Diego L. Rodríguez is a multi talented designer and photographer who has recently made a name for himself in the design field by working with some prominent clients. Diego has an interesting philosophy on life that has not let him down, a go out and get it mentality is his view on how to get clients. His approach has gotten him a few jobs and he plans to keep at it. So lets get into another interesting interview with another great artist.
Q Welcome to Psdtuts+, please introduce yourself. Could you tell us where you're from and how you got started in the field?
Thank you. Good morning people! My name is Diego L. Rodríguez; I’m an illustrator and photographer based in Spain. I'm currently working as freelance designer, photographer and retoucher in Mexico City.
My first contact with the new digital art possibilities was around 2005; I was studying "Cinema Production" and I wanted to customize some DVD covers and wallpapers. I discovered some forums dedicated to digital art as well as communities such as DeviantART. I then became passionate about this amazing world of art and graphics. In 2007 I had my first clients and considered seriously dedicating myself to the field.
QHave you always been artistic from childhood? Or did it start to appear later in life?
I was a creative kid; when I was 10 I drew characters from cartoons and invented my own series (I keep all those drawings in a rusty folder). My inspiration came from "G.I.-Joe" toys and some Japanese anime series, but my real passion came when I was 15 years old when I really wanted to dedicate my life to the audiovisual field, especially with music videos.
When I was 16 years old I started to work as a Camera Operator for a local TV station. That experience was essential for me. After finishing school I studied "Cinema Production", and after that I started the Publicity & Public Relations career. Around 2005/2006, I discovered this amazing world of digital art, illustration and graphic design.
QFrom drawing to photo manipulation, how do you manage to blend so many different styles together into one consistent whole?
Most of the drawings I do are made digitally; I use Illustrator and the graphic tablet as main tools. Sometimes I start from sketches, basically when I work with typography; graphite pencils are my best friends.
I export the illustrations and make the rest of the post-work in Photoshop. I can say Photoshop is the definitive tool: retouching, coloring, detailing...seriously I love using Photoshop every day, there are infinite possibilities.
The consistency is clearly influenced by your patience and dedication to your artwork. Working on a big resolution, cutting very smooth, studying the light. There are a lot of factors, but your dedication and exigency to get the most detailed work is very important.
QYou have recently attracted some high profile clients with your artwork, in your opinion what does a designer have to do to build up a strong clientele?
To be honest, I think I took a step forward with some recent clients, but I'm still developing my career. I fight everyday for clients, showing my portfolios, joining projects, etc. I don't have a solid client agenda.
My philosophy is based in being active all the time, not waiting for the client. If some brand, company or musician interests me, I contact them. All my motivation came from a "don't give up" thought. I follow my instincts; if you want to work in some very specific field, do your best there. Clients do not come by magic; I keep that philosophy and it's worked out well for me recently.
Q"The Variable" was an amazing illustration that you created for the readers of PsdTuts. Please walk us through the creation of this unique and detailed illustration, and what exactly inspired you to create it?
Thanks for your words. I started playing with some architecture photography on the canvas. Later I inserted a human stock, playing with textures and my own 3D renders. The arm took a very interesting effect, like crossing a dimensional door threshold. That was the part when the whole piece appeared on my head.
I was watching "LOST" the TV show, and all the time-traveling stuff was very present on my mind, so I tried to create an instant, when someone is crossing a dimensional door (kind of a "Stargate" too).
By mixing my own stocks, 3D renders, fluids and digital painting I composed the whole scene, introducing some depth and the island as a tribute to the "LOST" TV show (the title itself is an homage to one chapter from the 5th season). I must say the starting process was really random and funny, playing with lot of stuff. That's my real workflow when I start some kind of artistic manipulation or photo-illustration.
QWho or what were your main influences that made you pursue the field of designing?
First of all, Cinema. Especially when I discovered a genius like David Lynch. All the work he does is special, deep and complicated. On the other hand: Music and music videos. I always used to ask my best friend to record VHS tapes with hours of MTV music videos and commercials.
When I started to get into art and graphics, evidently the references and inspirations were growing up. Some of my favorite artists of all time are Edward Hopper, Salvador Dali, John Everett Millais or Gustave Moureau. Some of my actual references are Nicholas Di Genova, Non-Format, Jeff Soto or Grandpeople.
QWhat can we look for from you in the future? What projects will you be working on?
On the design and illustration fields, I'm currently creating some cover artwork for Hip-Hop artists, as well as collaborating with some worldwide photographers doing photo-illustration and photo-manipulation art pieces. I'm involved too in several projects with my buddy Luis M. Torres for some companies and artistic stuff.
About my other main field, photography, I will update my website soon with some new fashion & editorial projects.
Finally, I recently collaborated recording a documentary film in the USA about the "Blues Route" and the "Crossroads" with a Mexican musician, and I created an illustration in collaboration with the DACS Project.
Q Thanks again for providing Psdtuts+ with this opportunity to interview you. Any final thoughts for our readers?
Thanks to PSDTUTS+ and the readers for the time dedicated to my interview. Don't give up, believe in yourself and don't stop creating and experimenting.