Design Legends ("DL") had the distinct honour to interview legendary designer Paolo Iarossi ("PI") for their original perspective and innovative approach to design as well as their creative lifestyle, we are very pleased to share our interview with our distinguished readers.

DL: Could you please tell us a bit about your design background and education?

PI : I studied at “scuola italiana di comix”, I took an illustration course, than a Concept art cour and a master for concept artist.

DL: What motivates you to design in general, why did you become a designer?

PI : the passion and pleasure I feel in the search for forms and problem solving has always fascinated me to design; this path has allowed me to make my passion a job.

DL: Did you choose to become a designer, or you were forced to become one?

PI : It was my choice, I decided to go my way at 19 against the wishes of my relatives, leaving the university. I felt I wasn’t in the right place for me.

DL: What do you design, what type of designs do you wish to design more of?

PI : mainly deal with the design of characters, assets and environments for 2d videogames. I’d like to find a way to deal with experimental projects, I know it’s hard but I’d like to launch a personal project.

DL: What should young designers do to become a design legend like you?

PI : experience, be curious and passionate about the search for the right look to give to the product, but above all be resilient to the obstacles to overcome.

DL: What distinguishes between a good designer and a great designer?

PI : I believe that a good design must ride the wave of fashion of the moment. is the wisest move economically. a great designer must instead overcome the limits and experiment with new things, even if it is safely more risky because it could have less feedback to the public and would suffer economically.

DL: What makes a good design a really good design, how do you evaluate good design?

PI : its credibility is in fact in its real plausibility. In my field you work with ideas, and it is absolutely necessary that they are likely to be, a good design must be beautiful but also workable.

DL: What is the value of good design? Why should everyone invest in good design?

PI : it is very important to have a beautiful design both from the point of view of aesthetics and appeal of the product. In commercial terms it is essential for a company to have a design that can attract many buyers.

DL: What would you design and who would you design for if you had the time?

PI : I would like to develop a board game as a personal project, also for companies in my country such as “Paizo” e “giochi uniti”. I am pleased to have the opportunity to produce illustrations for card games such as “ Magic” by Wizard and “heart of stone” by Blizzard.

DL: What is the dream project you haven’t yet had time to realize?

PI : A videogame created by me for a console.

DL: What is your secret recipe of success in design, what is your secret ingredient?

PI : I am very fond of the idea of transmitting a certain state of mind through my work. when I draw I try to completely immerse myself in the emotional state I want to convey.

DL: Who are some other design masters and legends you get inspired from?

PI : Antony Jones, Maik Ozevedo, Thoot Wo, Ruan Jua, Antonio De Luca, Karl Kopunsky

DL: What are your favorite designs by other designers, why do you like them?

PI : I love works by Antony Jones for his research of shape and their expressiveness

DL: What is your greatest design, which aspects of that design makes you think it is great?

PI : My version of Caronte. I really like the idea behind that work and how I managed to achieve it.

DL: How could people improve themselves to be better designers, what did you do?

PI : observe the works of those who are ahead of me. this has always helped me in my work.

DL: If you hadn’t become a designer, what would you have done?

PI : probably the psychologist

DL: How do you define design, what is design for you?

PI : for me the design represents the search for aesthetic beauty.

DL: Who helped you to reach these heights, who was your biggest supporter?

PI : the greatest help were my masters: Andrea Scoppetta, Barbara Ciardo; Mario Teodosio, they not only teach me the job but also they pushed me to improve.

DL: What helped you to become a great designer?

PI : maybe starting late compared to my fellow students, I found myself having to recover ground and this made me discover a very determined side of myself, although I have often suffered for this.

DL: What were the obstacles you faced before becoming a design master?

PI : the conflict I had with my parents who wanted me to embark on a university career and the initial distrust in my choice. another obstacle is the economic situation of my country: being behind in this area compared to others, makes the search for work very difficult.

DL: How do you think designers should present their work?

PI : cleanly and clearly, no frills i think taht the essence is much more important.

DL: What’s your next design project, what should we expect from you in future?

PI : I am designing illustrations and environments to expand my portfolio. my goal now is enter in the world of publishing and games production as a freelance

DL: What’s your ultimate goal as a designer?

PI : have fun while I’m working and entertain those who see my products

DL: What people expect from an esteemed designer such as yourself?

PI : an original and high quality work

DL: How does design help create a better society?

PI : do designe does not mean seeking only the aesthetic factor, but also support ideas capable of improving everyday life, if you imagine objects such as the chairs for the posture or cars with aerodynamic design, in this kind of object designe is of foundamental importance. For me is useful to make people happy.

DL: What are you currently working on that you are especially excited about?

PI : I work on a series of illustrations that allow me to experiment.

DL: Which design projects gave you the most satisfaction, why?

PI : I worked in a team as art director for developping a motion comic. This one tells the story of two autistic children and their family; than i worked as art director for developping 2d game. I like working in team it is very stimulating.

DL: What would you like to see changed in design industry in the coming years?

PI : I would like to give more space to young people with innovative ideas, even if with little experience. It’s something I often bump into, a lot of people told me “you are perfect for this role, but you haven’t enogh experience”. A labour market less tied to qualifications and more attentive to quality is needed.

DL: Where do you think the design field is headed next?

PI : A lot of people are aiming to virtual reality

DL: How long does it take you to finalize a design project?

PI : time always depends on the type of project. I worked on projects that lasted two weeks and projects that lasted even months

DL: When you have a new design project, where do you start?

PI : I start to creation of shapes to do a wurmup of ideas and discard those that do not work.

DL: What is your life motto as a designer?

PI : Never give up!

DL: Do you think design sets the trends or trends set the designs?

PI : It depend on designers, there are people who do what the audience likes in that moment, and than there people who try to make a concrete contribution, investing in research and directing it

DL: What is the role of technology when you design?

PI : It is crucial, from the search for reference to the implementation of the real work, because I work in digital only.

DL: What kind of design software and equipment do you use in your work?

PI : I use Photoshop, after effect, animate and blender. My work equipment are: my mac and a Cintiq 13 HD.

DL: What is the role of the color, materials and ambient in design?

PI : Colour is one of my workhorse. It is the best thing in my job because it allows you to experiment in an unlimited way through infinite combinations.

DL: What do you wish people to ask about your design?

PI : according to my point of view when people ask you a few questions then the product is really successful. However I always like to talk about the creative process that led me to that result.

DL: When you see a new great design or product what comes into your mind?

PI : I’m always fascinated by it, at that moment I’m a spectator, I wonder how the author got to that point, how he managed the process and which technique, which tools he used.

DL: Who is your ideal design partner? Do you believe in co-design?

PI : I believe in team work. my ideal work partner is a very practical person and full of inspiring ideas.

DL: Which people you interacted had the most influence on your design?

PI : My masters, I mean. Barbara Ciardo, Andrea Scoppetta and Mario Teodosio.

DL: Which books you read had the most effect on your design?

PI : Framed Ink by Marco Mathie Mestre, imaginative realism, the art of colour and the book byAndrew Loamis.

DL: How did you develop your skills as a master designer?

PI : practicing a lot and always trying to overcome my limits in every job. It’s a mood that can create disquiet, but i think that it is part of my journey.

DL: Irrelative of time and space, who you would want to meet, talk and discuss with?

PI : With the best masters of art such as Caravaggio, Leonardo da Vinci and Bernini.

DL: How do you feel about all the awards and recognition you had, is it hard to be famous?

PI : They give me confidence, it is like confirmation that I’m on the right track. I don’t consider myself a famous person, I am pleased to think that I am a person worthy of esteem in my field, to confirm the fact that the research has given good fruits.

DL: What is your favorite color, place, food, season, thing and brand?

PI : My favourit colouris green, my place historic center of my city, food pizza, season spring, my favourit object is my cintiq, my logo “rifle”.

DL: Please tell us a little memoir, a funny thing you had experienced as a designer?

PI : One day I talked about my job at the bar with my friends, and a guy came up and asked me to draw him a tattoo, it often happens when I say that I draw, but this time it was very funny.

DL: What makes your day great as a designer, how do you motivate yourself?

PI : At the beginning of my day I try to imagine what I’ll create during my job day, and when I finish I hope to be better than the beginning of the day.

DL: When you were a little child, was it obvious that you would become a great designer?

PI : I don’t know. I loved drowing, but I wasn’t even that talented. I won’t lie by saying “It’s what I’ve dreamed of since I can remember” as many people say. it was a journey that I decided to start when I was 19 years old, it was quite tiring. fortunately my passion has always pushed me to continue.

DL: What do you think about future; what do you see will happen in thousand years from now?

PI : we are in a world in which everyone is immersed in great conflicts, mainly due to education, to society, to market economy. I think it has been understood that to feel good you have to go from majority thinking to minority thinking, even if crushed by economic interests, it was the most intelligent thinking. I am called to become more intelligent, it isn’t a bad thing. I imagine a humanity that has learned to respect and take care of the planet.

DL: Please tell us anything you wish your fans to know about you, your design and anything else?

PI : When I was youg and I saw people in my position now, I imagine them like super heroes. I was wrong. I find myself here I feel like I’m a normal person, with normal problems, doubts and uncertainty. however I always try to improve myself as a person and then as a professional. through my drawings I always try to entertain my audience and to stimulate anyone who does me the honor to stop and devote some of his time to see them.



Orfeo and Euridice Videogames

Orfeo and Euridice Videogames by Paolo Iarossi

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