Graphic Days Festival x Face This: we’re showcasing our T-shirt artworks - including two brand new T-shirts
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We have some exciting news with you to share: we are showcasing our work at Graphic Days! This is an annual graphic design exhibition/festival at Torino, Italy. This year’s theme focuses around the theme ‘Grow Younger’. Therefore the festival invited us to showcase our T-shirt artworks. And of course we are more than happy to do so. We will feature 17 of our artworks, including brand new T-shirt artworks which we created in collaboration with two artists who are from the Graphic Days network: Fernando Cobelo and Riccardo Guasco.
The seventh edition of Graphic Days®, the international visual design festival promoted in Turin since 2016 by the Print Club Turin association and the quattrolinee agency, will take place from 17 September to 2 October. For the first time, the festival will be fully disseminated in the city in 6 main locations and with a calendar of over 40 events curated by local design studios. Another important news of this edition: all the initiatives will be dedicated to one specific theme: the Kids.
From the world of publishing, to the production of games to the development of dedicated programs by cultural institutions, children in fact offer a field of constant experimentation for visual design and social design. The festival will be an opportunity to highlight the point of view of children / teenagers: the use of play as a key to interpreting the world, the imagination and the ability to see beyond (obstacles, appearance or evidence), the importance of attention for the future. Concentrating the design focus on the youngest means asking ourselves about the role of design, innovation and digital interaction in the creative learning process and the ability of social design to convey complex messages such as environmental issues, gender, linguistic inclusion, cognitive disorders, …
The theme will be addressed through three interpretation keys:
- Design For Kids: examples of visual design applied to the creation of products and services that have children as a target.
- Design Like Kids: experiences that highlight the power of a design culture based on a playful attitude and an immediate, colorful and fun visual language typical of children.
- Design With Kids: laboratory activities and initiatives carried out together with children.
Graphic Days x Face This T-shirts
To celebrate our collaboration, we decided to create two T-shirts together. They were created by Italian based artists Fernando Cobelo and Riccardo Guasco. And of course they created their artworks by working with our Indonesian kids’ drawings. We sat down with both the artists and talked about creativity, playfulness and ofcourse: collaborating with kids.
Can you tell us something about your cultural background? Where did you grow up? Did you always like to draw?
Fernando Cobelo: “I was born and raised in Venezuela and moved to Italy to continue my studies when I was 22 years old. I have always liked to draw, yes, but at the time I did it just as a hobby or just for fun. Making illustrations as a professional was something that, at the time, I never thought could be possible but hey, life is full of surprises!”
Riccardo Guasco: “I have a passion for drawing and art since I was born, I never had plans B, art has always been the best way to express myself and to understand what surrounds me. I have always attended art schools and fortunately today art and illustration is my main work.”
Is there one drawing that you can recall from your childhood? What was it about?
Fernando Cobelo: “I remember that finding toys of my favorite cartoons was really hard and really expensive, so I used to draw my favorite characters, cut them out and play with them!”
Riccardo Guasco: “I remember very well a drawing made in kindergarten, the teacher called my mom to ask for explanations, it was a scene of children outside school playing and there was a beautiful organization of the space on the sheet, many unusual details for a child, and some benches designed with a rudimentary but valuable perspective! I think it was made of violets and yellow, I loved those colors.”
Are there specific moments in your life that made you decide to become an artist?
Fernando Cobelo: “I guess it all happened naturally. I started drawing again as an adult, after taking a long 15-year-hiatus. I did it because I needed a creative outlet during a difficult period of my life, and I understood how powerful a drawing can be when it comes to expressing feelings. So I kept doing it, and doing it and doing it until my first commission came in. The rest has been just hard work and passion.”
Riccardo Guasco: “I believe that the school has given me the greatest push and freedom towards the knowledge of art. Fortunately I have always had very attentive art teachers who have always advised me to pursue this career, despite the fact that in Italy it is not easy to be an artist.”
What do you like most about being an artist?
Fernando Cobelo: “The fact that people commission you an artwork in order to give them your own personal vision about a specific matter.”
Riccardo Guasco: “I love the ability of this language not to have age, sex, language, nationality or religion, anyone can be an artist and the message of his art can be understood all over the world.”
What is the biggest challenge for you, being an artist?
Fernando Cobelo: “To balance my work and my personal life. I love illustrating, which means I could do it all day, every day, without taking a rest or finding a moment to be with my loved ones, which can be hard. I am learning to find this balance, little by little. It’s the risk of loving what you do, so much.”
Riccardo Guasco: “To be always honest, enthusiastic and respectful with my art and with those who will watch it.”
As an artist, do you have any dreams? Are there some goals you would like to achieve? Is there something you’re building up for?
Fernando Cobelo: “I’d like to do a 20 meter mural. I’d like to make small wooden dolls. I’d like to illustrate a novel by Gabriel García Márquez. I’d like to have more time to teach more. I’d like to create a character using ceramics. I’d like to know what my characters would be like with open eyes. I’d like to illustrate small spots in the New Yorker. I’d like to make a portrait of my grandmother. I’d like to illustrate an album cover for Tame Impala.”
Riccardo Guasco: “I started this profession almost by chance, I had no particular projects, only a great respect for the art of the past and a great desire to draw. I let my artistic research be honest and fun, to do this I have to let her free and I’m sure she will have big plans for me.”
Pablo Picasso once said: ‘Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up’. How do you remain an artist? And do you have tips for non-artists to cultivate their inner child?
Fernando Cobelo: “I think it’s ok to remain an artist and it’s ok not to. We all find a way in life and it’s a good thing that we all grow up to have different interests. The important thing is to use, no matter what you do in life, creativity as a means to express, have fun and increase your skills and it’s important to remember we can learn to do that no matter how old we are.”
Riccardo Guasco: “It’s a great truth, I envy so much the freedom and purity of children’s sketches, their trait is not conditioned by judgment and is in continuous discovery of the world with amazement and enthusiasm and nothing for granted. I think that’s the secret to staying a child.”
You designed an artwork by using some of our Indonesian kids’ drawings. With the proceeds of your artwork, we will be able to provide the kids you’ve collabed with a playground. How important is playfulness for you as an artist?
Fernando Cobelo: “It’s incredibly important. And I’m not talking about playfulness when I draw, I’m talking about playfulness in life. Everything we see, everything we experience is necessary for us to create art, especially playfulness.”
Riccardo Guasco: “The game is a fundamental aspect in every field of research. With the game you learn, you confront yourself with yourself and with others, you discover the world and stimulate the mind with lightness. In my art the game is an exercise that allows my hand, my eye and my mind to let go a little and have some fun.”
When we reached out to you, what made you want to join?
Fernando Cobelo: “I just loved contributing to your great cause and was really moved about the kids drawings <3”
Riccardo Guasco: “For two reasons: the first is that my drawing would have somehow helped someone from somewhere in the world; the second is that I love to work starting from the drawing of children for the reasons I mentioned earlier.”
When you received the drawings, what was your first reaction? What did you see in them? Can you describe them a bit for us?
Fernando Cobelo: “They reminded me of my first drawings when I was a kid. Their drawings included a lot of human characters, which is something I’ve always loved to illustrate. And I also loved all the different plants and flowers they included!”
Riccardo Guasco: “I was very impressed that the drawings were many and very colorful, they were almost never real structured designs but more different sketches of flowers, animals, children, strange figures with even more strange hair! It reminded me of a sort of encyclopedia, so the first thing I came to do is to catalog the drawings that required more.”
Which drawings did you use to create your artwork with (you can refer to the drawings by using the file names)? And why did you pick these?
Fernando Cobelo: “I’ve chosen the drawing of a kid that drew a head on top of a plant, making it look as if the character was being born from the flower, which I loved. So my illustration means to depict that exactly: being born from something beautiful as a flower. The pot in the illustration is the same as the kid’s drawing. The plant grows from the pot, just like my illustration grew from the kid’s pot.”
Riccardo Guasco: “I did not take a drawing in particular but I selected a few figures of children, plants and animals because my intention was to make a garden in which these figures moved. I found beautiful ideas for 4 kinds of children, 4 plants and 4 strange animals. The one from which I have been inspired is the one with the beautiful angular fish, and a bird with centipede paws!”
Can you tell us something about how you have experienced this collaboration?
Fernando Cobelo: “I found it really light and sweet, the idea came to me instantly and I knew immediately that it was the right one!”
Riccardo Guasco: “When the ideas come from children and come back to them as a form of collaboration and help is always an exercise that gives me energy and excites me a lot! I don’t often do this kind of thing.”
To conclude, is there something you would like to say to the kids who made the drawings you’ve worked with?
Fernando Cobelo: “I would tell them to remember that beauty is subjective and we don’t have to draw in an academic-technical way in order to express something through an image. In illustration, being ourselves is our greatest weapon since it’ll allow us to create something with a unique visual language, different from everybody else’s.”
Riccardo Guasco: “Thank you guys! It was an honor to work with you! I hope one day to draw together again on a big blackboard!”
Want to support the Duduk Atas school on Lombok, Indonesia? Then shop the Graphic Days T-shirts designed by artists Fernando Cobelo and Riccardo Guasco now!
So every month a new artist will drop an artwork he/she/they made by using our Indonesian kids’ drawings. And the artists we will be collaborating with within the coming months are truly exciting:
Wanna know exactly when? Want to read exclusive interviews with them? And do you wanna make a chance of nifty giveaways? Then sign up for our newsletter, by filling out the form below:
TOPIA Magazine x Face This
We are thrilled to team up with TOPIA, a new culture magazine that explores the power of human creativity. For a more in-depth interview with the artists about the importance of playfulness and “making the viewer smile”, read: The Kids are alright! Graphic Days want us to Grow Younger
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