He isn’t your everyday graphic designer. That’s because, even though he is a peerless master of his craft, he does not create a fuss when presenting his projects. On the contrary, it seems he’d prefer to disappear among the crowd. And this is surprising in a world that longs to find new icons to admire. “The truth is I’m always out of place when you get deep into any discipline, including in the field of design. I never have been, am not now, and probably never will be a master of anything. I feel like I’m going to the school party dressed like a leopard, when everyone else has gone as a shepherd,” Martin Satí says of himself.
Trained as an artist at the University of Seville, where he studied Fine Arts and learnt traditional methods of painting and drawing. He finished his education at the University of Winchester, in the United Kingdom, where he specialized in contemporary design. And it is thanks to this combination of formulas that he has managed to create his own language, in which he mixes the old with the new, the traditional with the avant-garde. “I have a base camp, which is design, and from there I venture into other areas and disciplines, like illustration, painting, sculpture, and even a kind of action graphics, but when night falls I tend to return to base camp. There it feels like I don’t bother them, so they leave me be,” he says.
However, a simple look at his portfolio strips his words of any meaning, as his work is, to say the least, energetic, spectacular, new and delirious. It is clear how deftly he manages a colourful pop aesthetic and the latest technology to create truly futuristic creations. Nor is he averse to anything. This same man created a logo for an international brand, designed a new font, created a graphic flash fiction story, disguised himself to form part of an installation, and created new graphics for a wallpaper brand.
Of particular interest is the “artist’s” predilection for circular shapes. “More than the circle itself, it’s the circular motion that attracts me. I created a book of drawings entitled “What will become of me”, on transience and oblivion, which includes a brief text I wrote called “The end approaches a new beginning”. In it, I made clear how an open circle should join another circle, and so on, like a spring,” he says.
An investigator of new paths, Martin rejects the term “signature style”, specifically because these kinds of ideas must have a very limited life and a very specific purpose.
“I created a “signature style” to make things easier for me when working on an international level. People know what you do and they give you commissions, but that can be a trap in the long term. My goal is to create projects with different natures, and follow the guidelines I feel out to be followed. That is to say, if the body asks you to do something different to continue growing, you must do it. Additionally, if you still don’t identify with a style you created, then you should leave it and move on to something else.”
As for the future? “I don’t like thinking about the future. What I find interesting is artistic contribution from other perspectives beyond the art market. Perspectives from those outside the world of museums and galleries, but who are more culturally influential than those who earn a living through exhibitions,” says Martin. At a personal level, research and experience are his most important concerns. Creating real stories and getting involved in a vital way to build a graphic adventure and live passionately throughout the process.
Photos: Martin Satí
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