UP AND COMING | Marco Suarez Mandy Bryant
â€œEmotion is everything. It's the essence of why art is valuable.â€?
arco Suarez, a graphic designer and fine art photographer from South Carolina, is getting a lot of attention lately for his unique take on landscape photography. By breaking out of the rectangle' and presenting his lush, porthole-like scenes in an unexpected way, he is also breaking new ground in the art world. Marco explains how he got started in graphic design and photography, why emotion makes art valuable, and the reason he won't use typography in his art.
How did you initially get into graphic design and photography? Everyone is born with natural desires and abilities. For some it's athletics, or science, or creativity. My love for creativity started very early. Like many artists, it's not the tools that I am drawn to, but the feeling of knowing you created something. It doesn't matter if it's cooking, yard work, or oil painting. But I'm a Ireland in the Round graphic designer by trade. That's how I support my family. Though, I feel I have more in common with fine artists than I do with designers. An artist friend a few years ago told me he'd love to see me create some fine art using the technique I've developed in my commercial design. I thought that was an intriguing idea. But I didn't want to rely on typography to help create these images. Often when designers create fine art they use typography as a crutch more than a passion for their shapes. I didn't want that temptation, so I decided not to use typography at all. That opened the door for me to start combining mediums: photography, ink, watercolor. Most of my work is combined digitally.
When you tell that to people they act like you're not a real artist. I guess that's ignorance, though. Maybe people did that to photographers back in the day. What is your creative process? My work usually starts with one photograph. Rarely do I know where I want to take it. But I start adding and taking away, similar to a sculptor or a painter. I view textures and colors the same. But ultimately, it's the emotional response I'm interested in, more so than the technical detail. To me, emotion is everything. It's the essence of why art is valuable. I really have two directions I take. I love bright, colorful, fun, energetic designs. Or I'll go for the muted, moody, antiqued, high art look.
How does your location inspire and influence your work? Bonus question: If you could travel anywhere to make art, where would you go? Greenville, SC isn't the most inspiring place to live. It's getting there. But the architecture and culture leaves much to be desired. My wife and I visit NYC frequently, and it's always a time of recharging my batteries. I always leave there inspired. All of my circle prints were taken in Scotland and Ireland. Those places really got me interested in landscape photography. I would love to visit Iceland, Switzerland, and the upper northwest for photography. I'm also in love with cities. There are numerous ones I'd love to visit. But to work, Greenville is home. I need to feel connected to my friends, family, and familiarity.
What art or artists inspire you? Andy Warhol initially inspired me. I love his work. I love how he viewed common life and how he combined such different mediums and ideas. Fabien Barral is a designer from France who inspired to me get passionate about design. At first, I was unsure I wanted to pursue a career in graphic design, but Fabien's gorgeous work showed me what is possible. His work has a great emotional connection. Currently, I love the work of Dolan Geiman. I love his use of texture. I look at texture the same way as I look at color, and Dolan makes great use of color and texture. He also does a great job of breaking out of the rectangular box. I'm waiting for the day I can afford one of his mixed media pieces. He's also a great model for how to market your work. He really makes the web work for him.
40 method press
Published on Apr 13, 2011
The debut issue of Method Press. Method press is an independent art-filled quarterly celebrating low-fi thinkers. If you would like order yo...