Chris Delorenzo, the lightness of black and white
Very young and already very talented for the drawing, he dreamed about cinema, imagined to create the masterpieces’ sets of the cinematographic art. Today, Christopher Delorenzo draws different illustrations for the biggest brands in the world. His style, unique, purified by its colors and by its forms is woken by poetry of the message, sometimes light, sometimes funny. Discovery of an illustrator who was kind enough to lend his feather to Olow for this new summer collection!
Hi Christopher! When you were younger, did you tell yourself “When I’m older, I want to be an artist”, or did you have other ideas in mind?
Hello, Bonjour, hola! When I was younger I was very much encouraged to pursue a creative career, and very determined not to have the kind of job where I prayed for 5pm. I had enough of that in school where I was always looking at the clock on the wall trying to move it with my mind to speed up the school day. When I was young I had wanted to work in film, creating set designs, characters, or being a director of photography. I knew I could draw well but at the time just putting pencil to paper or brush to canvas didn’t interest me and seemed kind of boring, I thought of it as the first stage to something bigger. I think I needed to have more experience in life and develop my identity as a person to really pull stuff from it where drawing became more interesting to me.
You have worked with brands such as Converse, Sony, or even Powerade. Which of these projects did you enjoy the most, and why?
I loved working on all those projects, it’s amazing that these big companies that I’ve grown up with approach me to simply do my own thing for their brand, that they allow their image to be manipulated and expanded by a single artist is really exciting. I really loved the Powerade project because unlike most gigs I get they actually wanted my name on the artwork to promote it and used me as “artist” and not a commercial illustrator. I worked with a great team at Weiden + Kennedy and they really pushed me to create something that was unique to me and their brand but was also on message. Plus it was great for my family and friends to get to see my artwork in their local supermarkets and convenience stores. I think it was the most ubiquitous project I’ve done so far.
How does it feel to have your work published in the New York Times or Vogue, for example?
I like to joke that doing work for the NYT is mainly for framing what I do when talking to strangers and family members. I can say I’m an illustrator but it kind of leaves them blank faced because for a lot of people drawing was just something you did as a kid or in art class. So the minute I say New York Times they go “Ohhh ok. cool.” But yeah, it feels great and it’s a feeling that never gets old when I walk down the street and pick up a copy off the newsstand from my local store.
If you could choose, in which era would you have liked to live as an artist?
Oh man, that’s a tough one. I think sometime between the 20s and 40s. Back when art still had visible and manifested movements. I think now everything is blended so much and individual that a group voice is no longer something artists band together for to define their era. Artists back then were like music scenes of the 80s and 90s, they banded together to try to make the public see a different way, to rebel and influence, all the while doing it in a tailored suit. The people also looked to them to react to the times they were in, the channels were smaller so they could be heard, now we ask reality show stars for their commentary. These days there’s really nothing exciting about being a disruptor of instagram feeds. Although we are entering a time right now where I think artists are finding a new well of inspiration because of the new administration in America, we might emerge from our bubbles and see a new movement rise up.
You created your world with very geometric illustrations, often in black and white, and that have strong messages attached to them. How would you define your style?
I think my style is derived from my background as a graphic designer where I got my start doing logos and communicating messages. I try to create drawings that find a certain poetry and balance in their form and shape. A drawing can be loud when it’s really quiet. I like to make drawing interesting for me as well as the viewer so drawing is a way of searching for me, trying to find that layer that is hidden in plain sight and bringing it to the surface. I want to tickle that spot between your brain and your eyes and makes you look at the shapes and interactions around you a little differently.
I know you are passionate about cinema and that you have already done a few animations for a German insurance company. Have you ever felt the desire to go further?
I have been teaching myself more animation techniques and hope to really pursue that more in the coming year. I would love to start to take my work to television and film titles and other motion media, I think there is a whole well that I haven’t tapped yet for my work. I would also really like to work more dimensionally and create some sculptural pieces either artistic or commercial. I really like what Case Studyo is doing with their artist series and would love to participate in something like that.
Why did you accept to work with Olow?
Because you make awesome clothes and I really like how you give a platform to emerging artists to put their mark on a different medium in their own way.
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