We have a special guest in the house today, Mitxel aka Mitxeldotcom, a really talented artist from the Design by Humans Collective. If you’re a Star Wars fan you might know one of his designs. Lord Vader was chosen by Star Wars to be showcased on their DBH exclusive store, and rapidly became one of the most popular tees on DBH and TeeHunter. As a matter of fact it sold a few units just a few hours after he submitted it to our Gallery.
Stick with us and find out more about the artist behind some of our favorite tees. You might even learn a thing or two.
TH: First of all, tell us a little about yourself.
Mitxel: Hi there, my full name is Mitxel Gonzalez Zabalo a.k.a. Mitxeldotcom, I’m from San Sebastian and for almost twenty years I work as a designer, illustrator and art director for advertising agencies, web agencies, cartoon studios and even for some international skateboaring and streetwear brands.
Currently I’m the co-founder and art director of a new brand of headwear called LEGION Headwear & Apparel. Although I also collaborate on other design projects with some new trending companies of streetwear like Lexi&Bö.
I love t-shirts and I’m a big collector of them. One of my biggest hobbies is creating designs for tees. I see the shirts like spaces of artistic expression of our contemporary culture, wearable artworks, a showcase in motion of art styles and a canvas on white where the artist’s creativity can flow easily.
TH: When and how did you first start getting into design?
Mitxel: Since I was a kid. In school I’ve never been very good at math but I always had good skills for drawing. I can remember a big part of my life with a drawing book under my arm and an early interest for the graphic design, the light and color and printing methods.
When I was seventeen I realized I could live of my own creativity, and I decided to study to become a professional graphic designer. Then, the TV, internet and pop culture did the rest of the work on my brain cortex.
TH: Do you have any formal background in graphic design or are you a self-taught artist?
Mitxel: Yes, I obtained my diploma on Graphic Design but apart from that I’ve always been a self-taught designer. I love what I do so I never stop learning.
TH: Do you recommend going to school to learn art and graphic design?
Mitxel: There are tons of great designers and artists with amazing graphical skills without diplomas, so it isn’t totally necessary. But studying in a design school helps a lot. You learn the history of art and basic concepts of color, composition, typefaces, photography or how to work the creativity. Also, isn’t needed to say that if you are a qualified artist, this will provide you more quality work possibilities.
TH: What does it take to be a good designer?
Mitxel: I think it’s important to stay curious, with an open mind and an ecliptical thinking to explore, understand and to transmit the languages of visual communication.
TH: How long did it take to start getting noticed and actually selling your artwork?
Mitxel: Around 2 or 3 months, but each design it’s different and it depends of many variable aspects. Some people my like a certain design and hate another one. Different people, different taste.
TH: If you were to pick a favorite design you have created, which one would it be and why?
Mitxel: I’m especially proud of a t-shirt design of Darth Vader that I’ve done recently and Disney has selected and included it into the STAR WARS official collection and this has been something very special to me.
TH: How do you get inspiration for your tee designs?
Mitxel: Thanks to the internet, the TV and movies, creativity can be easily feeded with a lot of visual information about the world’s imaginary and pop culture. This provides me with enough daily inspiration to create new original designs.
TH: Describe the general process you go through to design and realize a piece of work?
Mitxel: Usually I try to begin with a brainstorming around a main creative concept. I write a list of short sentences and I also look for images related with the concept. Then I drawing some drafts looking for a visual composition and once I’m satisfied with the mockup, I create the artwork with all the details.
TH: When you aren’t designing t-shirts, what are you up to?
Mitxel: I love to travel with my backpack, trekking during a hard rain, scuba diving, snowboarding and other adrenaline sports. But above all I like to enjoy every day with my family and friends, barbecues and a cup of red wine looking at the waves during the sunset.
TH: Do you have any wisdom you’ve learned along the way you’d like to share with other aspiring artists?
Mitxel: Feed your inspiration everyday, be perseverant until reach your dreams and may the force be with you!