Q: For those who've been under a rock let everyone know who you are and what you do.
My name is Mike Orduña. I was born in Hollywood, CA, raised in San Pedro, CA - now living and working Los Angeles.
I'm 31yrs old, of Mexican dissent, and I'm a workaholic.
You can call me Fatoe.
Q: You have been around this design community for some time how long has it been? What is the most beneficial change that made an impact on you?
Yeah man, I'm touching on 10-years this October. All this year I'm working on new material, I plan to have my first solo exhibit in an absolute shameless fashion to commemorate the 10-deep effort.
I'd say the most beneficial change (for me) in not only the design community, but in the eye of the storm that is pop culture was the big "urban" boom. Everyone it seemed wanted to be "dirtied" up aesthetically no matter how big or small the client. Being that I had a leg up in always committing to deliver in that fashion since day one, the positive impact of officially and effectively working on my own full-time as an independent contractor was made possible.
Q: How relevant is graffiti culture in todays art scene?
I believe that nowadays there are more artists who (like myself) initially found great inspiration in graffiti art and have taken those disciplines and applied them in new ways thanks to new media, photoshop, illy and the web. These artists are branching out with these new tools and inspiring someone who may not have been exposed to this element first had.
Graffiti has long been the step-child of the art scene, the art worlds back-alley & dirty little secret, it's great to see it less frowned upon world-wide as more people help educate on the stigma that sometimes clouds one's perception. I believe that graffiti art is probably the only known aggressive, competitive form of artwork. Where you constantly push yourself to be better than the best. It's the art-form that coined the phrase "toy" for those considered whack.
I sometimes apply this aggression in how I work, I try to push myself always, and with what I can see, other artists share the same emotion and are making graffiti culture really relevant in any art scene that exists today, believe that.
Q: In your bio brief you refer to yourself as a freelance designer and artist, do the two ever become synonymous and what is the difference in terms of commerce?
It's sort of split personality I believe I inherited somewhere down the road. Some may debate as to whether a designer can call themselves artists because a designer at times has to create visuals in a logical, communicative, and even functional state of mind.
Things have to make sense, there has to be structure which can suppress emotion and feeling in creating a visual, and in terms of commerce where communicating the message is key for a client you better have some form of disconnect to your design, as many may know your best efforts may be diluted. Being an artist, it's no holds barred, all emotion and free-form. For me, it's therapeutic necessary. I was born an artist who learned design. And my work is a product of that.
Q: What is life outside of art and design for you?
Life outside of art & design is something I've always kept simple. I love hanging with family and friends, I hold my family really close to heart. I look after my mom & sister. I have little cousins, nieces and nephews that I play host for and put my best efforts towards giving them an idea of what to shoot for in life. I got a great girl who puts up with my ass (i think she likes me) "what up Killa!?"
Q: Do you see design moving to the forefront of these larger corporations or will it remain just another part of the budget?
Hmmm - I'm thinking this...
On a large scale design is cosmetic and considered a service, designers provide this service at competitive rates, contractors & agencies are built to supply & full-fill the demand even though a large corporation may already have a capable in-house creative team - money to burn, I'd say budget. We have to be the designers and artists who can brand & market ourselves effectively, bring our visuals to our forefront to promote ourselves and get a piece of that large corporation budget.
Peace to the Royal
INTERVIEW BY: SON / SOMETHINOFNOTHIN