Alvaro Matas, aka Jenue’s playful portfolio stands out for all the right reasons. His mixed disciplinary creations combine a range of different elements, which he plays with to create fun, yet beautiful 3D images and typography, often morphing the two practises together. His clients have included publications including Wired, the Sunday Times, the Economist, as well as the AIGA and 36 Days of Type projects.
ADOBE STOCK: Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and your creative background?
Alvaro Matas: Hi my name is Alvaro Matas, I am from Madrid but at the moment am living in London. My artist name is Jenue, a nickname which I chose when I was about 12 years old, a time when I started to become interested in graffiti which I feel opened the door to my own creativity. From the beginning, I had a feeling that I was doing the right thing and now I can see that every step counted towards my development. In the past and still now I feel really excited challenging myself in every piece that I create, to try to achieve my own unique style. Sometimes I wonder if I chose the right path just by chance. This might be true, but if I´m honest I always trusted my gut feelings to guide my decisions. I am primarily a self-taught designer and learnt much of what I know from the internet. This required much dedication on my part as I developed my skills.
AS: How would you describe your style?
AM: My style underwent a long evolution. After painting on walls and feeling excited about different styles of graffiti, my Dad suggested to mix my computer skills with my passion to create. So from graffiti and listening to my Dad´s advice I progressed like so: Graffiti → Editorial Design → Graphic Design → 3D motion design → 3D Illustrations. It was a long journey until I found what I really wanted to do. After this I discovered that I really enjoyed making images in 3D and mixing it with Typography, with a real ´craft´ and in a graphical way. I feel the results sometimes can threaten reality as they are so lifelike despite having a surreal edge. I love to work with complimentary colours and I try to use them all the times I can – it is like my personal rule.
AS: Where do you find your inspiration?
AM: Often on the internet – I spend every day connected and working on client and personal projects, and I enjoy watching art from other artists from all different fields. Personally I love street art, not just graffiti, I mean artists who have a style and bring something fresh and with a really good design compositions, for example the work of Remed, Okuda, Spok, 3ttman among others are really good; they blow my mind. I love too some atypical tattoo artists like Itoyo, Deno, Alemao. As well as these I find some old graphic designers inspiring, where I can feel that the images were purer, such as Julie Le Parc, Kazumasa Nagai, Herbert Bayer.
AS: What’s been your biggest challenge to overcome in the design industry?
AM: My biggest challenge has being started my own studio and getting regular projects.
AS: What are your perceptions of stock images, and do you think the perception is changing?
AM:I think stock images are great for references and for photo manipulation. My overall perception is that with each day it is becoming easier to find the right image and then fast track to Photoshop with it. As well it is super helpful to have stock images to add detail in CGI projects.
AS: What’s been your favorite project to work on to date?
AM: My favourite project is probably the one that I did for AIGA design, that were 5 inspirational quotes with a different look but with a running theme.
A close second is one recently that I just finished for the Camel brand, the art directors were very creative and they asked me to do very inspirational pieces of work.
AS: What are you excited to work on in 2017?
AM: I am excited to make even more 3D craft designs using geometry and symmetry, and mix Photoshop brushes with other programs to achieve new techniques.
AS: What music do you currently listen to whilst working (if any!)?
AM: I listen a lot of music, thanks to streaming software that has unlimited music. Recently I was surprised with the last album of Arca; it was hard to listen to it at the beginning but hard to get tired of it later
AS: What design trends should we be looking out for this year?
AM: I am not sure what exactly is going to be trendy, but definitely you should look at any trend that inspires your mind and brings you excitement enough to create just for the sake of it and makes your life happier.