“I always think that some doors are meant to be closed, and some are screaming to be opened; I’m scared to let something go or something scary in.”
Rodrigo Alarcón is this month’s cover artist and the creator of Funga’s graphic design identity. I am so excited to continue collaborating with him on a project he made come alive.
How did you start your creative process as a graphic designer?
As a kid, I don’t think anyone thinks about design; I believe we think visually, so the possibilities when we grow up are also limited. Like many other designers, my sister and I thought of studying art, but our parents did not believe it was the best option for us. I only knew I wanted to draw and work with images. My grandfather was a civil engineer, his workspace was in his house, and he had lots of rulers, pencils, and different cool tools for drawing. It was all very technical, but I didn’t care; it wasn’t reading boring stuff and memorizing things. I enjoyed seeing him work and to make blueprints.
So design was a little bit technical but also had lots of room for creativity. I still have conflicts with this because I believe in creativity without boundaries, and that’s why I also like art because it responds to more poetic and relevant needs.
When did you start S.A.R.A?
I started S.A.R.A three years ago with my sister. I already had been working with her, but doing different kinds of things, all around print and design, but with different clients, proposals, and philosophies.
When did you discover and develop the skill for print?
It may sound pretentious, but in my primary school, they had arts, and actually, they had a press. We did different exercises with potato stamps and rubbers; since then, I have enjoyed the printmaking process. Obviously, when I grew up, I discovered all the different types of printing, and at university, I saw the potential of multiple things!
Tell me about riso printing and how you created the cover for FUNGA this month?
Riso printing is the heritage of mimeograph, stencil printing, and screen printing, but all within the machine. So it’s a very powerful tool. I really like printing books and distributing the work of different artists. For the cover of FUNGA, I have done some A.I. (artificial intelligence) images and animated the results with the fluorescent colors of the machine and the grainy halftone that it makes. It looks amazing even though the nature of Riso printing has many flaws and bad registrations. This is what makes the animation and the images very unique; each print will be individual even though they are copies.
What are some of your favourite projects you’ve done in the past?
Most of our projects are art books, and even though they are all books, each is unique because we materialize the concept very closely with the artists.
So each book we think of as a medium, with similar formats, pages, and boundings, but the sizes, colors, papers, and content is different. Each artist has a concept and it is a new world.
Have you ever been inspired by psychedelics and/or is it something you are interested to explore further in the future?
I have enjoyed some psychedelics, but not that intensely. I greatly respect nature and think of myself as having a very addictive personality. I think they can open my mind and everyone else’s, but we must also be careful. I always think that some doors are meant to be closed, and some are screaming to be opened; I’m scared to let something go or something scary in.
If you could choose to exist as one plant, what would it be?
I enjoy green plants. I really like succulents because they multiply a lot and very easily, and I can project that into myself.