Cigarettes, bottoms, stone heads and lavender sticking out of poo take centre phase in the work of graphic designer and illustrator Diego Sanchez Barcelo. Funny and playful, his 3D designs and animations can be seen going viral on MTV.uk’s social channels, video for bands, as well as starring in business work for HSBC, Chloé and The Arc.
Although having always drawn given that youth, Diego in truth came from a more scholastic background in graphic style, branding and illustration. After school, he pursued an arts degree with a masters in art instructions and communication– “I think this gave me an overview of the various methods I could establish a creative career out of skills that came naturally to me,” he informs It’s Nice That. “It instilled an attitude in me of not hesitating to have a voice and a hand in multiple different disciplines.” Later on, he followed a path into illustration and graphic style, guided by the prospect of earning a living, then moved from Barcelona to London in order to enhance his English and get some experience at studios and firms– and that’s where all of it started to kick off.
” It’s funny because one of my very first big chances in London was for MTV,” he says. “I keep in mind going in for the interview and showing them my CV, portfolio and website only to have them say something like ‘oh sorry, we actually aren’t interested in any of this, we were simply questioning the weird graphics you place on Instagram and for how long it takes you to make them.'” At this time, Diego had not even touched 3D software. Instead, he provided his hands to “strange collages” and “creepy illustrations” produced in Illustrator and Photoshop. “It wasn’t until freelancing at MTV and meeting Jack Sachs that I began considering 3D animation and how I could turn everything I made into some kind of unusual fictional world.”
This imaginary world pulls from numerous references, such as materials, light, buildings, landscapes, archaeology, art, architecture and design. “But in general,” says Diego, “the thing that consistently influences me is nature. I grew up on an island and just recently moved back from Mallorca, so I still get extremely excited by the sea and all the unusual shit I discover in it.” Evidently a prominent recommendation throughout his work, nature takes numerous forms and appears throughout the designs that he develops. This can be seen in his recent Sandstone boy– a stone head sitting statuesque in a desert landscape– or various rocky animals galavanting under the sun and dancing on the sand. Rather than turning to big names in the market for inspiration, Diego usages these recommendations as his formula and rather wants to an artist’s imaginative procedure and skill level– consists of the likes of Kevin Bray, Sara Ludy, Jack Sach and, to him, “Braulio Amado’s procedure is mind blowing”.
While producing his work, Diego starts with a rough sketch, looks at pictures, writes whatever catches his eye and then utilizes “great old” Cinema 4D. “A lot of my process is experimentation and fiddling,” he explains. “Often I end up a piece because I simply can’t look at it any longer, so I think ‘off you go, you’ll stay like this’.” Just recently, he completed a music video for a band called Mr Twin Sibling. “Andrea Stella, the lead vocalist, desired a character or entity that could have their faces on it,” he states. “They tape-recorded themselves with this app and I integrated it onto among my digital sculptures. They even got fans to tape-record themselves so that they might take part across the video.”
The result is an entirely encapsulating, surrealist and dreamy narrative that follows the vocalist lip syncing through a sandy setting with her band and fellow fans– a simple example of Diego’s ludicrously imaginative creativity and digital ability set.