Nathaniel Leo (Mute)

by | Illustration

Nathaniel Leo (Mute)

by | Apr 12, 2017 | Illustration

What has your creative journey been like?
Started slow and not exciting at all to be honest! I started my creative journey studying graphic design and working as such until I finally had the courage to make the switch from graphic designer to illustrator. It’s become busier and exciting as of late with new opportunities, new projects and new ideas to explore. Loving it!

WHO or WHAT inspires you?
Mostly music, video games and other artists/illustrators. I like to keep the inspiration sources varied so i’ll listen and look at artists with radically different approaches to their art, like going from pop music on to post rock and going back to j-pop tunes, same goes for visual artists and illustrators!

Nathaniel Rueda mute

What does your daily routine look like?
Wake up at like 10 am and take my dog for a walk. Have breakfast while scrolling through emails and checking my calendar so I know what I’m getting done in the following days. After that I’ll work on the chosen project for the rest of the day with some dog walking breaks in between. If I’m done with what I had scheduled I might get some gaming done until midnight and then continue working on some of my personal stuff until 2 or 3 am. If there’s a deadline approaching and I need to do some extra work then I’ll end up having some all nighters. Sleep is for the weak!

What does your creative process look like?
For starters I’ll begin by making a quick brainstorming session where I’ll decide what I want to draw. Usually this is, for me, one of the hardest parts… specially if I’m doing some personal work or drawing for the sake of it. When it comes to client work the what-to-draw spectrum gets narrowed because of the clients’ needs. After having a clear idea I’ll work on some thumbnail sketches so I can have a basic composition for the illustration. Next big decision I have to make is color. I used to work with desaturated dead-looking colors but as of lately they have become more vivid and eye catching. Additionally from this step I like adding dot work textures to my illustrations since it makes the shapes pop out a bit more.

What advice would you give to someone just getting started?
GET. YOUR. ART. OUT. THERE. (Seriously, having an online portfolio works wonders, don’t let those files sitting on your desktop!)

Nathaniel Rueda    Nathaniel RuedaNathaniel Rueda Mute

Please list all your favorite tools/gear/medium you love using? 
I mainly work with a Wacom Tablet on Adobe Photoshop. For sketching I’ll go for pen and paper though.

Are there any books or websites you love? 
I LOVE the Creative Pep Talk Podcast, it gets me pumped every time. Great creative and business related advice too!

Name 3 of your favorite artists?
Tatsuyuki Tanaka, McBess and James Jean

Where can we find you online?
Currently creating a website, still in development though!

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