A unique style and a palette of choice colors are not enough for Namo. His hands wrapped firmly around the Spreadshirt Marketplace, he’s got bigger things in mind. In this interview you can find out how he lets his ideas come to life through his wicked designs.
Which corner of the planet are you from?
I live now in a fairly remote corner of Bavaria. You could say that I spend most of the time in an ivory tower in the middle of nowhere. This is where I sketch designs on my computer. My ideas mostly come up when I’m out and about.
Where are your places of inspiration?
Although I live in the countryside, I feel attracted by cities, especially big cities. As I have friends in New York, Istanbul and Montreal, I sometimes take the opportunity to go there. For the past few years, I’ve also been going to the Burning Man festival in Nevada – what an incredible source of inspiration! We inspire each other to try to create something special there, whether it’s objects in the desert or yourself or something else. Sharing is the most beautiful aspect of it, not just material things but also ideas. I always come back with bags full of new ideas.
You’ve been producing designs for Spreadshirt for quite some time. How has the platform evolved?
Spreadshirt is a frontline sales platform, and it’s clear that we designers all jump for joy with each sale. But the platform has changed to an extent that there is an exceeding number of creative minds. I think many of those who create the designs are out to share something: ideas, messages, and of course their own creativity. I love seeing new Marketplace designs, and I am still fascinated by this wealth of a think tank. What I find unfortunate is that it is not possible to follow a designer, though, and there is no comment function available. I think that if we could get a feedback from the community, it would serve as added motivation to carry on.
What led you to creating illustrations? Have you always done it or did you discover it later on in life?
I initially wanted to have an education in the arts. After passing the entrance exam at the Academy of Arts, I actually got accepted – but I decided on something else. I did not mean to stop being creative. My interests have always been diverse. Besides drawing and painting, I also have interests in wood carving, stone masonry and pottery, among others.
Some of your designs are in made with just two colors and others in a barrage of bright hues. The very defined and clear lines next to a lot of details make them look very organic. How would you explain your style?
I like trying my hand at different styles. I cannot give preference to one style over another. There are obvious elements of the arts that I love, like abstract expressionism. I greatly admire the artist Ellsworth Kelly, who remained faithful to his style for all his life. I – on the other hand – always move between chaos and order. One day I like clear and simple structures lines, another day the complex and elusive.
Where do you get your ideas from?
The best ideas come to me when I’m going somewhere. I love observing graffiti, even the most mundane pieces. I always discover something original of which I can bounce off an idea.
Do you begin sketching by hand or with a graphics software tool?
I pen a sketch first. Unfortunately, my sketch pad is too big, so I cannot take it with me all the time. When I’m not home, I do my sketches on anything that comes to hand: towels, coasters, receipts, sometimes even on my arm. I always have a pen on me.
Mermaids, unicorns, bulls’ heads and the four elements – it seems that a lot of your designs incorporate something mystical. What do you think fascinates shoppers about your work?
Enigmatic and mysterious elements have always triggered the imagination of people. I take great pleasure in getting lost in surreal worlds and finding an outlet for your crazy ideas. Even if some designs don’t find a lot of buyers, I still love creating these kinds of designs.
Namo, thank you for allowing us to be immersed in your fantastic world of creation. We are curious to see what you come up with next. Auf wiedersehen!