January 13, 2010

Alex Trochut / Interview

5:16 am in art,design,interviews dustin hostetler

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“I think everything changes fast, and expires faster if you start feeling too attached to it.”

Alex Trochut has the advantage of being able to do anything. In a world where specificity, and uber-division of labor is not only the norm, but a growing pattern, we decreasingly find craftsmen and artists who can execute a wide array of design approaches. Aesthetically, his graphics and illustrations run the gamut from acid-dream liquid movements, to angular, symmetrically based work.  In either case, proportion and space condone the art, and yield a poignancy that requires a closer look. Despite his obvious talent, it’s the concise and reliable nature of his art that makes him sought after by a diverse slew of clients; the spectrum of which is represented by everyone from indie-rockers The Decemberists, to corporate giants like Adidas and Nike. His versatility has opened doors to various projects, and inspires an evolutionary attitude toward his craft, his very own, “more is more” approach.

Amidst a gang of independent illustrators, you have to set yourself apart to have his degree of success. In a less-is-more design world, Alex Trochut has carved his own space, mostly because of his talent, and willingness to set a certain portion of himself aside to execute a piece to its full potential.  His breadth of work leave his opportunities completely open-ended, constantly proving that he can fulfill the vision of the entity that calls on him to create beauty in their name.  A simple Catalan-based artist by self- definition, Mr. Trochut remains a significant factor in aggregating a world comprised of global images and minds.

Interview by Evan La Ruffa

EL: You have an impressive list of clients. What type of work did you do when you started off?

AT: More or less the same stuff I’m doing today, illustration, lettering, graphic design…..

You live and work in Barcelona, right?

Yes I do.

I’m most effective with some tunes and a pot of dark roast coffee. How do you get down to business?

With a strong coffee and a good live electronic music set.

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In an increasingly globalized world, and as a result of the Internet, it’s almost as if artists are able to develop styles that are much more expansive. Do you consider yourself a Spanish artist, or do you feel more tapped into a broader artistic landscape?

Both things are possible these days. I like to see myself as a simple Catalan guy that works with this computer from his studio, doing his own visual work and giving his local point of view to anyplace in the world that wishes to hire it.

It seems like that approach gives you any latitude you might need. at this point, you do everything from ads for Adidas to posters for The Decemberists – how is working with a corporation different than working with a band?

It depends on how much they are asking you to be yourself in the work. It doesn’t matter if they are from the music industry or a big company, both posibilities happen……but it is usually related to the amount they are paying. More money less freedom, less money more freedom.

But I like to do both kinds of things, and have the doors of personal freedom and commercial limitation both open. Sometimes it’s great to have someone asking you to do something in particular that has nothing to do with what you would had done if the request was to do your own personal thing. Every experience becomes a new result that expands your boundries, and makes you more complete in terms of graphic solutions. It’s good to let yourself go and follow someone elses directions. (Sometimes, depending what directions, of course… )

Ahaha, definitely. As far as the corporate projects particularly, do they just say, “Hey Alex, we need something cool,” or is it more guided than that?

Sometimes a big company asks you to do whatever you like. That usually happens when they do a small run, or the product they have fits really well with your style, so the risks for them are little, and they can allow for spontaniety. If the project is big, then it needs to go through more filters, aprovals, AD, CD, etc. (In this way) the experience becomes less pure and fresh, but not always…

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You seem extremely comfortable in different styles. You range from very symmetrical design-based stuff, to straight up psychedelic illustration. Both seem to come easy to you, but which reflects your personal inclinations more aptly?

I don’t feel very visually attached to anything in particular, I think everything changes fast, and expires faster if you start feeling too attached to it. I wish I could always be evolving and adapting. I know it is utopic, and that many times it’s impossible to drop some of your graphic habits and do a total reset in your next project…..but I believe it’s the way we make things fun and interesting.

I love your liquid illustrations stuff, it all has a perfect sense of movement. How’d you start doing pieces like that?

I looked at many highspeed pictures of splashes, and looked at nature. I see the liquid movement everywhere in nature, in wood, stones, skin… everything seems to have the same movement but with a different speed and density. 🙂

Do you associate the use of color with certain clients or projects? I wonder about the criteria for deciding whether or not something gets that brilliant color treatment that is evident in much of your work….

The color treatment is like choosing a typeface, it comunicates and transforms the information you’re sending. It’s important considering what attitude and message it’s giving. The bad thing is that you don’t have a catalogue of color treatments that you can go to and choose one, you can only rely on your own technique, and thats why I think it’s so important to never stop trying things, so your “tool box” gets bigger and you have more solutions to choose from.

Explain your idea of “More is more.”

More is more is just my way of saying that I don’t follow the “less is more” design culture. That doesn’t mean I don’t respect and admire the Swiss School, I follow lots of rules of the modern movement, but I don’t believe in neutrality, and I don’t believe in only one way of doing things.
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www.AlexTrochut.com


1 Comment

  1. […] The color treatment is like choosing a typeface, it comunicates and transforms the information you’re sending. It’s important considering what attitude and message it’s giving. The bad thing is that you don’t have a catalogue of color treatments that you can go to and choose one, you can only rely on your own technique, and thats why I think it’s so important to never stop trying things, so your “tool box” gets bigger and you have more solutions to choose from. […]

    Pingback by RAW - Typography by Alex Trochut | Art Sponge — December 17, 2013 @ 8:43 pm

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