Hi Matias, I’m so glad we got to meet over the summer and hang out with you . You were on a world tour and really inspired me by all of the travel and work that you do, always going back and forth between your homes in Buenos Aires and Miami. Who or what inspired you to do what you do?
I’ve always lived my life among comics, animated series, illustration books and design objects. However my inspiration is a combination of many things. I’m addicted to all kinds of news and information, social, visual, political and economical to name a few. In spite of this, when I illustrate I tend to be inspired by fantasy and the future.
Where do you characters come from? Do they have a backstory?
The backstory behind each one keeps building over time. There are things I already know about my characters and others that I’ll learn later on.
Do you like to be known as Matias Vigliano or Parquerama?
Parquerama is the name of this universe I’ve created and also the website, and Matias is my name. It really doesn’t matter how they want to quote me in the press, but in person you can call me Matias.
I remember you telling me Parquerama is an old theme park in Argentina. Is that true, can you tell us a little more about where the name comes from and why you chose it?
Parquerama was an old theme park in the outskirts of Buenos Aires. It stopped working a long time ago. The name was inspiring to me because it helped me think of a group of characters, sets and situations that could belong to a place like Parquerama. This was the start point for me to create a universe that keeps growing day to day.
You run a gallery and part of a collective called Doma. Tell us a bit about that. Who is involved, what do you do, what’s your mission as a collective?
Doma is a four member collective and we’ve been together for 10 years now. We went through a lot of different stages and shared many experiences during this time. We started doing street art in Buenos Aires, we worked as a motion graphics studio, designed several art toy lines, created installations in museums and galleries around the world and gave lectures and workshops in many festivals too. We decided this was a good time for a new step, to open a gallery to promote young artists that currently don’t have place in the conservative art circuit. In Buenos Aires the art world is still very elitist and it’s not easy to find alternative channels. Our gallery (Turbo) also has a space where we sell Doma products exclusively.
I was first turned on to your work by a mutual friend and poketo artist, Leah Chun. She did an animation workshop with you and had only praise for your work and you as a person. How important is motion and narrative in your work?
I met Leah and her work during Portland’s Platform Animation Festival in 2007 and found her work very inspiring too. During this event we made an installation with two projectors in a parking lot. Motion graphics was and still is very important for Doma. Three of us are graphic designers and animators, and we usually use animation as a strong channel to express. Many times we include it in our shows and installations, in order to bring life to our dolls, like in our exhibition “Versus” where we projected directly on them. Also a lot of my commercial work is animation. It’s been an important part of my work for 8 years now.
You’ve done a lot of work with artists, Friends with you, whom I love. What is your relationship with them, what have you done, and how did you start working with them?
We are great friends of Friends With You. Sam Borkson worked with Julian (Doma member) at Locomotion, a TV channel that specialized in anime that no longer exists. I used to live in Miami also and met Sam and Turi there. From that time the artistic connection between Doma and Friends has been very strong. We have known each other from the beginning and watched each other grow. Time and coincidences allowed us to share events, conferences and many times we worked together for commercial projects doing production and execution from Argentina. We worked together on projects for Nike, Zune and Mtv among others. It’s always fun to work with them.
It was really great to see both you and your wife, Juliana (of Colorblok fame), in San Diego this year. It’s so great that the both of you are so creative, making and doing very similar things and projects. Do you guys ever think about collaborating on projects, I feel like the creativity would be overwhelming.
We’ve been together for 7 years now and never shared any work project. If we ever do it, it would be preferably an artistic project. Commercially, we both have our own clients and prefer to solve the professional work in our own way. This avoids us sharing the daily stress of work and allows us to enjoy the free time we have. Anyway, we both like working a lot, we enjoy designing and animating very much and when we travel we share the same interests. We were never proposed to do an artistic project together, but in this case I believe we would be glad to do it.
You do animation, drawings, toys, screenprints, all kinds of stuff. Describe your studio for me. What’s the vibe like, do you have lots of people over, what is around your desk, on your walls?
I don’t have a big studio with people working in it anymore and I don’t miss it! When projects are big I call other designers to help and we share the work. Generally they are Argentinean designers whom I work with when we had a commercial studio and with the guys from Doma.
Tell me a little bit about the wallet designs for Poketo. Who are the characters, what’s the story and setting. What’s it about?
I worked with a new group of elements, colors and shapes. I called the series “Heladitos” and the wide layout made me think of landscapes, where we can see an ice-cream character each time in a different situation driving a peculiar ride. Weather can be either good or bad, but they are always happy trying to get to their destiny.
Last but not least, where are you headed with your work? What are your dreams for the future? What projects are you working on now that you can talk about?
I don’t have a fixated goal with my work. The path keeps developing and goals just happen by themselves and keep changing. In the last months I did a new series of silkscreen prints and gocco prints exclusively for Parquerama. The main idea was to widen the graphic universe and that helped me a lot because it triggered new thoughts for me. I believe I still have a lot to do in the future, maybe new dolls and new exhibitions. Without a doubt, both in my personal work and with Doma, staying still is not an option. There’s always so much to come.