I'm not sure how I first caught wind of Barcelona-based artist/illustrator/designer Jordi Ros, but when I did, he was in the midst of creating his own typography. Handled with simple, brightly-colored paint strokes, the newly-formed font came to life day after day. With smoke-filled character design and vibrant illustrations scattered between his unique lettering, I grew more and more intrigued by the talented hand and inventive eye behind the instruments. Once the lettering was complete (including numbers 0-9), I reached out to the Spanish artist to ask him a few questions about his craft and how his art acts as a form of personal therapy. Embrace the long scroll of the alphabet below followed by an insightful Q+A with the man of the hour.
How has 2017 been treating you?
I have to say, pretty good so far!
2017 for me is a pivotal year, where I promised myself I'd bet hard and it's been paying off.
For those unfamiliar, how would you describe yourself / your art?
I never know how to answer this question, because I feel like people are already going to put a label or describe me or what I do, so I've never bothered with it.
I guess if I had to, I just like to do and create things that are interesting to me, no matter the size, the format, or the applications. I try to research techniques, mix them, and learn from the results, so I can move on to the next one and do better work.
How long have you been taking your art seriously?
I try not to, really.
The day I do, is the day I probably go downhill.
I do care, and put a lot of hours into what I do, but because it gives me joy first and foremost.
I consider myself incredibly lucky to be able to live off of my work, and I don't think I'll ever take that for granted. But at the end of the day, I'm just telling stories to those who want to listen.
You just released prints and stickers and shirts. What do you have planned for the rest of the year?
I'm working on a few neon light sculptures, a short film, a line of temp tattoos, toys and figurines, and a graphic novel!
What were your art habits like as a child?
I used to mix everything I could think of. Paint with Play-Doh or clay, with Lego pieces, etc.
I did spend most of my free time drawing and creating stories and then boring the crap out of everyone with them.
Do you create every day or do you take breaks?
I try to make something every day, even if it's just a small thing. I need it I think, somewhat like my own personal therapy.
That said, taking breaks is super important.
What is the art scene like where you live?
Pretty vibrant, which I like, most of the time.
There's a lot of competition and it can get fierce, but that also enables you to meet a lot of amazing people and get to know how they see the world.
I find that incredibly inspiring.
How did the alphabet/numerical project come about?
To be honest, I just knew I wanted to do something with paint. That was it.
I bought a few acrylics, some palettes, and then started playing and having fun with it.
Then I saw a possible application for it if I scanned the streaks and collaged them digitally.
What have you been listening/reading lately?
I've been having a massive 'synth-pop/rock' episode lately. I've also been reading a lot of Alan Moore and Greyson Perry.
I'm currently reading 'The Age of Earthquakes' by Basar, Coupland and Ulrich Obrist.
Do you have any advice for artists working on their craft?
Stick with it. I think that's the only advice I feel comfortable giving to anyone who's in the middle of all of this.
That is the only minimally required condition for it to work out, to just do it and get it out there. Done is better than perfect.
Also, having a bit of a thick skin helps!
Any closing thoughts / words of wisdom?
Ah, so this is the part where I make or break the whole interview.
I'm afraid my wisdom, if any at all, is limited.
I can just encourage people to do what brings them joy, with both the good and the bad.
Again, I'm just telling a story to those who wish to listen!