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Jefrain Gallipoli: 2D artist interview

Graphic designer and illustrator Jefrain Gallipoli is developing a distinctive style for his characters through experimentation and practice, focusing on expression and body...

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3dtotal

Tell us a little bit about yourself: Who are you, what do you do, and where are you located?

Jefrain

My name is Jefrain Gallipoli, I am a graphic designer and illustrator born in Caracas, Venezuela, and raised by the Caribbean sea in Vargas, Venezuela. I moved to the US in 2015 to finish my art studies at the Savannah College of Art and Design in Savanna, Georgia, and I'm currently living in Los Angeles, California.

3dtotal

What software, tools and techniques do you use, either for work or personal projects?

Jefrain

My work is mainly digital. I work by combining Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator depending on my projects, but I always finalize them in Photoshop to give a less digital touch by adding textures. Lately, I have found myself experimenting with Procreate as well.

3dtotal

How do you get into the "creative zone?" Do you prefer a particular place or time of day?

Jefrain

I have found that I work best during the evenings or right before the sunsets. I like working in my little studio at home because I have everything I need there. But I also enjoy going out to local cafes and bringing my iPad Pro so I can sketch using Procreate while I get some fresh air. Sometimes it's good to work in a different environment to keep the creativity flowing.

lingerie woman character design illustration
Digital illustration of a trans woman wearing lingerie

3dtotal

Which piece of work are you most proud of? Why?

Jefrain

At this point in my life, I am most proud of my Amazonian piece. Since it was right there when I finished it that I realized I have found my own style and my voice as a character designer. That piece is actually the second attempt of a previous Amazonian piece I did a year prior to the current one, and the style of my work was a whole 180 turnaround.

3dtotal

How did you develop your style? Who were your major influences?

Jefrain

I believe I developed my "style" by failing a thousand times until it became honed. I have the pleasure of experimenting with so many different media and art styles until I finally find a way of feeling comfortable and confident enough making art. After that it all just came naturally, and then my work started shaping its own aesthetic and started to look cohesive. It is really hard to choose just a couple of artists that have influenced my work because I look at so many of them and every single artist inspires and influences me. I have the privilege of growing surrounded by art and the ability to go to art museums, such as major artists like Salvador Dali and Frida Khalo.

3dtotal

In your opinion, what is the single most important aspect of character design?

Jefrain

In my opinion, the most important aspect of character design is expression and body language. No matter what proportions your character has. The ability to show emotions in your characters will always be what brings them to life, and will help them feel relatable to whoever is viewing them.

3dtotal

How important is "status" to you?

Jefrain

Status is not really that important, I mean it is nice to feel like you can influence millions of people. But, personally I try to make the art I want to see out there, and if I touch the heart of just one single person that is enough for me to feel like my work is doing something

man sitting pose 2d illustration
Portrait of self-discovery

3dtotal

If you had no limit on time or resources, what project would you most like to work on?

Jefrain

I would definitely make my own animated version of the whole Harry Potter saga.

3dtotal

Who are your favorite artists, traditional or digital, and can you explain why?

Jefrain

As I mentioned before, I grew u surrounded by the art of traditional painters like Salvador Dali, who showed me how one can express themselves by painting your dreams. Frida Khalo showed me how to paint what you know best and get to know oneself, unafraid of showing vulnerability in your art. More current artists like Glen Keane and Chris Sanders have inspired me to become a character designer by their recognizable anatomies, and Lois van Baarle taught me how to use color.

3dtotal

What can we expect to see from you next?

Jefrain

I want to continue making the work I want to see out there. I still want to make an illustrated book or try out some comic strips. I also really enjoyed working on my characters with expressions tutorial for Character Design Quarterly magazine, so I would love to keep doing that and teach art.

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