Meet Blastto: a London-based illustrator, designer and DJ creating surrealist-inspired artwork and type made from potato skins…
Blastto (Carlos Llorente) hails from Guadalajara, Spain and is also a DJ. After creating flyers as a teen for his own gigs, he received commissions from other clubs and artists and decided to abandon his plans to study computer engineering in favour of graphics.
“I preferred illustration and graphic design because I enjoyed the creative process and wanted to be independent. I worked in two small agencies in my city, [then] decided to enrol in the School of Art to learn the basics,” he explains.
Since then, 32-year-old Llorente has developed a striking style. His work is influenced by his interests, he says, which include music, 3D forms, surrealism and ‘weird stuff on the internet’.
“The work I admire most that of artists such as Mat Maitland and Takeshi Murata, the colour explosion of Santtu Mustonen and the surrealism of old painters like Magritte, Dalí and Giorgio de Chirico,” he says.
Llorente regularly works with Spanish creative magazine Yorokobu, illustrating articles on privacy (above and below):
And internet maps:
He also designed a cover for the magazine using lettering made out of potato skins, which he peeled and scanned:
Alongside his illustration work, Llorente creates experimental type designs, including an art deco-inspired typeface he made after researching the period as a student:
Try Type, a magnetic rubber stamp kit allowing users to create their own type:
And Siamese typeface Pigopago. “I created Pigopago two years ago. I started to design with the idea that the duplicate parts of the typography should be rational and logical. I began by drawing two letters into one, and went on to design the whole alphabet based on these initial principles,” he says.
At this year’s Typo Mad festival in Madrid, Llorente held workshops allowing people to create typefaces using Google Maps. “My initial idea was to make a typography of my neighbourhood inspired by the streets and blocks using only the internet. I thought of differents ways to do this and Google maps was the best solution. In the workshop, participants had to search for their neighbourhood or preferred area, draw a few shapes and with this, design their own typography using the software Glyphs. People were very happy with the final results,” he adds.
Now based in London, Llorente is hoping to focus on art directing and has produced identities, promo videos, logos and websites for brands, websites and music acts. “Creating a whole image from scratch – using all roles such as typography, illustration or photography – allows me complete creative freedom which I really enjoy,” he says.