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Portrait of Nastplas

Portrait of Nastplas

The creative duo from Madrid talk to us about their dark and atmospetic imagery

If anyone ever doubted digital art as an artform Nastplas’s body of work will certainly convince them for the advanced & strong aesthetic of new media arts and their definite place in the artworld.

Can you outline your creative background?
NastPlas is a creative duo formed in 2006 by illustrator Fran R. Learte a.k.a “drFranken” and creative director Natalia Molinos a.k.a “Na”, together “Nastplas Team”.  NastPlas was born about 6 years ago, in 2006, as a website for illustration and design; though we have many more years of experience in other fields like web design and design of interactive graphics. Because of our passion for art and design we wanted to create a place to show our work and share it with others with the same concerns. Little by little people have come to know our work, both in Spain and abroad, and currently we create commissioned works around the world.

How did you become an illustrator?
My interest in digital art came about when I started my studies as a computer programmer, I discovered a world of new possibilities and tools to express my art. What motivates me is the immediacy of digital art; expressing what goes through my head with ease by using digital tools. (drFranken)

What was the first ad or artwork that you can clearly remember?
As a child I used to love the Creepshow’s illustrations.  (drFranken)

Where do you find your inspiration? What captures your attention in everyday life, graphics or art?
Anything can inspire us but we have no direct influence. The dark aesthetics is what flowing in our free creations so we can consider this as an influence and reference.

What is the process you go through to build your imagery?
Each project we work on is divided in several phases, the first step is to study each project and gather as much information as possible, through related imagery, texts, references. Once we have a clear idea we normally select the technique to use, it can be a combination of 3D elements, photo retouching, vectorial art, airbrushing, etc. This is where the creative and production process really starts. We usually create a preliminary study and then adapt it to the clients specifications and make amends. Before we wrap up, we add the proper lighting and, finally, choose an appropriate name that fits the piece.

How do you describe your style?
Our style is a combination of techniques in order to achieve high quality work. Generally, we use a great range of digital elements and abstract patterns with a lot of layers, different techniques, and effects to make a final composition. Our style varies with each piece that we do, but we try to make the end result be clean even if its complicated in order for the work to “reach” the viewer.

What tools do you use? Digital? Hand?
We use a lot of software. We have a Canon EOS 550D, Wacom Intuos 4 tablet, Mac Intel, Dell XPS, several digital cameras and software used in the suite of Adobe, Corel, 3D Software and graphic programs created with code, for make complex shapes. We also create textures by hand and drawings in our creations.

How do you define good graphic art?
One that is able to excite and engage the spectator, regardless of the technique and the style used.

What makes your studio feel like a home?
No doubt the company of our cat “TETE”, he is the king of the house!

What do you think about the fast moving pace of the world of illustration?
We think digital art is in continuous evolution. More and more, it has weight in the world of art and that’s good. Until recently, people did not understand it as a form of art. Our work is increasingly being more recognized so we like that.

Whose portrait would you most like to do?
Making a portrait for a singer like Robert Smith or David Bowie would be great!

What artist would you like to collaborate with (from the past or present)?
I really like the dark and surrealist artists, I am fascinated by dark environments and the complex shapes. I can not select just one, there are many great artists that I admire (drFranken).

What project are you most proud of?
Each and every one of them. All are special to us because they represent different stages of our life. We love what we do!

Which blogs and magazines do you read?
Especially those who talk about art, design, fashion, music and illustration.

What is the last exhibition you went to?
The recent exhibitions that we have been seen, “MUDE: Museum of Design and Fashion” (Lisbon) and “Art and Artificial Life” (Madrid)

If you could own any artwork in the world, which one would it be?
Uff, it would be impossible to select just one.

What would you be if not an artist?
I love music. A few years ago I had several bands that recorded several CDs and videos. It was a great time! (drFranken)

What are three adjectives that best describe you?
Creative, hardworking, and persistent. (drFranken)

What are you currently working on?
I work as a computer programmer in electric engineering making software to power plants. Illustration and design are my passion; even though it started out as a hobby we have been making professional works for magazines, designers and design studies around the world. (drFranken)

Any plans for the future?
Keep doing what we love and enjoy life.