Op 7 mei opent in het Haagse Ship of Fools de expositie More is a Bore met werk van (inter)nationale minimalisten. Leandro Castelao is een van hen en geeft tijdens de opening op 7 mei een lezing. En wij interviewden hem alvast, zodat je 'm 7 mei die lastige vragen kunt stellen.
Hi Leandro, can you give a brief introduction about yourself?
Hi there. What my cv says is that I’m a Graphic Designer who has been teaching Typography at the University of Buenos Aires since 2003. Who has been involved in several projects/studios for almost 5 years until one day became his own boss. That happened a few years ago and meant the beginning of a new way of working for me… from home to the world!
I’ve found a place where I can work/live freely and happy.
What are your influences?
Lots, lots, lots of things. Movies, artists, magazines, texts, books, blogs… and motherboards! I find references walking, reading, watching a movie. The other day I was stared with a laboratory scene on Burton’s Ed Wood. I paused the movie, took a picture and directly dropped it inside my reference’s folder. It’s a bit weird example but happens frequently. The idea is to get influences from everywhere, not just graphic design/illustration books/blogs. I like to dig and dig and I never have enough.
I like to dig and dig and I never have enough“
However I’d like to be fair with my main influences. I love and can’t stop admiring early/mid 20th century artists. Avant-garde movements, Cubism, Futurism, De Stijl… and Bauhaus people. Those are my very first influences, the ones that definitely blew my head away and make me try to do something, move from one side to another… Explore.
I like people who settled down their thoughts with an image, photo, text. People with ideas behind who believe and love what they do. I like the idea of thinking that your work is you, represents your thoughts, dreams, point of view.
Talking about graphic design, an influential work must have two basic elements, an idea and an interesting way of representing it. I mean the aesthetic side of the piece, how it looks, composition, colour, layout, etc.
Nice idea + Nice resolution = Nice work
A few names I admire: Ladislav Sutnar, Matthew Leibowitz, Fortunato Depero, Piet Swart, Alvin Lustig, Joseph Albers and many/many others.
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Your work reminds me of technical drawings and blueprints. Do you want to explain also something about the inner workings of a subject?
I’ve found that technical drawing style allows me to say a lot of things within a clean environment. It’s like the medium I have, the way I see things. I like those works where you can get the idea at very fast first sight and then if you have a few minutes you can sit down and keep on finding elements… and little switches.
About my process – I take notes of everything and then try to make a synthetic composition with a few nodes for explaining the main idea. That happens to me while studying and now while working! I print the brief then search about the topic in books, magazines, internet. I take notes of everything an those roughs became a big schema. Then I do fast roughs with basic shapes for checking ideas with the client. It’s very important to check ideas as fast as possible so then you can go further with clients approval on your side.
The final composition could be very simple or a bit complex but always with clean synthetic shapes. Also the colours I use, the strokes… everything is under control. I can spend hours and hours adjusting those things before sending a file. Can’t stop!
Is more really a bore?
I don’t like the idea of senseless elements within a graphic piece. That’s “more” for me… and that’s definitely bore! Something that you can put away and nobody realizes about it. If you can say something with fewer elements, go ahead!
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What will you share with us during your talk at More is a bore?
I’ll explain my background, the importance I give to references and also “interferences” while working. Then I’ll show some working progress, notes, roughs… And some projects I’ve been involved in lately. Sound like lots of things but I’ll try to stay focused for not being bore ; )
Any last words or advice?
Try. try, try. Believe, believe, believe.
Thanks for the interview!
Aanstaande vrijdag om 19:30 geeft onder andere Leandro een lezing over zijn werk in het Haagse Ship of Fools.