[RIPT Interview] Artist Adam Rufino Talks T-Shirt Design, Inspiration & Life
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Tell us a little bit about you. Where are you from?
Hi my name is Adam J. Rufino Nakamura, yep the last name is japanese but I’m mexican and I have 25 years old. I live on a small but beatiful colonial city called Morelia located at the center of the country. I’m like everyone else, I love playing videogames, watch movies, and stay all day in front of the computer.
How long have you been designing?
Not to much, like 2 years I start doing this when I was on my last year on the University. I studied graphic design and in the last semesters I had a plenty of time and some experience and knowledge with all the classes and homeworks. So I found these 24hrs shirts sites like Ript and I think hey! I can do that and wear the shirts I always want to use and this is how start.
Where did you learn to draw?
I love to draw since I was a child in that age I liked to draw using my toys as a reference, in fact you can view my old notebooks and school books they are all full with little draws on the corners or blank spaces or with UFOS in the landscapes and mustaches on the important people on the photographs and my parents scolded me for it.
What inspires you?
My childhood mainly, all the cartoons, anime series, toys, movies, comics, video games, etc. These things that I’m still loving become a very important part of me so I’m always try to make a tribute on a shirt.
What was your first big break that started your career?
I dont think I had this big break let me see… I think it was when I do my first design for a 24 hrs shirt site and it was selected that makes me so happy so I start designing a lot more.
What is your favorite thing to draw and put on t-shirts?
When you aren’t designing T-Shirts, what are you up to?
Well probably playing some game, watching tumblr or breaking bad or a movie, reading a comic, taking a shower meanwhile I’m thinking in my next design (my best ideas comes from a refreshing shower), recording a podcast or just looking at the internetz.
Do you design full time or do you have a day job?
Now I’m design full time I use to have a work until I got a arrow on my knee. Kidding I was the art leader on a small mobile games dev team but problems with the investors make us to separate us.
Can you tell us how you bring your ideas to reality? Do you sketch things out first or go right to the computer?
It depends sometimes I got my full idea on my mind so I go to the computer and I make it real, other times I have the idea but not the composition so I spend some time sketching until I got something I really like and start working on it.
Do you have any wisdom you’ve learned along the way you’d like to share with other aspiring artists?
This work for me: Design / illustrate about something you really really like and not something trendy that you don’t know much because it will be reflected on your design, put your passion in this image from fan to fan, In this way the people that like that topic are going to be hooked and in the end you will have a unique shirt that you love it.
If you could meet any person alive or dead who would it be and why?
Some people that I like to know are Satoshi Tajiri creator of Pokémon, Edmund McMillen creator of The Binding of Isaac, Michael Dante DiMartino y Bryan Konietzko creators of Avatar: The last airbender and Akira Toriyama and say to everyone “guys you are amazing!!!”
What work have you done for RIPT Apparel that you are most proud of and why?
I really really like the shirt Space Cowboys because my favorite anime and what I think it’s the highest quality overall ever made it’s Cowboy Bebop so making a shirt about it was fun and awesome that people liked it.