my web page mor8graphic.com most of my clients have found me through those platforms.


FS: Thank you for providing us with this opportunity to interview you.

A’ Design Award and Competitions grants rights to press members and bloggers to use parts of this interview. This interview is provided as it is; DesignPRWire and A' Design Award and Competitions cannot be held responsible for the answers given by participating designers.


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