#010 – The beauty of experimental synthesis

I am an art director and illustrator living and working in Buenos Aires, Argentina. I worked for several years in the advertising industry for different agencies as a creative. I learned a ton of cool stuff back then.

Since 2010, I’ve decided to start freelancing to focus more on illustration projects, which is what I love and enjoy doing the most since I was a little kid. I’ve always been experimenting with visuals. It was just a couple of years ago that I started to share the result of these experiments on my Instagram (@Shorsh) It soon became a complete catalogue of all my imagery open to everyone. I must say that it was a good move, because I started getting to know other artists, to collaborate with them and with other people interested in my work. I had the chance to get involved in amazing projects such as album covers, lookbooks and other art related content.

My work is the synthesis of traditional and digital techniques. I like to paint, my favorite medium is watercolor, and I’ve been permanently in contact with the experience of working on paper. My best ideas are born there… although later they end up existing something else. However, I fortunately had early access to technology and the possibilities to experiment a lot with it too; I’m fascinated by the amount of tools available to make digital art. From Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop, all the way to the incredible universe of Cinema 4D (for 3D artwork) and further experimental tools such as processing (to manipulate or distort images by code) These are some of the programs that I use as production tools, sometimes all of them in the same project!

I’m fascinated by the amount of tools available to make digital art.

I think there is no need to pay tribute to any particular software, the most important thing is what you want to achieve and then secondly, it is how you want create it. Here is where I consider how I’m going to use each one of my tools to reinforce the different parts of the whole, and to execute my idea to the best of my ability.

From traditional media I like the accident of creation, and from digital media, the control – two diametrically opposed things that in combination (for me) give a much more unique and personal result. Almost everything I create now ends up going through a computer, thus it’s digital art. However, my images also have textures and elements made with traditional media. A gouache of watercolor or ink on wet paper can suddenly be the texture of a sky or a stain. A break on the wall can be the beginning of an abstraction or a sample of grain that I can use on certain image) I’m always generating my own collection of resources, achieved by traditional means and later digitized for creative use and expression. Some of these resources are also purely digital. I’m equally interested and fascinated by what can happen when I combine both worlds.

Color is another important part of my work, so I often start by sketching some rough ideas and thinking about how I can bring them to life through the magic of color. Lately, I’ve been creating images using 3D software which adds a lot of possibilities to all the previous knowledge I have learned within photography, Photoshop and other photo-compositing software. By the end, I always dedicate sufficient time for details, tweakings and color correction.

Anything I see which I feel connected to in some way is an inspiration for me to work. I believe I’m heavily influenced by the production of the avant-garde of the early twentieth century, especially surrealism: Dalí, Magritte, Jean Arp, and the work of some Argentinean artists such as Xul Solar and Antonio Berni, to name a few. Moebius, Charles Burns and Miyazaki are some of my favourite illustrators. Also iconic visual culture change of the 1980’s is incredibly relevant to me. I am particularly interested in the retro vision of the future, the use of colors, neon, effects and flares.

Anything I see which I feel connected to in some way is an inspiration for me to work.

When I started using 3D software to create, I began to collect a lot of photography and modern sculpture references, purely because I think they are important points of contact and reference within the modelling and lighting of a 3D scene or image. I also love going to the museum when there is an event of my interest and I always try to pay attention to my curiosity and follow to where it takes me. Curiosity is important and undervalued.

When I’m working through creating digital art, my process is like a journey. It of course begins with a little bit of planning, but soon takes me to an uncertain and unknown place. A place of discovery and creative freedom. Although there is planning, there is also plenty of room for experimentation, trial and error. Errors are sometimes beautiful gems that you encounter. I’ve learned a lot by having this approach to my work; avoiding all kind of early judgements and valuing each step as I take it. This is exactly what I started doing in my personal work too, quickly discovering plenty of interesting areas that applied not only to the work that I create for myself, but also to the work that I create for my clients.

Finally, just a few words. I want to invite everyone to follow me on Instagram and visit my website to see more of my work if you’re interested and like my images. Stay tuned, I’m currently planning to share some of my own digital resources and other tools that I often use in my artwork. I’m working on more tutorials and content to help make my website not only a central place where I can share my work, but also a place to share the process behind its creation, for those of you that are interested in wanting to learn more. Be curious, always.

Errors are sometimes beautiful gems that you encounter.

My advice? Do not be scared of making mistakes, be scared of giving up.

Jorge Luis Miraldo (a.k.a. Shørsh), is an Art Director and Illustrator based in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Be sure to check out his other work and social media:

 shorsh   shorsh.com   @JLMiraldo   /jlmiraldo