From the Series
Milan-based graphic designer and illustrator Girolamo Giannatempo works under the name G&Sans. He says his work, inspired in part by the “frenzied, exciting city” he lives in, is moving increasingly towards being an expression of artistic impulses. After five years studying at the Academy of Fine Arts, Giannatempo’s work is influenced by the artists he researched as a student and by various other visual media that cross his path.
We got a chance to ask the designer-artist about his work, his passions and processes.
How would you describe what you do?
I call myself a craftsman who uses various media. What I do is a fusion of what I love: the culture of the visual image merged with the art world. This allows me to have a unique and recognizable style that is closer to the concept of multidisciplinary artist illustrator.
Talk us through your process.
I like to work with a calm mind, taking care of everything and being sure that each composition turns out to be pleasant. Sometimes deadlines make this pretty hard. My work always starts with a pencil. I like to immediately see the idea. I believe that if we rely entirely on computer we will lose the best part of our job.
How would you describe the way your colourful humanoids look to someone who hadn’t seen your work yet?
My characters ask the user to identify with them. To do this we need to break free from the constraints of reason, accepting what we see as one of the many world views, not right or wrong, but just another vision.
What mood are you in when you design your best work?
While working I'm always happy – nervous and a bit anxious at times, but always serene. I love what I do and I hope to extend my vision everywhere. Cities need colour and stupidity and people are too serious when choosing what they wear.
Who or what are your biggest creative influences?
My influences come from the art world. Expressionism, informal and conceptual art, naive art are all fundamental. Other than that I do nourish myself with everything that comes from the visual culture, trying to translate it through my own vision.
What do you do when you’ve got creative block?
Drawing... Changing perspectives, strolling around, browsing supermarket shelves looking for unnecessary things.
So do you draw every day?
I started life as a designer and this affects my career as an illustrator. Although my illustrations break into art because they are very irrational in some respects. When I draw I have to open up my mind to inner sensation and feelings. It’s pretty hard to draw constantly because of my work as a graphic designer. I'd love to have more time to draw.
Is your approach to graphic design work very different from your approach to an illustration?
I think the basic premises are different. Designers have to solve a problem. This means being more rational and functional. As an illustrator the situation change a little. You can be irrational.