Italian illustrator and designer Mauro Gatti loves to draw and believes that a smile is the cheapest way to be happy, that’s why he’s always trying to capture the more comical side of life and make it a simple but funny and rememberable work.
Recently met in in Rome during Binario 18 Festival, Mauro is also a creative director now living in Los Angeles. In 2004 he founded Mutado Studio in Milan.
1. Where did you get the inspiration from for your characters?
The original inspiration is a mixture of ideas, observation and humor. It’s a mental process. As a kid I always liked to observe everyday items and imagine their moves, characteristics that made them unique and funny.
Regarding my style I do not waste too much time on illustration, I like essential and simple lines. I spend most of my works in finding original and funny ideas. A couple of examples: if you focus well on a carrot you can see that carrots are vain vegetables that change continuously hairstyle or if you fix a pear for a long time you can see that it is one of the fruits that suffers from flatulence.
2. You’re Italian, but now living in Los Angeles. In your opinion. is there a city or a country that offers more inspiration/possibilities than others?
From a professional viewpoint I think Internet has made locations irrelevant in term of clients, contacts and jobs. I believe that the physical presence in a given city or continent contributes instead to what is the cultural and visual enrichment of a professional. This is why I like Los Angeles, because there are a lot of exhibitions and different cultures, for its incredible gastronomic variety and its constant creative ferment. There are so many cities in the world that offer a lot from the creative point of view, the choice to live in a specific place is subjective (for example, despite you love spending a few days in New York, I do not think I would ever live in a city so “vertical” ).
3. What made you say:”this is my job”?
Maybe the first check. Despite being a veteran I am always amazed when a customer pays me to design a slice of pizza that dances 🙂 The second is to have understood that it is not enough to make drawings to be a creative today, many other qualities are needed to transform your passion in a sustainable and profitable trade (marketing, accounting, pr …).
4. In your work creativity, marketing and technology often intersect: what is your recipe for always finding new ideas?
In this case observation and curiosity are the two most important ingredients. I always like to mix ideas and technology in order to find new solutions. Thanks to the help of many professionals, I like the fact that my illustrations and ideas can become videos, mobile games, digital stickers and books for children.
5. Artists you admire?
Jean Julien is an artist that embodies all the values in which I believe. Attention on ideas and not on the style, great sense of humor and ability to tell the reality that surrounds him. Above all, a great capacity to “sell himself” through digital channels. He’s great!
6. You worked with different brands like Disney, Google, Redbull, Vans and so on. The most exciting/challenging project you worked for?
My motto is “Being creative is a gift, not a job”, so I tend to never complain even when a job becomes more challenging than usual. The most annoying for our profession is the delays in payments.
7. What’s on your desk?
A lot of stuff. Lamp, cintiq, sketch pad, pencil and eraser. The only messy thing is all post-it full of ideas that I attack on the wall.
8. A message for Feel Desain.
Thank you for the talk. It is always nice to share personal experience and contribute to projects like yours to enrich the new visual and cultural heritage.
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