Mario Ruggiero was born in 1983 in Vico Equense in the province of Naples. He moved to Milan in 2002 to attend a degree course in Industrial Design at the Politecnico. He has worked for Nextmedia Lab, Proxima Milano, Virgin Radio, Sky, Alkanoids and currently for Weareseventeen in London.
HOW DO YOU DEFINE YOUR PROFESSION?
I am a motion designer working on 3d modelling programs like Cinema4d and other post production programs like After Effect. Mainly it's not only post production but also motion graphics, the same composition principle as a designer but with video.
Mine is an exclusively video product.
HAVE YOU ALWAYS WISHED TO DO THIS JOB?
I didn't know about this type of work. I discovered it at university while attending the industrial design faculty of Milan Polytechnic. I was very undecided in my choice between product designer, interior designer and communication designer, and in the end I chose the one I knew the least about, communication.
I was attracted by the possibility of expressing myself with more than one tool; I felt that the other types of design had a limit given by their relationship with a physical product.
Coming from a scientific background far removed from a concept of pure creativity and with a mind programmed for the rational, the most stimulating thing for me was to discover how I could break out of the box to develop my imagination.
This learning path also made me understand how to channel visual impulses and my need for artistic expression, even if aimed at commercial production. I don't call myself a digital artist, even though my work requires a contribution of pure creativity.
WHAT RELATIONSHIP DID YOU HAVE WITH ART?
Until then, art had never excited me to the point of desiring the appropriation of its principles. I understood its existence, but it was something that was not yet part of me, I did not feel so close to it.
The moment I started to learn a working technique, I understood its complexity and fascination.
Some of my works are based on the same principles as the still lives of classical figurative art, while others are inspired by Futurism and Surrealism, with the current aim of adding animation and movement, which was previously left only to the imagination of the viewer in front of the painting.
We are talking about a digital technique focused mainly on three-dimensionality. With today's enhanced media, reconstructing reality is almost like inventing parallel worlds.
Observation of reality is an essential element for me, in order to be able to recreate and overcome it I must know it in depth.
WHAT ARE YOUR TYPICAL PRODUCTIONS?
I am commissioned to produce video animations, for example channel ident, or product show cases, or opener for TV programmes. I have worked for Rai, Real Time, Tv8, Armani, Tod's, among others.
In the agency the process is shared with the team, starting from the analysis of the brief given by the client and then moving on to the brain storming phase in search of visual incentives to reach the proposal of a concept and the presentation of one or more static layouts and a storyboard.
In the production phase I deal with the development of an Animatic, that is a mix between static layouts and movement proposals with musical timings, based on the director's instructions.
WOULD YOU BE INTERESTED IN TAKING A STEP TOWARDS DIGITAL ART?
I am not interested in turning digital into art.
I am more interested in finding a visual solution to the needs of the client.
I feel that agency work is a kind of mission to make my tools and technical expertise available to others.
In the end I remain attached to the function of the designer rather than the artist.
IS IT A DIFFICULT PROFESSION? WOULD YOU RECOMMEND IT?
I've been lucky enough to go into employment directly from the internship period provided by the university; it's not always like that.
It's an ever-changing job, you have to keep up to date with new software releases, rendering engines and working techniques to be present on the market and pass interviews for companies.
Technical qualities and skills obviously count, but the personal creative input and the intuitive ability to visually translate the information that only comes from the client as input is also very important.
It's a stimulating job
WHAT ARE YOUR MAIN CHANNELS OF INSPIRATION? DO YOU HAVE ANY REFERENCE FIGURES?
Nowadays in the graphics field, you are always looking for an original idea and for inspiration, even if only for updating.
Personally, I follow 3D designers and illustrators who post on their social channels or on reference sites for graphics, Doug Albert, Connor Whelan, Shir Pakman to name a few.
There are also festivals where authors talk about themselves and present their work, for example F5 in New York, Blend in Vancouver, and I have often attended OFFF in Barcelona. These festivals even contact graphic studios to design the opening and closing credits, actual short films, projected at the event, which almost become the main event, a way of creating new stimulation and grounds for visual experimentation.
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Images provided by Mario Ruggiero