- Amerikan Made Prints
- Art Buyer Magazine
- Art Order
- Association of Illustrators
- Cartoon Art Museum
- Cartoon Brew
- Design is Kinky
- Drawn and Quarterly
- Fantagraphics Books
- HOW Design
- Hi-Fructose Magazine
- ICON The Illustration Conference
- Illustration Class
- Illustration Friday
- Illustrators Illustrated
- Juxtapoz Magazine
- Lines and Colors
- National Cartoonists Society
- Plan 59
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- Society of Illustrators
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- Taught by a Pro
- Today's Inspiration
- UPPERCASE Magazine
Hi my name is Alberto Ariza but since I was little everyone called me Beto (Bert) after the Sesame Street Show. I am from and live in Bogota, Colombia where I enjoy going across my country to view each and everyone of its landscapes since its geographical form varies. My country is pleasant and most of the time the people are good, yet we’re in a state of armed conflict which has carried over from years ago and it’s not easy to live under these conditions, but these experiences allows us to be different and view life in different form. I enjoy photography and I wish I could evolve in this as a profession, travel and take pictures where I would be financially rewarded. I have 8 years of experience… and when I finished my university course we were in the middle of a change between manual design and Internet Communications. My current professional position is web development/design, where I implement my love for photography, illustration as a pro-bono freelancer. I have never been paid for any of my projects.
When did you first decide to become a graphic designer/ illustrator? Was there a pivotal moment?
Since I was little I would watch my mother paint and every now and then she would allow me to throw in a few brush strokes of my own. On my own initiative I always loved to recreate animations that I watched on TV and I would develop spaceships or motorcycles with unique scraps of non-working parts I had around me. All these events always made me think that I needed to specialize professionally in a similar field.
Who or what inspires you?
The universe inspires me, to think that we are in this planet and out there, there is so much more; nature inspires me, the immensity and largeness of Earth. Love also moves me and it puts at the disposal of making the best of everything and to view the good side of life. The desire to move forward and to each day be the best that I can be.
Where does your training come from? Self-taught? College/Art School?
I majored in Graphic Design in the University of Jorge Tadeo Lozano, along with various workshops in reference to analysis and interpretation of cinematography. The studies had a lot of emphasis in illustration and I’ve always loved photography, so in the university they taught us many design programs but once I finished school, after, I had to learn a lot of the softwares on my own.
How do you keep "fresh" within your industry?
By constantly reviewing the internet, television, movie animations and the every day life and the events that happen around me. I also think it involves being active in the various disciplines of creating unity and fusion in different forms. And obviously, to remain in contact with people by reading, knowing the events that are taking place and how things are happening around you.
What are some of your current projects?
In this very moment I am finishing up a multimedia project about “April 9th and Jorge Eliécer Gaitan” and I’m also starting to develop a design studio, http://www.graphicusers.com/. I would like to project and present it to the public. I would like to develop a design portal for South America. I have the name in place but making it happen also involves financial support.
Which of your projects are you the most proud of? And why?
One of the projects that I’m the most proud of is the one mentioned above: “Jorge Eliécer Gaitan”. He is a Colombian icon and represents so many social and political areas. I think that for any designer it would be a pleasure to able to work in this particular project. It represents so much of the country and it is also a tool that carries his message to the future generations. I feel so much pride to be able to leave a legacy for the people, to be able to make it happen and to have been able to design it and be part of it.
Are there any areas, techniques, mediums, projects in your field that you have yet to try?
Yes. I would like to work on movies, television, apply animation in these mediums. I would also like to become a photographer and to make this my primary profession. I would like to combine all the mediums of my knowledge such as illustration along with photography.
Any advice to the novice designer/ illustrator?
To always be on the move, both in mind and body. To absorb both the good and the bad. To visualize the future and that which they love to do the most. To develop both long-term and short-term goals. To never resist doing the things you want and view the beautiful side of life at all times.
What makes a designed piece or illustration successful?
It’s all about that first visual impact that it has, that moment, which compliments the concept.
What do you do to keep yourself motivated and avoid burn-out?
My motivation is to always do everything better than the last time. To think that one day my children will see that I was always in constant growth, development, evolving and in this being able to share the rewards which I obtain from making my goals happen by working hard. I would like for them to see that you always have to move forward. To be in constant motion, to think as a designer and build those projects I’ve always wanted to do or would like to do. To always keep the mind thinking in “design mode”. Also by turning myself into a working tool for each and every client and project.
And finally, what is the best thing on prime-time TV right now?
My favorite show is called “Redes” from “Radio Televisión Española”. It’s a show about scientific themes that always deal with popular and well-known award winning specialists from around the world. If interested visit: http://www.rtve.es/tve/b/redes/.
***Special thanks to my friend, Maria Singleton , for her help in translating Alberto's wonderful interview to english for me. Thanks again Maria!!***
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