The more artists we feature here on Dopamine 36, the more we find that they’re working in all kinds of industries and are passionate about different things. Some are sneakerheads, others are skateboarders and Wu-Tang fans, while some have their own clothing lines. Either way, they’re not just artists, and therefore their work reflects different scenes, cultures, and styles. It’s about time we showcased some major talent from our neighbors to the South, so in today’s Artist Spotlight we interview Mexican calligrapher and graphic artist Ricardo Gonzalez. Ricardo aka It’s A Living makes any word look cool with his smooth and unique calligraphy style that effortlessly brings out the meanings in the words he draws. Like our other artists, he’s also big into skating and traveling, and his style definitely reflects a more street influence. We caught up with Ricardo to find out what inspires him, and how he chooses his words carefully. Read on to see his dope work and how he does it.
TELL US A BIT ABOUT YOURSELF, WHERE YOU LIVE, AND WHAT YOU DO.
My name is Ricardo Gonzalez, I am a graphic designer focused on creative lettering. I work as a full time freelance designer from Durango, Mexico (A small town in the north part of the country). From here, I work for local and international clients doing graphics, photography, illustration etc. And whenever I can I travel & skate…
HOW DID YOU DEVELOP YOUR LETTERING STYLE? WHAT ARTISTS INSPIRE YOU?
I think I have developed my style through a combination of things: graffiti, calligraphy, graphic design, typography, and lettering. All these different elements have strongly influenced me through these years, so I try to experiment with all these elements, different markers, pens, brushes…literally anything I can write with.
I am very inspired by many artists who I respect so much for their skills and I try to learn from them as much as I can. Artists like Pokras lampas (Russia), Sergey Shapiro (Russia), Neil Secretario (USA), Joluvian (Spain), Meave (Mexico).
HOW DO YOU START A NEW PIECE? DO YOU SEE A WORD THAT INSPIRES YOU, OR A FONT YOU’D LIKE TO IMITATE?
I usually, think about words I find interesting or inspiring and write them down in a small sketchbook I have. I look up the meaning and I try to express or illustrate the meaning with the word in a simple way.
YOU WORK WITH A BUNCH OF DIFFERENT TOOLS AND IN DIFFERENT MEDIUMS, FROM PENS, TO SPRAY PAINT, TO ‘COCAINE’, DO YOU HAVE A FAVORITE?
(It was not cocaine I think it was baking powder) But that is the whole point of the material. And the fact that people look at it as a drug is interesting because it is only white powder. If you show it to a kid he would not know what is it or what it means.
My favourite marker is the unipaint (rounded point) in silver or gold colour, but I also really love the spray can because it can be used in so many different ways and many effects that makes it is a special tool.
(Ricardo using spray paint to do a ‘Quick’ video for Instagram)
IF YOU COULD DO THE ALBUM ART FOR ANY ARTIST, WHO WOULD IT BE?
WHAT IS YOUR BIGGEST CHALLENGE AS AN ARTIST/DESIGNER?
There are many challenges but I think one of the biggest is “Motivation”; with or without it you still gotta get stuff done no matter what.
WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR FAVORITE PROJECT SO FAR/ONE YOU’RE MOST PROUD OF?
The Maru collaboration! It was an awesome project!
YOU’RE STARTING TO DO SOME CLOTHING AND TEXTILE COLLABS (MARU, CARLA QUA, 2 COMMA KID, ETC.), IS THAT WHERE YOU SEE IT’S A LIVING GOING NEXT?
Maybe, I am still not sure about it but it looks fun.
WHAT IS YOUR DREAM PROJECT TO WORK ON?
Probably Nike SB! It would be really cool to create ads for Stefan Janoski and P-ROD.
WHAT CAN WE EXPECT TO SEE FROM YOU NEXT?
Some more elaborate lettering projects and other cool stuff.
HOW CAN WE FOLLOW YOUR WORK?
Big thanks to Ricardo for chopping it up with us! Stay tuned for more great work from this dude!