When I discovered The O Store project on your Behance, it immediately put a smile on my face …
[JA] The O Store came out of one of the classes I took at the School of Visual Arts. I spent six months in NYC last year after quitting my job in advertising to learn more about typography and graphic design. I’ve been wanting to create a shop for my own designs to sell, but I didn’t want to just make a bunch of random objects without any connection between them. Rather, I wanted to create a concept that allowed me to design! Besides, one motivation for this specific project was that I wanted to get off the screen and create something with my hands, like prints for textiles, clothing, or ceramics. This is how I decided to create a unique concept for a store that offers round supplies for square people – round, fun things that bring joy to the life of square people. The minimalistic narrative of the posters follows the circle breaking out of the square spaces.
How do you plan on implementing the idea? And what kind of objects did you have in mind?
[JA] I would like to launch an online shop this year. For the first batch of objects I’m planning to go to a small village in Colombia, called Raquira, that is very well known for its ceramics. They have a high level of craftsmanship and they are still working like their grandparents taught them. I want to travel there to take a class and start creating round objects. I already have some ideas for a pipe and an ashtray, so there’s more to come.
»If you want to be a good art director you have to be curious about everything.«
You come from a marketing background and you started out as an art director for advertising. How did you get into graphic design?
[JA] Working in advertising I learned a lot about design and the value of ideas, but sadly I didn’t have enough time to explore and develop great design work. However, I feel very fortunate that I got to work with very talented designers and artists who allowed me to learn from them and apply all that knowledge to my personal design projects. That’s really a blessing. Since I was young I enjoyed to create. I used to take the titles of a Japanese anime that I liked, Sakura Card Captors, and started to explore all of the typographic shapes. I copied those letters and then I did the whole alphabet, imitating the letter shapes. I did that a lot for fun, without knowing I would later want to be a graphic designer.
What advice would you give somebody who wanted to take a career in art direction?
[JA] If you want to be a good art director you have to be curious about everything. When I started art direction I was very curious about photography and cinematography, so I took a lot of pictures during that time and learned about light, semantics and how to use a camera. Next I got into illustration, exploring different techniques and learning about its history. Now I’m very curious about graphic design and typography and I’m enjoying that the most so far. These explorations in different fields helped me to develop better ideas and communicate them in an appealing way. It’s been a fun path getting to know myself better and what I’m really interested in ·