Diogo Machado–Well known illustrator Diogo…Adds Fuel to the Fire
Arize: Besides being a illustrator with some crazy work…Tell us a little about you…
Hi all, my name is Diogo Machado, I am 27 years and born in Portugal.
During my childhood and teenage years I had the constant presence of an older cousin from whom I got many kinds of visual stimulus, from comic books, classic art, graffiti, music and of course design. I think back now and that’s what made me want to get deeper into the visual and graphic arts universe.
So, later on, after a degree in graphic design, I worked for some years in some design agencies in Portugal and also in Germany, but currently I’m going freelance as an illustrator and graphic designer (and part-time video game lover!)
So, as you can tell, I draw all kinds of stuff, but I have this particular taste for small-funny-creepy creatures, some of them robot-like, some humanoids, some cute, some monsters and stuff like that, but believe me, most of them are harmless…!
So taking it from here, "Add fuel to the fire" is my super special secret alias name.
Arize: You have a specific look to your illustrations…how would you sum up your style and look?
I would call it a cross-over between doodle and vector cartoon. I really like to create a messy style, with lots of info and details, and I always try to put a little of me, and of what’s going on with my life at the moment. That’s why I always come up with this funny situations and concepts. I like to use a lot of color to bring the right ambience to an illustration, but I think that in the end I always come up with a very bright palette. Of course I get a lot of influence from graffiti and street art, I don’t know, I just like the esthetic of it!
Arize: Did you always know that you wanted to be an illustrator?
Well I’ve always drawn. I got my degree in graphic design and crossed all the paths of a designer, computer techniques, Photoshop and stuff. But this illustration thing started as a hobby that got bigger and bigger. I think ultimately I got really lucky that people just enjoy what I do… so now I’m very happy to be living doing only what I love the most.
Arize: You have tons of work and work in lots of mediums, what is your favorite one to work in and what do viewers respond most to?
I would say that clothing is one of my favorite things to do. Most of the times you get a great final result, seeing the thing you designed “living” and moving around in the streets. It’s like painting human canvas. And I also think that this is the kind of work that people most appreciate, they have the chance to be a part of my world, when dressing up something I designed, and I think that’s really cool. I’m also into toys (a lot). I’ve done some customizations and some limited paper toy series. But in this field it’s very hard to evolve, to make more and more work in the designer toys field is one of my goals for the future. Some contacts have been made, so who knows… maybe 2008 it’s the year! Who knows!
"Of course I get a lot of influence from graffiti and street art, I don’t know, I just like the esthetic of it!"
Arize: Your work can be seen throughout Portugal in galleries and in public places…How did you end up working that deal out? And where is the craziest place you ever had your work shown?
I think that it all starts with one basic idea: if you work hard and a lot, put lots of passion in it, your work will be noticed. That’s what happened. As I mentioned before, this whole thing started as a hobby and I was just doing this stuff for fun. Eventually people start to notice your work and you start to have calls and requests for galleries and exhibitions. That’s a very satisfying thing, that’s one of the first points in an artist carrier you can look back and realize you have accomplished something. I think one of the most crazy places my work has been shown was in front of the museum of Christian Art. Alongside with Rebull I did a series of posters that were placed in front of the museum. For these posters I created some crazy concepts about religion and gods. I think it didn’t offend anyone, but the fire was on!
Arize: You obviously have a humorous side to your designs…What piece gets the most laughs?
Haha, yes I do. I like to do that a lot, but not everybody understands that the jokes are there! I think one of the funniest things I’ve done was the monkey I’ve drawn for the “Optimus Lab Tour”. He has this worried look like”What’s this worm doing here?” and he is standing next to one of Paulo Arraiano’s artworks, also monkey. They go really nice together.
Arize: Aside from your collaborations with other artists, What are some of the well known companies, magazines etc you’ve done work for?
I’ve worked with several different companies, small, medium or big, it really doesn’t matter as long as I can have my artistic freedom and as long as the project is cool of course! Here’s some names for you: Red Bull, Don't Panic Media, Search Megazine/Nike, Palmshirts, Computer Arts, Digit, A Better Tomorrow, Propaganda Store, Stickylou, Optimus, Trig, Teepapaz, Gulasch Baron, Super Bock, Goape shirts, Avalon 7, Tribbes, and Carhartt.
Arize: Got any tips for artists that are trying to get their work out there?
Oh man, that makes me feel old! Anyway, the thing I got, I got it from being original, so “be original” would be the main thought here. I can also tell you stuff like “share great ideas with your heart” and “try to make people think when they see your work”, which are also great thoughts, but in the end, you really got to love what you do and just try to get the most fun out of it.
Arize: What can we look forward to in the future from Diogo Machado?
For the (near) future, I’m planning a head-to-head exhibition with my friend Paulo Arraiano, where we want to explore our works together a bit more, so stay tuned, more news on this soon.
I’m also attempting to release a clothing brand alongside with my associate in the US, so let’s hope all goes well and that “IGNITED by addfueltothefire” will be unleashed.