For today’s edition of MakerStories we’re featuring Mauro Gatti, an Italian illustrator and designer based in Los Angeles, California. Mauro is an award-winning creator who most recently won an Emmy in 2017 for his creative work. His work is based on humor and always strives to capture the comical side of life in his art.
“A day without laughter is a day wasted.” — Charlie Chaplin
How did your story start as an artist?
I love to make people happy with my art and I’ve always valued ideas over style, for the simple reason that great ideas are timeless. I’m in love with creating all sorts of fun creations like animation, game design, GIFs and children’s books. My work is full of humor, iconic, simple, and inspired by illustrations of the 60s and 70s. I’m always in the company of my inseparable bullmastiff Cyrus and I live by Charlie Chaplin’s iconic quote: “A day without laughter is a day wasted”.
Were you always interested in art growing up?
My childhood was spent reading comic books, watching cartoons and 80s commercials. An amazing and explosive mix of creativity. As soon as I had access to software and digital tools, I fell in love with the opportunity of visualizing my ideas and distributing content on different platforms.
When did you decide to follow your path as an artist?
I guess there was never a “eureka!” moment. The decision to start a creative career came to me in an organic way, starting from the moment when I realized that I could make a living out of my ideas and drawings.
How would you describe your style?
My work is based on humor and a mix of traditional and digital media; an eclectic production that shows its will to create smiles and enjoyment. A visual expression that combines strong concepts, elements of pop culture and a hand drawn style. Iconic is the best definition of what I always try to achieve when I draw.
Other than Heinz Edelmann (whose work defined the 60s pop culture aesthetic and shocked me the first time I watched Yellow Submarine… like taking a trip without LSD), I’ve been extremely inspired by the work of Raymond Savignac, The Push Pin Graphic Collective (in particular Seymour Chwast) and Ryohei Yanagihara. They all left a huge impact in the creative world and their work taught me that the message is as important as the style itself.
Can you tell us about the process of making your work?
My process is very simple. I care about ideas more than style so I spend 90% of my time sketching and trying to summon good ideas, and only 10% of the time drawing. My style is very minimal and direct so I try to not indulge too much in adding details that will shift the attention away from the message. I work 100% in digital, using a MacBook pro, Wacom Cintiq, and an iPad Pro when I’m on the go.
What are some challenges you’ve faced in creating art, and how do you deal with them?
I don’t have many challenges, I always say that being creative is a gift, not a job so I always have a blast turning silly ideas into images that make people laugh.
How do you see the art market and the art world changing?
They’re evolving into a more diverse, fluid, social and global workspace. Galleries still hold some control over what’s the next “big thing” in the art world but my impression is that artists now can finance their work through crowdfunding and sell directly to their fanbase without the need of a physical space or an intermediary.
How has technology and an increasingly digital world impacted your work?
The digital world provides tools to streamline the creative and production process. It also provides outlets to promote your work, share your knowledge and resources to learn.
Digital is just a tool used to create art, not a pejorative definition of an artist’s creation.
How do you think blockchain and the ability to own digital art will affect the industry?
I think blockchain will help bring value to digital art. A lot of people still think that if an illustration is not hanging on a wall it’s not valuable and that’s because if you can find an image on Google it means it’s free to use. Digital is just a tool used to create art, not a pejorative definition of an artist’s creation.
Why are you excited about MakersPlace?
It’s a platform for creators that will empower and benefit artists all over the world by bringing value to digital creations. Also, being on the blockchain will make transactions easier, faster and cheaper with middlemen.
Follow Mauro Gatti
You can find more of Mauro Gatti’s work and follow him on: Instagram, Twitter and his personal website.
Mauro is a featured creator on MakersPlace and you can buy and collect his humorous and eclectic digital artwork on MakersPlace.
Follow more MakerStories here on Medium as we share more stories from the creators. Next up we’ll be talking with digital illustrator Larry Cooney Jr as he shares his story and thoughts as a digital artist.