Interview: Filippo Morini
Today it is my great pleasure to present an interview with Filippo Morini. He’s an awesome artist based in Italy, pumping out some very creative pop-culture mashups, and sweet pixel art designs. Here’s the scoop:
How would you introduce yourself and your art to people who may not familiar with you?
I’m a young illustrator living in a very small town in northern Italy, among green hills covered with forests and vineyards all around. Though drawing is not my full-time job, it’s something I do with total dedication whether it’s a pixel art t-shirt design or a 18”x24” screenprint for an art show.
How did you get started designing t-shirts?
During high-school some friend of mine showed me Threadless.com and that’s when I started to think “Hey I can do that!” though I had never heard of Photoshop nor Illustrator at that time! I quickly realized that my experience in digital illustration was zero, but somehow that boosted me even more and I became determined in having my designs printed no matter what. Then I learned about 24h-sale sites like The Yetee, RIPT and Teefury that are way more pop-culture oriented and that gave the final push: the more I saw my designs rejected the more I tried until I finally got my first print ever.
What inspires your work?
Movies, tv shows, videogames and comics most of all. I love to do mashups, looking for links between an old 8-bit/16-bit game and a movie or a tv show and create something that fans of both can appreciate.
Can you give us any insight into your creative process?
Almost all of my t-shirt designs so far were pixel art mashups, and the creative process for those it’s always pretty simple: the inspiration usually comes from a movie or a tv show I recently watched or watched again for, like, the 5th or 6th time, and I start to think: “Ok, I’m a kid in the early ‘90s, I love this movie and I also love videogames so freaking much. Now, if I could create my own game from scratch about that, what it would look like?”
Then I start looking for links between the movie/tv show I’ve chosen and classic games, like The Legend of Zelda or Street Fighter, and decide which one will suit better, also taking into consideration that I have to adapt the game logo to the new concept, like “The Legend of Heisenberg” or “Pulp Fighter II”.
At this point I’m ready to open Photoshop, set the right resolution according to the game’s original and start drawing, pixel by pixel.
Which is your favorite design of your own?
Probably ‘Great Scott!’ a mashup between Back to the Future and Chrono Trigger.
I think that’s because there are some important links between the two stories, and an actual “Great Scott!” game could have worked for real.
I also like ‘The Legend of Heisenberg’, it gives me a sort of nostalgic and gloomy feeling looking at it, now that Breaking Bad is gone forever.
Which has been your most successful design to-date?
“Pulp Fighter II’ Motherfucking Champion Edition” (http://filippomorini.tumblr.com/post/24489741076/pulp-fighter-2-motherfuckin-champion-edition-by-filippo) is by far my most successful design to-date, closely followed by Pulp Fighter II.
Who are some of your favorite artists?
Talking about t-shirt design my favorites are Glenn Jones (aka Glennz), Megan Lara, and Drew Wise.
Concerning illustration in general I must mention Travis Charest, Drew Struzan, Adam Hughes, Katsuhiro Otomo, Seung Eun Kim, Ken Taylor and Grzegorz Domaradzki (aka Gabz).
Their work is outstanding and truly inspirational.
What are some of your interests outside of art?
I love rock music (Pixies, Tool and Elliot Smith are my all time favorites, but I’ve been listening to very different stuff lately) and I play guitar everyday. I also like snowboarding, I make sure to go ride mountains with my board every winter, money and time permitting.
Beside that, what I like is pretty standard stuff: movies, comics, games and go partying with my friends and my girlfriend everytime I can.
What are your vices?
I listen to music way too loud, I’m messy (my drawing board is a dump), I smoke 2-3 cigarettes a day.
I also go to sleep too late, but I’m working on that.
Hypothetical dinner party, you and any two people, dead or alive, who do you choose?
If the dinner party involves partying all night till 7 in the morning getting into as many weird and shameful situations as possible, I would definitely go with George Best and Charles Bukoswki, Las Vegas, New Year’s Eve.
Are you currently working on anything we should keep an eye out for?
I’m working on a giant print about Breaking Bad for one of the next art shows at the Bottleneck Gallery in Brooklyn.
After that I’m going to go back to t-shirt design with a new pixel art mashup involving Mega Man X.
Awesome, thanks Filippo, can’t wait to see that Breaking Bad piece, and the Mega Man X mashup!