Today on the weekend starts here I'm pleased to be chatting to cleveland based illustrator and surface designer dante terzigni. There are lots of things I like about dante's work, his colour choices and his use of texture to name just two. So read on my friends and find out more...
patternbooth: dante your work is really varied, from geometrics to florals and lots of things in between. Where does your design influence come from?
dante: my influences come from all over the place. Good design is everywhere if you are looking for it. Fashion, photography, architecture, nature, music, food, just to name a few. Miro, Kandenski, Gotlib, Rauschenberg, are just a few of the many artists I gravitate towards.
patternbooth: Is there a difference between you illustration work and your surface pattern work?
dante: I don't really view the two as separate entities. My approach obviously differs between say a conceptual magazine illustration and a decorative floral pattern. The end result for both is to make something visually appealing.
patternbooth: what would be your ideal brief?
dante: my ideal brief would be anything that isn't over analyzed from the beginning. And, of coarse with enough time to explore different solutions.
patternbooth: what is your workspace like?
dante: nothing special. I mostly work out of my house in a studio I have set up in the den, or on the couch with my sketchbook and laptop.
patternbooth: can you describe your design process?
dante: first comes an idea. I’ll sketch little thoughts (images and words) usually on scrap paper, or whatever I can grab to draw on. Once I think I have a solid idea I’ll either do more refined sketches or start right on the computer. Really depends on the project.
When starting the final illustration, I usually figure out a basic color direction and start creating basic shapes. Now that I have a very primitive view of how I want the image to look, I start in on the details. Once finished, I do like to have at least a day or two to fine-tune things, unfortunately that luxury isn’t always an option.
patternbooth: since leaving college in 2003 what has your journey been like as a designer?
dante: after I graduated in 2003 I was set on moving to NYC to live as a freelancer.
About two weeks before I was ready to move to Brooklyn I was contacted by American Greetings for a job as an in house illustrator/ designer, who’s WHQ is ironically based in Brooklyn, Ohio.
I ended up taking the job and actually falling in love with the city of Cleveland. My freelance career started to get going around 2006/ 07.
When trying to hone in on my specific style, I started by forcing myself to make at least one new image a week. After lots of experimenting, and lots of failures, it finally started to click. I then began talking with different agents for representation. I liked how I fit with Frank Sturges’s crew (franksturgesreps.com). Check out his site if you aren’t familiar.
Since, I’ve been really fortunate to work with some great clients/ art directors, who for the most part, trust me to do my thing. And I'm still learning as I go.
patternbooth: what is your biggest design achievement to date?
dante: it's hard to say what my biggest achievement would be. Not to sound cheesy but I'm honestly humbled by each new opportunity that comes my way.
patternbooth: what would you say is your design ambition?
dante: I think my ambition mainly comes from always wanting to learn and be better. There are so many amazing talents out there to be inspired by.
patternbooth: finally, what would you say to a new pattern designer who is just starting out?
dante: have fun. It really shows in your work if it was forced. Make mistakes. Don’t be afraid to try new things, a lot of times accidents are the best part. Be open-minded, embrace change, and trust your instincts. Easier said then done, right? Just work hard and make the kind of images YOU like to look at and the rest will follow!