NICASIO ANDRADE : MERGING ART AND GRAPHIC DESIGN
Interview by Osvaldo Ponton
Nicasio is a Venezuelan Graphic designer and illustrator based in NY, his work brings elements of Pop art and contemporary design together to create images that are colorful, engaging and welcoming. He splits his time between personal art projects and editorial illustrations and his work as a graphic designer for the WWE. We sat and talked about his work in NY, tackling new challenges, what keeps him inspired and dreams for the future.
How do you feel living in NY has affected your work?
The city is a source of inspiration, I think of my life in NY as a Broadway show, every chaotic scene outside is part of it and I draw inspiration from that chaos. The other main thing is the level of access to different clients from all over the world. I moved here from Maracaibo, Venezuela where the range and type of client was much more limited. Just by the variety of clients in the city Im forced to think of concepts and images that normally wouldn't have entered my mindspace.
What have been some of your favorite projects that you’ve worked on ?
A couple stand up: I was asked to design and create illustrations for a book about psychedelic experimentation “Lisergicos” was super fun to make, it really let me fully explore my love of color in design and I got to create some really funky illustrations which turned into some new graphics for articles in this matter featured on Vice.com.
And definitely the most challenging has been my work at the WWE because even though I used to watch it with my cousins when I was a kid, I never thought I would end up doing work for them and grasping their style. It’s been hugely rewarding and I have had to learn a lot of technical details and create a new kind of graphics that had never featured into my work before.
Where did you draw inspiration for your work on Lisergicos?
LSD is often said to bring an “out of body” experience or travel I wanted to convey that in my design, so I, I went on a wikipedia deep dive about solar systems, planets, stars, Interstellar travel, etc. I looked at a lot of imagery on that stuff. I was utterly fascinated, I also introduced graphical elements from my own practice into it. I tried to saturate every color to its maximum level of expression and restricted the normal impulses to ” scale back and subtract” this was definitely a “more is more” approach. I wanted everyone that looked at the book to experience some of that oversensorial happiness
What kind of work have you been doing for the WWE and what kind of challenges has it come with?
I design digital assets for their social media channels and web. Anything from designing graphics to announce matches to creating designs highlighting specific wrestlers and everything in between. I’d say one of the main challenges is that the work is very photo centric; I come from a practice of illustration and creating everything from 0. At the WWE we are starting work based both on the defined style of a huge brand and on specific photographic imagery. So it has been about adapting my style to a new format and using it to highlight the image of the wrestlers. I’ve had to learn a lot more about photo retouching and the realm of digital asset management. The world of digital design is completely different from print design, so I’ve been learning to transfer my sills and vision to the digital realm.
When it comes to your personal work, what are the topics or subjects that inspire you to create?
Memories is a big one; I use a lot of recycled materials, old prints, photos, etc. One of my favorite pieces was an old album left by an old relative in Venezuela that contained tons of photos, postcards, autographs, etc from a wide range of Venezuelan celebrities in the 50-60’s.
I took a lot of those images and transformed them into something new so that they would be enjoyed by a new group of people.
I’ve also been carrying a sketchbook around since 2011 where I draw everyday things and ideas. The book itself has become its own piece. But still acts a jumping off point for other work.
What kind of projects are you most interested in working in the future?
In the future I’d love to have my own design studio. I really enjoy large scale design, to construct the full identity for an institution or company. I’d love to do more work for Museums and large scale events where I can create a full visual language for the client. The Olympics would be my ultimate dream client.