Daniel Aristizabal: Why his sketchbook is this art director’s most valuable possession

All of Daniel Aristizabal's whimsical 3D illustrations come from humble beginnings: paper and pen.

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Nonsense is the key for me.

Who are you and what do you make?

I’m Daniel Aristizábal, a graphic designer and art director from Medellín, Colombia. I studied graphic design in Medellín and Motion graphic in Barcelona. My work focuses on surrealism, experimentation, typography, colors and odd stuff. I love cats and crappy 80’s and 90’s movies. I hate crowded places, and I’m a frustrated stand-up comedian.

What are the most important tools of your trade?

I’m in the process of procuring a new workspace; where I am right now I feel a little bit tight. The notepads are the most important tool of my workspace, more than the 3D software I believe. I doodle all day, so having different pads around helps me to put on paper all kinds of incoherences that I have on my mind. One doodle from Monday can be mixed with a word that I wrote down on Saturday. There’s a lot of chaos in the way my mind does all the connections, but I like it that way. Results can be really cool if you let your mind have a free pass all the time. Nonsense is the key for me.


How do you choose the objects that make up your 3D art works?

I think 3D in the same way I think illustration. I start to doodle around a concept. Words, sketches, random thoughts. Whatever pops into my mind, I draw it on my notepads. After that I know what elements I need to create on Cinema 4D. A lot of the stuff I use is based on imagery and objects that I had when I was a little kid—finally I’m able to get that out into the world.

How do cosmology, space, and time influence your work?

I’ve been obsessed with space and quantum physics since I was a little kid. The idea of other dimensions and strange matter really shaped the way I see the world. Actually, before I went to graphic design school I was planning to study physics, but at the end I choose this path. I think it’s been the right one so far. Currently I’m reading a lot about the holographic principle, and about deep learning computers. I’m also watching a ton of 90’s Nickelodeon shows on YouTube.


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