Today, we are joined by Matteo Giuseppe Pani, he is a Graphic Designer . 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 started shaping up. Tell us a bit more about what made you go this route!

Thank you to you too for the opportunity!. I actually didn’t know what the world of illustration was till I started the university of design. However, I used to draw a lot when I was a little boy and I loved illustrative books with critical images. Also, I remember I really liked playing with plastiline or paper, trying to create real animals or imaginative ones. At the university I have been enough lucky to experiment a lot with materials, and illustration has become one of my favorite media to express concepts. I don’t really care if my illustration is made by hand or in digital. The purpose of the illustration decides which kind of medium is better or more functional to use. That’s why I love illustration, It’s really versatile and easily adaptable to different contexts also because an illustration can be read in different ways so that the audience can be involved in its interpretation just as it happens with a work of art.

  • 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?

For what concern the digital illustration, I have learned quite all software at university. Everything I do by hand is something that belong to my personal experience, curiosity or desire to improve or the fear to get bored too easily. I think internet helped me a lot to expand my knowledge technically and culturally. I’m not referring to online networks where you can find inspiration. I’m thinking of internet as an easier way to get information or banally a faster way to buy a book which otherwise would have been difficult to find in a generic bookshop. Thanks to internet I have discovered artists, places, books which have given to me the key to find my way. For example, I have learned a lot about Sardinia (my homeland) just by buying books of our traditional costumes which now are a big inspiration for my designs.

  • What does your creative process look like?

Is made by 3 steps:
– The Physical Section –
I walk up and down in my bedroom, I sweat thinking or dreaming about random things (better if I’m listening to music). When I got something that it looks like an idea I sit in front of a desk, I write something on my moleskine and than I stand up and I start walking again. This first section is the most irrational part, between “excited and worried”.

– The Rational Section –
When I have got finally an unconscious inspiration, I try to understand If I can do something about it. I read what I have written, or draw, or I just think on my visions during the physical section. I try to avoid technical problems, thinking immediately a possible solution without finding myself stuck during the realization process. I rationally organize my work for the third section.

– the Stachanov Section –
If I’m really into my project I work on it all day and every day. Basically I get lost in my world, just to see if I can actually obtain the result I have dreamed in my irrational section. It’s like in some films where you want to see the end, the problem is that it doesn’t last 2 hours but can last days.

  • Do you have any recommendations in terms of good books, programs you use, or media choices you’re willing to share with us?

I do not recommend any programs because they are not the key! But I do recommend to take inspiration from the culture which you belong to. Try to re- interpret it, innovate it and help it to survive. Bring your point of view into the works you do. Discover your history, traditions, buy books which are not strictly related to design and when you have achieved a complex and illogical vision, try to connect the dots!.

  • 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?

What really helps my creativity is music. It doesn’t need to be a specific type of music or It hasn’t to be related to the subject I’m investigating and that’s because It works on my subconscious. It helps me creating a stream of consciousness which stimulates my mental visions.

  • Could you describe how a productive day would look like from your point of view? Which are the most important hours for you?

It would be perfect wake up naturally in the morning (no alarm) with the day light. Having an exciting design project ( but an intelligent one!) which helps my creativity, and stimulates my mind. Having a good lunch helps my productivity. As the Romans used to say “Mens sana in corpore sano” (healthy mind in a healthy body). I think those aspects would affect my productivity positively but I guess this would not be only a productive day, but also a really perfect one.
I work really well in the morning from 7 to 11 ( after a good sleep ) and in the evening/night from 19 to 1 (because I have reached a good rhythm in the creative process).

  • What is your stance on today’s ever growing opportunities enabling artists to take on remote design work?

I think it is a real good opportunity to work internationally, having a more wide range of clients, creating contacts and new challenges which few years ago was difficult or impossible to achieve. Nowadays, we are really lucky because we can work wherever we want but at the same time we can be in the center of the world. If you are able to create your little network of client, you don’t need to live in the “right” city for the design industry but anywhere, just make sure you have a good internet connection!!

  • What would you prefer: a steady, well paying job in a local agency, or the freedom and often stressful life of a freelancer? Why?

Something in the middle!. I would love to work in a really small, dynamic, courageous, ambitious, an experimental design studio. Money are a consequence not the start point! (in my opinion). I love to work with talented people but when there are too many people involved, things become complicated. That’s why I would love a small environment, which can adapt to different contexts, reality or projects. For example my perfect place would be Sagmeister and Walsh.

  • How would you describe “the ideal project”? Did you have any recent opportunities to come close to this?

My ideal project would be something between science and art, a project which is aesthetically beautiful but it is not auto referential. A project which is connected with reality and for me reality means people. The scientific aspect would be the link between beauty and function, so if we could make work together these 2 different elements, the result would be a project socially useful. This doesn’t mean it has to be revolutionary but at least would help people somehow. I’m thinking about a place such as a” researcher studio” or the “MIT lab” in Boston. I haven’t have the opportunity to work on such these challenging, rewarding and ambitious projects or places but I would love to a lot.
Nevertheless I have created small catalogs of photographs about my homeland Sardinia with the purpose to promote our culture which is still today not well known or even undervalued (but these are unfortunately only personal projects).