I work with visual art professionals every day. Most often I use art references to suggest a style, a palette or a tonality that is appropriate to the brand that we are working on. I always get blank faces.

We need to put the thirst back in design professionals to be aware, appreciative and understand art. So my thursday posts are going to be about the artists who inspired me.

When I saw Cobi, the mascot of Barcelona Olympics in 1992 the style seemed familiar. And I fell in love with that Catalan sheepdog.

I had seen similar creatures earlier in my design school that intrigued me. I pursued further and learnt more about the designer/creator Javier Mariscal. He is a media agnostic artist who tried his hand at illustration, graphic design, sculpture, interior and landscape design. His unique ‘synthetic’ style with minimal lines and expressive work is compelling. His creations are highly inspired by the cubist movement and especially Picasso.

In 1989, Cobi was chosen as the mascot for the Barcelona 1992 Olympic Games. The mascot was the centre of great controversy because of its vanguard image, although time has shown its creator to have been right and now Cobi is recognised as the most profitable mascot in the history of the modern games. He later created the cartoon series The Cobi Troupe. WIKIPEDIA

He has also started a programme that will allow anyone to get a portrait done by the man himself and this is called Mariscal Portraits. Watch him explain how this works in the video below. You can visit his studio here. I am inspired by this prolific master. Who inspires you?

Mariscal Portraits Presentation from Mariscal Portraits on Vimeo.