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Marcelo Schultz is a graphic designer and illustrator that specializes in typography, and is well known for an illustrative style that emulates the look of 3D. I recently had some time to chat with Marcelo. During our discussion, we talked about several topics ranging from social media to illustrative techniques. Let's take a look!
I’m glad to be invited to talk to you guys. Well, as you can see in my works, the thing I most like to do is illustration. I have been drawing since childhood and my early experience with drawing is what influenced me to choose it as my career. I must say that I didn’t know if I would choose Architecture or design. I'm happy I went with design, as architecture is so complicated.
I used to draw cars, a lot! Always trying to reach a better result in terms of perspective, and realism. This made me improve my illustration skills.
The style came from the need to change the flat vector appearance that most artists use in their works. I like most of it, but I prefer to create illustrations that incorporate realistic textures and complex lighting.
A: When I began my career, computers were not as good as they are now. So when I learned illustration, I learned the traditional way. For me, the hand-drawn technique gives me complete freedom. I love my pencil and paper and would not want to create works that are 100% digital.
The first step is to find the reference materials and color palettes. Then, I start some rough sketches to get a better composition. Once everything is looking balanced, I make the final sketch and send it to the computer. Some people think that I make 3D renders using 3D software. They’re wrong. I make my illustrations using Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop. I have some videos of the process on my Vimeo channel.
No, the theory is the same, regardless of what I do. Vectors with a little bit of Photoshop.
The way I work is very simple, I don’t need any tools other than the Pen Tool, and the Brush Tool.
Some parts of my work are made in Adobe illustrator. There, I have more freedom to trim and merge objects. Adobe Photoshop CC is better than the old versions but still not as good as Illustrator. I make some complex vectors in Adobe Illustrator and bring them in to Photoshop as “shape layers”. That keeps the object fully editable, and you can change the paths using the Pen Tool.
Social media is almost as important as the quality of the work. What’s the purpose of creating amazing artwork if no one sees or shares it? I use my social media tools to share my work, and also to connect to people that follow me. For example, you can have many followers on Twitter, but some of them are not looking at the timeline all day, so they might miss your post. That is the importance of connecting with them on other sites like Instagram or Facebook. You have got a better chance to be seen when you post your work on multiple sites.
The most important thing about posting WIPs is to make your viewers connect to you, see what you’re doing, and what’s coming. It makes people interested in seeing the final version; and contributes to the success of your finished work. Of course, some of WIPs are for receiving feedback and can help you find out if there are better color combinations, or if something is not readable, etc.
This is one of my favorite pieces. The biggest challenge was creating the shoe parts, and to make them look recognizable. You can’t just apply the texture to the letter. You have to give the shoe personality. Because Nike has so many models and colors, I explored many ideas.
It is my pleasure! Keep in mind what I said earlier about social media. Talk about your work as much as possible. That is the best way to get people to see what you are working on, and be creative!