A unique style and a palette of choice colours are not enough for Namo. His finger tips firmly at the Marketplace, he’s got bigger things in mind. In this interview you can find out how he lets his ideas come to life with wicked designs.
From which corner of the planet are you from?
I now live in a fairly remote corner of Bavaria. You might as well say that I spend most of the time in an ivory tower in the middle of nowhere. This is where I sketch designs on my computer. My ideas mostly come up when I’m out and about.
Which are your places of inspiration?
Although I live in the countryside, I feel attracted by cities, especially big cities. Having friends in New York, Istanbul and Montreal helps, and I sometimes take up an invite and go there. For the past few years, I’ve also been attending the Burning Man festival in Nevada – what an incredible source of inspiration! We inspire each other to try and create something special there, whether it’s objects in the desert, bouncing off ideas of each other or other random stuff. Sharing is the most beautiful aspect of it, not just techniques but also ideas. I always come back with bags full of inspiration.
You’ve been producing designs for Spreadshirt for quite some time. How has the platform evolved?
Spreadshirt is a frontline sales platform, and it’s clear that we designers all jump for joy with each sale. But the platform has changed to an extent that more and more creative heads get involved. I think many of those who create the designs are out to share a part of themselves: ideas, messages and of course their own creativity. I love seeing new Marketplace designs, and I am still fascinated by this wealth of a think tank. What I find unfortunate is that it is not possible to follow a designer, tough, and there is no comment function available either. I think that if we could get feedback from the community, it would serve as added motivation to keep going.
What led you to creating illustrations? Have you always done it or discovered it later on in life?
I initially wanted to have an education in fine arts. After passing the entrance exam at the Academy of Arts, I actually got accepted – but I decided on something else. I did not mean to stop being creative. My interests have always been diverse. Besides drawing and painting, I was also interested in wood carving, stone masonry and pottery, among others.
Some of your designs are made in just two colours and others in a barrage of colours. The very defined and clear lines next to a lot of details make them look very organic. How would you explain your style?
I like trying my hand at different styles. I cannot give preference to one style over another. There are obvious elements of the arts that I love, like abstract expressionism. I greatly admire the artist Ellsworth Kelly, who remained faithful to his style for all his life with. I – on the other hand – always move between chaos and order. One day I like clear and simple structured lines, other days more complex and elusive stuff.
Where do you get your ideas from?
The best ideas come to me when traveling. I love observing graffiti murals, even the most mundane ones. I always discover something original to take as a stepping stone for an idea.
Do you begin sketching by hand or with a graphics software tool?
I pen a sketch first. Unfortunately, my sketch pad is too big so I cannot have it on me all the time. When I’m not home, I do my sketches on everything that I can put my hands on: towels, coasters, receipts, sometimes even my own arm. I take a pen with me wherever I go.
Mermaids, unicorns, bulls’ heads and the four elements – some of your designs have something mystical. What do you think fascinates shoppers about your work?
Enigmatic and mysterious elements have always triggered people’s imagination. I take great pleasure in getting lost in surreal worlds and finding an outlet for my crazy ideas. Even if some designs don’t find a lot of buyers, I still love creating these kinds of designs.
Namo, thank you for having us immersed in your fantastic world of creation. We are curious to see what you come up with next. Auf wiedersehen!
You have really mean design skills, but you can’t enter the limelight? If you have really special design ideas and you feel like sharing them with our community, you’re on for a winner. Tell us your story and show us what triggers your ideas and the creative process. In our series “In the studio with…“, we’ll let you and your designs hog the limelight properly.