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Interview with Julian Dorado

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Julian Dorado is a talented illustrator and graphic designer from Buenos Aires, Argentina. He started a character design project that merges typefaces into unique monsters, cute animals, and various other font inspired character creations. Let's learn more about Julian and the Typefaces project in this interview!

1. Hello Julian, tell us a bit about yourself, where you're from and how you got started in this field? How long have you been designing/illustrating?

Hi there! I am a Graphic Designer from Buenos Aires, Argentina. I've been living in this beautiful city since birth and at the age of 10 I already knew that I wanted to be part of the artistic universe. So I kind of started very young constantly drawing strange creatures (I was a bit fatty so girls where not my field at that point) and ended up studying Graphic Design at the age of 18. Now I am 23, so I guess I've been designing for 5 years.

2. What are your design and artistic influences? Are there specific artists, movements, books, or online resources that have been pivotal in your development and daily work?

I try to get influences from everywhere, in that way I am able to have a richer mind at the moment of creation. So my world of influential artists is composed of artists such as Picasso, Modigliani, Giacometti, Ensor or movie makers such as Buñuel, Miyasaki, Kubrick, Lang and of course the amazing work done by Pixar Studios. I've been following the project called Pictoplasma and I am also constantly checking new characters that appear on the Mojizu website.

3. Could you tell us about the Typefaces project? What is it? How did it get started? How has it evolved and where do you see it going? What is it that draws you to illustrating letterforms through characters?

It all started with a simple and concrete idea. The word "Typefaces" started to flip around my head and suddenly I realized that the word itself locked up a very visible secret. Typefaces, or faces with type, would be my new project to develop. Since that moment in time, I've been creating a huge amount of characters based on different typography.

The project has evolved a lot due to the fact that people are really attracted to the fact that every single creation is done out of a single set of letterforms. This procedure is what makes my interest in typefaces never-ending. They are not just funky characters, they are more interesting because they are made from type. The simplicity of the concept behind Typefaces is what draws me to keep on illustrating these letter-formed characters. I really dig the thought that says simplicity brings up the best ideas.

4. What's it like collaborating with various artists on the Tyepfaces project? Could you go over some of the flow with working with another vector illustrator on a project like this, and give an example of an interesting collaboration you've done for the project?

It's amazing to see collaborations done by other artists due to the fact that the results look always very different and distant to my work with letterforms. I think this is great because it is always opening new dimensions to the work that can come out of typography. And also it adds another variable to the mix, that is always a rich and nice thing to see.

Sometimes it's a difficult task to make coexist two Typefaces done by two different artists. So I've decided not to participate in the collab work much and let the artists take their shot in the interpretation and outcome of the project. In some cases, I did participated in the collab, and below is a nice result of one of them.

5. Please tell us about your creative process for your work. Do you sketch first, or how do you narrow down your ideas? What tools or software do you use, and which of these tools is your favorite?

I do not sketch at all. The fun of typefaces is that the process is like a Rorschach test, you start to see forms when mixing up different letters, or signs, or numbers, or even sections of them. I'll put it this way, with Adobe Illustrator I give birth to the character and with Adobe Photoshop I work in his make-up. Also I get some help from my dear friend the Wacom for the last details in Photoshop.

6. How is your freelancing work going and teaching? Could you tell us a bit about the mix of professional work you do? Also, where do you see yourself in the next few years?

My freelancing work is mainly dedicated to a Fashion brand here in Buenos Aires and some personal project called Pura Porquería that is kind of an artistic development (you can check out some news of it in my flickr stream). And teaching is stunning for me, I keep on learning from my students every single week and that keeps me moving and developing new activities for them to exercise their creativity.

I would love to get more and more in touch with my personal illustrations on Flickr and keep bringing out my artistic skills. I've started drawing about 2 years ago and I'm really happy and amazed with my progress, so I'll keep them coming :)

7. Do you have any favorite typefaces? And does the font itself contribute to the process of coming up with the character design? Or does the character design come first and then the font and letters are chosen?

Don't have a favorite one, I really think that every single Typefaces reflects a side of my personality.
The font itself is essential to the final outcome of my work. The interesting thing about Typefaces is that different type gives different aspects to the characters, for example the calligraphic or the italic fonts are very difficult to work with due to the fact that they have little symmetry and this slows down the process of creation.

You can see a making of a typefaces on youtube.

8. Julian, thanks for the interview. Any final thoughts?

I've enjoyed this interview and working with the Vectortuts+ editor Sean! Cheers and thanks you for reading :)

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