Who is Fran Rodriguez and what does he do?
I am a graphic designer from the north coast of Spain, now living in Barcelona. I create images for a living and I spend my time listening to music and dreaming of living in the mountains and/or being an astronaut.
When did you first start playing around with collage as an art from?
Well, I have some blurred memories from when I was very little, cutting out people and animals from my grandmother’s magazines. I used to put people’s faces onto animal bodies and vice versa. Years after that, when I opened Photoshop for the first time (circa 1999) and I discovered the lasso tool and layers I started doing collages without knowing quite well what I was doing. It just happened.
Who and/or what inspires you and your work?
Music and nature are my main sources of inspiration. This planet is a beautiful place.
What's your creative space like?
I work at home. I live with my girlfriend. The living room is pretty bright and I have it all set up there, I need as much natural light I can get. I have some plants, books and random shit around. I’m not the tidiest person; I have to be surrounded by a certain amount of chaos to work properly.
How would you describe your creative style or theme?
Space and trippy escapism for restless minds.
What are some key things you consider when creating pieces?
I try to create pieces that I would buy and hang on my Wall. I pursue beauty, sometimes weird and sometimes more classical kind of beauty, but I just try to make beautiful images.
Without giving up all your secrets, what is your artistic process when creating a work?
It may vary in every project but I usually write down ideas on paper or on the phone, sometimes I sketch very roughly to create a composition (specially in more baroque collages) and then I look for pictures, I spend hours looking for good material as, I suppose, all the collage artists do. Writing down ideas is key for me; most of the collages come from a literary way of thinking. I think of little stories, sentences and I try to turn those words into something visual. And again, music plays a huge role in everything that I do. Music is always around, above and behind every piece I design.
If you could collaborate with anyone, who would it be?
I would love to collaborate with music bands mainly. Creating artworks for a band like Spiritualized, for example, would be a life goal for me.
Aside from creating your artworks, what else keeps you busy?
I have regular commercial clients too; brands, agencies, etc. and I do every kind of graphic design related work for them. Apart from work, I spend my time watching movies, reading and contemplating time going by lying in the sofa with my girlfriend.
Any recent, current or future projects we should know about?
I’m working on artwork for upcoming albums by a couple of Spanish bands and the identity for a music festival.
Based on your experience, what advice would you give someone looking to start making collage art?
Not every collage is beautiful just because it’s a collage. Make beautiful stuff. It’s not that simple, it would probably take you a few years. Work hard and be nice to people.