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Interview with Ruis Vargas

Home > Designer Interviews > Ruis Vargas

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

Interview with Ruis Vargas at Wednesday 29th of April 2020
Marcelo Ruis Vargas Martinelli
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?
RV: Since I was child, I was connected to two aspects of culture: drawing and writing. In childhood, I was stimulated by literature and comics to the same extent. In a spontaneous way, drawing and writing have always been present in the construction of my being. And it also allowed me to travel, with the same fluency, through seemingly distinct areas of knowledge. So I exercised my work as an octopus, extending the tentacles through experiments with literature, comics, photography, illustration, typography, graphic processes, and so on. Currently, I produce graphic novel and comic strip simultaneously at the design work in my office, Laika. On a daily basis, I develop projects that exchange influences and languages, dialogue with the expressive possibilities of visual language. Finally, a friend of the past told me one day: you write better than you draw! This phrase had a scary impact on me: I need to draw more!

FS: Can you tell us more about your company / design studio?
RV: Laika emerged in 2001 in the effervescence of a work model that emerged as a trend, meaning people from distant places could work on common projects connected to the internet. This premise held the idea of ​​having the icon of a dog, Laika, who went into space to inhabit the non-space, the non-address. The initial model contained an underlying idea: to be in space, the dog Laika would see the world from another point of view. A different way of seeing the same object, in this case, the Earth. After almost two decades, Laika's main idea is to look at the object outside of it. To the clients, we offer discursive analyzes that guide understanding about the manifestation of the discourses that permeate the brands, with all their contradictions and idiosyncrasies. The first premise of Laika's work is to understand the client object and what it says. Laika travels across disciplines to understand a brand. And the understanding of the brand is what allows to materialize graphically ideas and linguistic concepts. Many of our projects started with a name for a brand, that is, we would say that in the beginning it was the verb (word) or, more precisely, a noun. We think of a word that sums up a substance and from this word we derive narratives that, throughout the process, materialize graphically. The importance of typography is undeniable, since it is the receptacle of discursive matter.

FS: What is "design" for you?
RV: Years ago, I published a text on design and writing. In this text, I explored an important concept of classical antiquity: ut pictura poesis. Concept derived from classical poetics, it also applied to the visual arts. Only in the Renaissance did pictorial art begin to tear itself away from the classical poetic arts, which guided the construction of images by the principle of decorum, and with Leonardo da Vinci a treatise on painting emerged from the premises of painting. The maturity of pictorial art takes place in modernism with extreme intensity, in which the dehumanization of art leads to a path of intense abstraction, creating a very peculiar poetic art, with an authentic manifestation dissociated from writing. However, as a good disciple of Bakhtin and Saussure, I can not see the slightest possibility of running away from the word. All pictorial matter demands and encourages the human being to express his interpretation on the pictorial object through linguistic discourse, even if the discourse is a mere onomatopoeia of awe! Deep inside the being, narratives form before an image, wanting to expel words of condemnation or praise.The pictorial construction without the word, in my conception, would not be the terrain of graphic design, for for this, the word is raw material and object sine quae non. The relevance of typography in design is not merely an aesthetic apparatus. And, from this observation, I establish for myself the frontier of independence of illustration in relation to design. The first is pictorial, it may abdicate words, for they will come from the receiver of the message. The second depends on the word to construct an organized statement, dependent on a syntax and discursive premises. Someone would raise his hand and say: what about the pictograms? And the system created by Otto Neurath? Well, the illustration, when incorporated into an identity system, loses its independent and interpretive character. Definitely, design is not the terrain of interpretation but of information. In the face of a pictogram, we can not, as postulated by Roman Jakobson, delve into the paradigmatic axis of language, which is the terrain of poetry. I can not question a pictogram.

FS: What kinds of works do you like designing most?
RV: A priori, all projects that involve the integration between writing and drawing, with a preference for brand designs, which allow us a greater set of challenges and possibilities, expand the construction of imaginary and narrative universe.

FS: What was the first thing you designed for a company?
RV: In 1989, I was hired to do the graphic design of a cultural magazine in standard newspaper format. I was a beginner designer, in an age when the whole process was manual. I did the whole process of diagramming, assembling art, illustrations and accompanying the printing process. The job was huge for just one designer, still more an 18-year-old designer apprentice. Today I show my team this project and I make the proper contextualization. My first design had a precarious result because of the resources that I had at the time, but it was heroic of me. Or stupid.

FS: What is your favorite material / platform / technology?
RV: I have an immense facility for drawing and writing mentally. It is a chaotic process and customarily what my mind designs is not complete. Or at least I do not think so. The platform that I use most is the mind: I am narrating to myself or constructing fragmented images, which are stored and, little by little, make up fleeting, nebulous but articulate forms. Finally, they are recorded properly either on paper or in the digital medium.

FS: When do you feel the most creative?
RV: At dawn.

FS: Which aspects of a design do you focus more during designing?
RV: First, the text, because it is precedes a visual idea. In second place, typography and illustration.

FS: What kind of emotions do you feel when you design?
RV: I feel challenged all the time.

FS: What kind of emotions do you feel when your designs are realized?
RV: Dissatisfaction with myself and I feel challenged again.


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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