We decided that each month we would like to do a featured interview with a person who is involved in the Design Arts industry/ is an Artist/ any and all of the above, who we draw inspiration from, that we respect & that is just generally a fucking rad human.
FIRST UP - kicking this series off is Chris Costa, Graphic Design extraordinaire.
Chris has been heavily involved in the design industry for many years now, and his most notable works can be seen in the form of Merch designs for a lot of bands signed to the UNFD label and beyond. Chris runs his own apparel company called Badlands brand, which is by far our favourite independent apparel company out there. He also specialises in company/brand logos, no matter how big or small. His work is also often featured in Gallery exhibits around Melbourne, and he is about to host his own Gallery evening & Pop Up Store featuring a huge number of incredible artists. His work is bold, eye catching and unmissable.
Details of his upcoming exhibit:
MEMEMTO MORI - A Badlands Brand Exhibition & Pop Up Store
A group exhibition of 50+ Australian and international artists,
celebrating living life and loving death.
10th - 14th October
BSIDE Gallery, 121 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy
RSVP via facebook: MEMENTO MORI
Here is what Chris had to say about his work, style and experience in the industry.
How did you get into Graphic Design?
From ages 13 - 18 I used to help run hardcore/punk gigs in my home town.
This is where my love for heavy music came from and also my love for the music industry. Our current designer left once he finished high school and someone needed to start doing the poster artwork so just out of necessity I put my hand up for it and really fell in love with design. Looking back I made some absolute trash designs but it was cool to be in a position where I was able to learn and practice and really hone in on my skills as a designer. Once I finished high school I studied a Diploma of Graphic Design for a year and a half so it's a bit of self taught, bit of higher learning and just a lot of hands on experience.
Describe your style.
I’m not really sure if I have one distinct style but I think the principles that can be seen across the board are simplicity and boldness. I've never been a big fan of hyper detail but I want my designs to stand out when you look at them from the other side of the room.
What are some inspirations you draw from when creating your graphics?
Stylistically, I always loved the look of Neo Traditional Tattoos and I unintentionally bring a lot of that styling into my work. For me I use a lot of nature photography and gardening diagrams for reference material and just try and make them as bold and as aesthetically pleasing using one colour.
What is your favourite thing to design?
It really differs depending on the week but I think the thing I always come back to is Apparel design. When I was a kid and going to gigs, you'd choose a band tee so people knew you listened to that music and it really shaped how you wanted the world to see you. So having a design of mine on a tee is really amazing to see for me because someone had to make the conscious decision that that is what they want to wear today and that tee is how they want to be seen in the world.
What’s the best thing about your job?
Apart from all the cool people I get to work with probably spending every second of the day with my dog Amelia. Working from home has its ups and downs but having her next to me every day is just the absolute best thing in the world.
What sets you apart from the other designers out there?
I don't really know if I can answer that....... I'm of the belief that nothing we create is 100% original. We're all getting inspiration from others, we're all living in the same world so there's always going to be some overlap and anything you think is original was probably done by someone else 100 years ago haha. I guess I'd hope that my personality would stand out with my clients and I'd hope that how we work together and how we interact is a big part of why people come back and work together, as well as the art we create.
At the end of the day if I can make my clients smile, I'm a happy guy.
Do you have any advice for up and coming Graphic artists?
Try and pay less attention to how many followers on Instagram you have and focus on the work that you're putting out. I'm a big romantic and I just love seeing someones work where I can tell they've put a lot of heart and a lot of themselves into the piece. So.... More of that.