Today, we are joined by Marco Oggian, he is a Illustrator. You can view his portfolio here.
Firstly, I’d like to thank you for the interview. We’d like to understand how your interest for illustration & Typography started shaping up. Tell us a bit more about what made you go this route!
Thank you too! This is a pleasure. Since I was young I ever draw a lot, I spent my days drawing on everything. On napkins and water labels as well. My family has been a strong support for me, they always brought me to the exhibitions and when we traveled trought the Europe they took me to visit the big and beautiful cities. This has helped me to create my aesthetical feeling.My family is still a strong help, they really support me and they believe in me, my young brother too, i’m really happy when he want to help me. In my family there is a strong respect, this is cool. Talking about illustration I definitely say that my passion was born because with drawing i can reach things, ideas, dreams, reality that would otherwhise be impossibles. With the illustration you can reach the unreacheable and, another good thing, you can make people laugh. I am really happy when I see people laughing when they watch my illustrations. This is the best “thank you” I can receive. Talking about typography I started much later, 3 years ago, when I was 21. However I have always had a certain interest about typography, using of characters and their composition. I started for a necessity, often fonts I like they were so much expensive so I started to create for myself. I continue with this philosophy and for this reason I decide to work exclusively withtendollarfonts.com, a New Zeland foundry. There you can find an incredibile fonts choose. On tendollarfonts, as the name say, fonts are really cheap and all the people around the world can access them easily. Typography is a passion that must be accessible by all and not just from the elité.
Tell us a bit more about how you learned it all. What changed in the last few years in terms of ease of expanding your skills and knowledge?
I learned mostly by myself. During the High school I had the fortune to have Ermanno Cristini, a great 70s and 80s Italian designer as teacher who thaught me several tricks of the trade.When I finished the high school I started the University in Switzerland but I was expelled from there. So, one week later, I started to work in a real estate agency as designer and art director. During these years I changed a lot of agency and positions and I learned to do everything, from the simple flyer to all the design project for a 70.000$ fairy stand. I never noticed. experiences, skills and knowledge are automatic consequences of when a person works so much.
What does your creative process look like?
My creative process is pretty weird but funny and easily understandable. Its really look like when the vacuum cleaner gets stuck, it opens, and all the dust ends up all around the flat and after, with a lot of patience, we tidy up everything, in a better way. Here we are, like a vacuum cleaner I fill myself with thoughts, I store them and at one point I go to the computer starting to create a lot of things without following a logical way, I lose 2 or 3 hours and then, when I calmed down, I delete the excess and i put in their place the individual pieces that make up the whole project. When everything is arranged with care then i can start.
Do you have any recommendations in terms of good books, programs you use, or media choices you’re willing to share with us?
Yes, I would to recommend “Absolute Stationery Design”, edited by Gingko Press. A really good book about stationery design, really usefull if you want to know this world. I would to recommend “Rock, Paper, Scissor” too. A really cool book about the work of Julien Vallée, a Canadian designer, photographer and artist. Simply a genius.
Do you have a special place or object that boosts your inspiration and helps your creative drive?
What is it like and why does it have this effect on you? Ahah, this is a funny question! Yes, I have some places that boosts my inspiration and they are train, an hidden beach in my hometown, Berlin (the entire city), the shower and the Refresh, a streetwear shop of a big friend of mine and partner of Color Propaganda. Talking about the objects I need just a pen. I take any kind of paper and I start to draw on it things totally different from the work i’m doing in that moment. I write words I listen outside the window or they come in my mind. This process helps a lot what I’m doing. Ah, I almost forgot, my pink rubber Rhino is ever on my desk!
What was one of the most challenging typography problems you have ever had to solve?
The kerning (the space between two letters). A font is not perfect if it has not a great kerning. Daniel, the tendollarfonts.com founder is pretty finicky for this and this is good. Sometimes he made me to redo the kerning of some font of mine. I think that in tendollarfonts.com there are some fonts with a better kerning than a lot of more important fonts sold at a lot of money.
Where are some of the areas where typography is improving and where do we need to see more growth?
I would not call proper areas, however, I would say that between the idea and the execution often there is too much difference. It often happen to find an interesting font, beautiful but constructed in an approximated way and therefore unusable. I definitely say that in the idea typography is growing up, is in a good way. In the other hand there is still no clarity of execution, must be improved. And only with a lot of study and patience you can improve!
Could you describe how a productive day would look like from your point of view?
Which are the most important hours for you? A productive day starts ever with a good breakfast and with a good hour prior to go to the appointment/work of the day. It’s ‘important to wake up in time to enjoy a moment to organize the day, reflect on the main points, take a nice shower and relax for a moment on the couch. Once on the job everything has to be organized and marked on a agenda. In this way we can afford to improvise, paradoxically. We know that all we have to do we have already written then we work with more lightness and naturalness. The productive day is long. Starts at 8.00 am and it finish at8.00 pm. When we finish we can go to drink a beer with our friends, colleagues or assistant. You should always reward yourself when you finish a productive day. Let us also remember that if the day was productive was definitely fun too, so it is not heavy at all. The most important hours for me are from 11.00 am to 13 pm, from 16.00 pm to 20.00 pm and from22.00 to 1.00 am.
What is your stance on today’s ever growing opportunities enabling artists to take on remote design work?
I think it’s awesome. This is one of the beautiful things you can do with internet. The distances are halved if not canceled and work all over the world is no longer a problem.
What would you prefer: a steady, well paying job in a local agency, or the freedom and often stressful life of a freelancer?
Why? I am only 24 years old but is a long time since I’m doing this job and I have reached a good experience working for various agencies, studios and companies. The well paying work is the many Italians dream but not mine, sincerely. I don’t want to stay under unnecessary orders from people who do not have the slightest competence. A lot of Italian Art Director work in this way, luckily I never work with them but I met a lot! I really love to work as a freelance, it makes me free and I can knows a lot of different realities. I really like to collaborate with studios too. During this last period I’m working with POMO studio from Milano, they are awesome! It’s a great team and the Art Director and founder, Marco, is not the classic jerk as I mentioned before, he’s a smart guy and concret. My dream however is to open a personal Studio in Berlin, Germany (I could realize it for the end of this year however and this is a super preview!) I’d like to open a studio here in Italy, I really love my country, it’s beautiful but nothing work well.Missed payments, crafty people who do not pay taxes and all the things that, unfortunately, now the entire world knows.However, I would still recommend to come on holiday in Italy, is wonderful and the people are unique
How would you describe “the ideal project”?
Did you have any recent opportunities to come close to this? The ideal project is that one that is totally yours. Not necessarily must be a personal project, you can achieve the ideal even with a commission. I do not have many words about it. It’s a feeling question. When you feel that you are working well then that’s the ideal project!