Using Adobe Photoshop with inventiveness is an art in which 27 year old Argentinian Martin de Pasquale excels. We got a chance to speak with this photographer, art director and designer to unlock the secrets of his magic.
How did you get started with digital art?
As a child, I was painting and drawing everywhere, all the time. I became interested in surrealism very early on, and this influence can be found in all of my work! I also like to communicate ideas through images and I use the tools necessary to do this. I am in my element. Today, I mostly do photo-manipulations, and some of them become part of private art collections.
How would you describe your work?
I am constantly thinking about new ideas, about new ways of working to create interesting things. My work reflects this personal exploration and my view of the world.
I am also committed to the technical aspect. I am constantly practicing and I apply what I learn to everything I do, whether it be painting, sculpture, drawing, photography, lighting, 3D and 2D, as well as animation and design. As an art director, I use all of the design tools and I know them all perfectly, but it is with Photoshop that I started digital creation.
Compositions make up the majority of your portfolio, what do you like so much about this art form?
I support the idea that there is nothing more real than an image: we believe what we see. An image that is well-created and intelligible is thus an excellent vector to communicate an idea. But when an image lacks realism, it shows immediately, particularly in a composition. This is the challenge. I as a result developed various techniques to achieve a high degree of realism.
Where does your inspiration come from?
Daily life, travelling and people are my greatest sources of inspiration. In fact, I always take my notebook with me in order to be able to write down everything that goes through my head. I often draw aspects of daily life to expose their absurdity, or just to be funny.
I am also inspired by conceptual artists and designers such as Motion Graphics Studios, Buck, RGB6, Sagmeister, Zeitguised. I especially like Shigeo Fukuda, Pawel Kuczynski and Erik Johansson’s photo-manipulations. The photographers that inspire me are Salamanca, Bartholot, Dean West, Christophe Huet and Erwin Olaf.
In your opinion, is it harder to find an idea or to work on a brief for a client?
It depends on the type of client and on your needs. When the client comes to me, they know my work and contact me precisely because of what I can do. This is certainly a luxury. From the beginning, I can decide what I want to do. Of course, the brief and the client requirements affect the process, but with the right arguments and keeping the objective in mind, we can come to an agreement without sacrificing the quality of the work.
Please tell us a little bit about your work on Zipper.
Zipper is the result of observing my surroundings and of the idea that we must go beyond what we see. I wanted to express what we feel when we say, “Why didn’t I think about this before?” The basis of the image is a photo that I edited to get the right angle and the best possible composition. I removed many elements of the scene in order to not leave anything that could interfere with the ones I added.
I used 3D Max for the modelling and the rendering of the zipper, and then I used Photoshop for the final composition.
You use your own image for several of your works, which gives your selfie a very unusual dimension. Why do you put yourself up front in such situations?
It’s true! I started to use my own self because it was easier. I knew exactly what to do, and what’s more, I was sort of my own guinea pig. And it did not bother me to use my own image. Over time, I came to work with models, but I still mostly use my own image, because it has become my trademark and because taking my own picture is now part of my creative process. This is, however, not something essential to my work, which is evidenced by the fact that I have also worked with models. At first, I did not have many resources, and this was the best option!
It is also easier when it comes to the rights to reproduce other people’s image, no?
Yes, this is another good reason (laughs)! It’s much easier to publish your own work when you don’t have to ask anyone for permission!
Do you sometimes use stock images?
It depends on the job. When it comes to a personal project, I usually do my own pictures, because I have in mind certain lighting conditions and want to achieve a particular angle. But, for some projects like Zipper, sometimes I prefer to buy a picture to help me.
For orders and when the budget is relatively small, I often buy pictures from people and I create the rest myself.
And, currently, are you working on a personal project or on an order?
I am currently working on many business and design projects. Getting my own studio is taking a lot of my time and I aim to do a lot this year. But, you will see for yourself, I prefer to act rather than talk!