Santi Zoraidez

Buenos Aires-born, Berlin-based art director and designer Santi Zoraidez explores space, volume and movement through his digitally-generated work, which displays a fascination with the material qualities of the real world...

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Art direction and design for Oreo China TVC.

Describe your work in three words...
Simple, bold and tactile.

What first made you realise you wanted to pursue a creative career?
I think it was on my first job in one of the more renowned advertising agencies in Buenos Aires. I was already studying graphic design, but I started to really enjoy it when the guys there (and especially the clients) were loving my stuff. I was learning how the creative industry works. I was so happy to be part of it, and I was really enjoying the whole process, especially when I could see my work in the street! Since then, each project is a new challenge where I'm eager to create something great. That makes me feel good.

Are there any particular visual or conceptual references that you draw upon, or ideas that you try to explore in your work?
I’m passionate about furniture, interior design, art installations, architecture and of course about graphic design. I always try to mix these different influences within my own work. There is something interesting to me about the compositions I can create and the way that shapes interact with each other, together with a sense of space or volume, and referring mostly to real materials.

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Art direction and design for Fairphone.

Talk us through your working process—how do you go about bringing an idea to life?
I really try to develop my ideas for each piece of work outside of the screen, and then after some time I build up something to try out in digital. That is when my visual development process really starts. One thing leads to another. When I’m working on the first round of designs, I enjoy making the most of the freedom to create whatever comes to my mind, and whatever I find interesting for that project. From that starting point, you can choose the right way to move forward.

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There's a strong material quality to your work, considering it's digitally generated—how did this come about?
I like the feeling that the stuff in my work can be touched, so for that I really have to pay attention on how the materials look in reality. I love going around flea markets and warehouses looking for construction materials—that’s where I feel super inspired. There, I can see how materials look together, how rough they are, how reflective are, and get a sense of the qualities I want to represent in my work.

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Illustration for the Helsinki Design Museum.

Is there a narrative element to your work?
I try to translate concepts into simple compositions—I like to see how shapes and objects interact with each other, and how I can use the way that they look to communicate an idea. Whether in motion or as still image, this is the way I approach a project.

What sort of briefs do you like working on, and what would be your dream project?
I find the window displays, art direction and design of Louis Vuitton very interesting. That’s something I would love to work on! It would also be great to see how that could work mixed with digital, or even better in the graphics for a fashion show—I like trends and fashion. I would like to be able to be there, to see how people react.

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Jutland, personal work.

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Jutland, personal work.

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Jutland, personal work.

What are your tools of the trade?
These days I’m working with Cinema4D, rendering in Octane and of course using Photoshop and Illustrator. A bit of 3DCoat too. I would love to learn how to use Houdini. I have seen a lot of great stuff created with it but it’s too difficult for me—I’m not smart enough for it, and my one year old son has occupied all the time I used to have for tutorials!

Tell us about a recent project you're particularly proud of...
I’m very lucky to be able to work on lots of projects that I really enjoy. But I would say at the moment that I am very proud of the project I did with Nike for their new Air Jordan sneakers. Working on this was super fun; they gave me a lot of freedom and it was my first project working directly with them. That’s big for me, and it was one of my dreams! Plus, I love the result. Think the images we created look great.

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Nike Air Max 1 Ultra Flyknit.

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Nike Air Max 1 Ultra Flyknit.

What are you working on right now, and what's next for you?
I just finished a couple more projects for Nike. It’s good to have some time off after some commercial work and use that time to develop new aesthetics, looks, materials and just enjoy doing personal stuff. That’s very helpful when the time comes to go back to actual work.

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