Alejandro Blasi: Imagination is the most important tool
I was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina in 1968. In 2000 I moved to Mallorca Island, Spain where I established my studio, and from here I work for bands all over the world. I studied drawing and painting in different art studios, and quickly understood that my interest was in fantastic art. In my childhood I could spend hours alone drawing imaginary worlds. The hours of the day weren’t enough to represent everything that came to mind. Later, I felt that it was a good idea to learn Photoshop and vector drawing programs so I started studying Graphic Design and Visual Communication at university.
What made me get into the profession was when I first got my hands on Roger Dean book ‘Views’. This happened many years ago. I was fascinated to see how visual work enhanced and complemented the work of musicians, it took me some years to get started. When I look back, it was a natural process between my two great passions digital art and music, since I am also a musician. Metal was natural and fertile ground to develop as a designer. I devoted all my energy to make room in the field so I started to contact bands and little by little I build a portfolio that represents me. I started to work with local bands and slowly my clients grew.
I work intuitively and I simply go with the flow. I try to let the characteristics of the project show me the way to follow. I can either start a drawing with pencil or directly with the graphic tablet. Colour is added with Photoshop, which is an essential tool in my work. My PSD files have more than 100 layers, each of them with its effects, blending mode, adjustment layers, etc. This allows me to retrace my steps, reaccommodate each element and adjust the image as many times as it is necessary. Possibilities are practically infinite, the only limit our creative capacity. Softwares like Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign are my inseparable allies. And the most important thing: I have a very good pair of speakers to listen to the music I have to transform into images.
I always say that the design of a CD is a story, a narration with its introduction, body and conclusion. Is like a play in which we have to tell a story in different scenes. These scenes are the cover, the back inlay card, the front inlay card, the CD itself and the booklet. Each of these elements (whose quantity may vary depending on the chosen packaging) has to have character individually and at the same time has to be in line with the whole. What makes me do what I do is a kind of feeling of astonishment. I always meet stimuli that surprise me, the majestic and holy as well as daily life. We are the outcome of unimaginable accidental events which have transformed lifeless matter into consciousness. I don’t remember who said that “we are the eyes through which the Universe observes itself” but I quite agree to that view.
As an illustrator my job is to be creative. Imagination is the most important tool and is very important to keep that awake. I am an avid consumer of fantastic literature of all types and I love science fiction, horror films, exhibitions, art books and of course music. It comes down to that deep attraction for the mysterious and the magic, all those things that can’t be explained with words. Although I’m not a believer, I enjoy religious art very much and indeed a way to face the inexplicable. I find religious iconography very attractive and also the underlying design in all natural structures such as fractal, the golden ratio and other frequent patterns in nature. All this is a great inspiration for me.
We live in a world in which getting on in life and having an artistic vocation requires a great effort and determination.
Interview by Alex Milazzo – Copyright 2015 © Heavy Music Artwork. All rights reserved.