Be immersed in nostalgia with the artwork of André Meca. Combining his vivid imagination and his love for collage, André developed a style that is distinctly his own. This talented artist has developed a style and a passion that is über inspiring. Read on this interview to know more about him and his work.
First off, we’d like to know more about you. Can you tell us more about yourself?
Hello, I am André Meca, a Portuguese graphic designer and illustrator. Currently I’m studying Graphic Design in Escola Superior de Artes e Design (ESAD) at Caldas da Rainha and working as a freelancer. I’ve always been very enthusiastic about design and the arts. I love to play with feeling and emotions, I truly believe that’s really the base of design in general. I even consider myself a very, very simple person that have dreams and objectives in life, and a hard-working guy for sure. That’s me.
Did you always wanted to become a graphic designer/illustrator?
Not at all, at first I started to teach myself programming as I love working with all the lines of code, and the scripts. However after some time, a massive change happened. I don’t know why, but I broke away from programming and moved towards art. That’s when Photoshop came into my life. It’s amazing to see how a simple piece of software changed my mind forever… From there I went to a design course, and the rest of the story is currently being documented via my portfolio.
What achievement are you most proud of?
To have found what I love to do for the rest of my life, and to still have the imagination to carry on for many more years. And of course to be recognized for my work, to be able to inspire people.
Can you describe your style? How did you develop it?
Collage! I just love to cut and paste… it’s very simple… i grab this and cut here and there…grab another image and paste it here and there too! Always trying to be simple and creative! In the end when the image is finally composed, I love to edit it again – mixing colors, playing with levels and Curves…well, endless possibilities.
Do you have any creative rituals to help you come up with a concept?
YES! My creative process is very stupid, really. I love to wake up and take right away a big cup of coffee, then I plan out the idea/execution. Finally, I execute it very fast, and many times the first sample is the best! That’s it, thinking and planning take up most of the process, and then the execution is very fast.
Can you tell us more about the materials, techniques and medium you’re exploring?
Screen Printing. I learned that technique at university and now i’m exploring it. And I must say that opened my mind, A LOT! I mean, now I have a lot more notion about weights, strokes, color densities, how can errors be awesome, etc. I think that it changed my whole thinking about everything…even my style is changing right now.
From start to end, how does a concept come to life?
When I have a new project to create I research a lot..really a lot..and I think that’s the very big first step to start something. I love to search in old books, I like to say that “What’s old is good”. I’ve molded my mind to be able to use collage-based work to give a new expression to the old. The elements are very important, and one thing that I love to do is buy old magazines from the 60′s, 70′s and 80′s, and scan those wonderful images. My work process on working on those elements is also very simple. I pick some nice color palette from colourlovers.com (great job guys), then most of the time I randomly pick an image, and I start working on it spontaneously. I love to have a nice background to work with first, then I cut the images and paste, and finally I play with blending modes a lot (which I love doing).
What is your most recent project? Can you tell us more about it?
My most recent project is the “Make Something Cool Everyday”, which all started with a group with that name on flickr.com. That group was created by designer Olly Moss and the object was really that – to create something “cool” everyday! And that’s what I decided to do now. I must say that I feel alive making it! It just speeds up my process. I’m creating a lot more, and its been amazing. Everyone should try it out, really!
What are your plans in the future? How do you see yourself 5-10 years from now?
My very first plan is to finish design university, then I would love to leave Portugal, in search for some new flys, new culture, new thinking. I see myself in the creative area definitely. That’s were I wanna be after all!
What advice can you give to our readers?
I feel like the design world is being saturated by people who are always behind a computer. Learn to leave your chair! I’ve always tried to find more and more ways to transmit what I want in different mediums. So my advice to all readers out there is to leave your chair and do something different and unexpected, and please, please, do what you guys love and don’t follow your dreams, chase them.