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.