Get to Know Artist Nelson Calderara
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Nelson Calderara (@_pizzapirate) is an artist and graphic designer currently working at Vans. He likes pizza, art, and music.
Interviewer Alexi Ueltzen (@alexi) is Ello's Social Media & Email Manager. She lives in Evergreen, CO with her husband, two dogs, and one hedgehog named Ditters who hates everything except for mealworms and tunnels.
How did you develop your signature illustration style?
I think my style is made up of 3 elements, one is old school and vintage tattoos, the second one is the 30s cartoons, I have always loved the cartoons from the 30s, I have grown up seeing them from videotapes and on TV, and to finish the last is the minimalism and cleanliness that I learned studying Graphic Design in Switzerland.
I've been designing and making t-shirt and website graphics for years, both for personal projects and for clients.
What’s your creative process like? What sparks an idea for you?
Mainly drawing a lot on my notebook daily, not necessarily sensible designs but I put together ideas, maybe some of my stickers are the set of drawings I did during a week.
I also use a lot of Ello and Pinterest to inspire me and keep references handy.
Having almost a fixed theme then, the pirates and pizzas, I have to invent something new every time, and it's a challenge, when I did the inktober 2017 I arrived at the end of the month almost without ideas, but it was a great workout.
What do you love and/or hate about LA? Don’t say the traffic. We already know that sucks.
I lived in London, and near Milan, I'm used to traffic, and I love Santa Monica, going from Santa Monica to Venice beach in the late afternoon. It's fantastic, even the quantity of art that you find around even graffiti or stickers on the street! There's nothing I hate about LA, for now, I guess I need more time.
You create a ton of sticker art, and it’s dope. What is it about stickers that get your creative juices flowing?
First of all, thank you! Knowing that my stickers like and are used is really rewarding!
I think the stickers are an excellent way to communicate their art, they are cheap and everyone likes collecting them or sticking them on their own things. I myself love to trade stickers with other sticker artists.
You’re currently working with VANS - can you tell us a little about that collaboration, how it came about, and what you’re developing?
I have been working for 4 years for Vans as a Graphic Designer, I create digital content or print for their Key accounts (Foot locker, JD, Snipes, etc ..) I had to move from London where I had been living for almost 2 years and worked for Ministry of sound at their European Headquarters in Switzerland.
I sent the curriculum, and I was chosen! I did not believe it when I received the call but until now I have always been comfortable with them. One of the brands that I have always loved.
Tell us a little about why you’re on Ello and why you think it’s the best network in the whole world for creators. But don’t let me put words in your mouth.
I immediately liked Ello both for the graphics and for how the contents are shown, which are at the center of the navigation!
There is everything I need to show my work, what I like most is the ability to put external links to posts, like to buy the graphics I do, or the possibility of being contacted to work or collaborate.
When I was chosen as "featured member" I was honored! I hope it grows more and more! You deserve it.
Your bio says you like “pizza, art, and music.” Is that exclusively what you’re doing when you’re not creating art, or are there other ways you blow off steam?
One thing that helps me to stress out is video games since my sister started making me play video games I never stopped! In addition to that in this period I began to be interested in 3D printing and modeling my drawings with clay making them really "real", but I always have the desire to draw something and make stickers, that never passes me!