artist of the week: Dustin Ortiz
WHERE DID YOU GROW UP?
I grew up in Encinitas, California.
It's a small little surf town about 30 min north of San Diego.
When did you get into art/design and why?
Ever since I was a little kid I loved painting and drawing. Fortunately, my parents and teachers were all super supportive so I had the ability to spend a lot of my time creating as a young kid. When I was about 15 I took a night time screen printing class and that's how I was introduced to graphic design. There were a couple older guys in the class who were already graphic designers and I got to watch them and ask them a ton of questions. From that point, I started my graphic design quest.
What would you say are some big influences to your creative process?
Traveling has been a big part of my life since I was little. We did lots of road trips as kids, and my parents were always down to stop at thrift and antique stores. I would say that combo as a big part of my inspiration, travel, nature and vintage.
I make sure to get outside every day and either surf, skate, ride my bike or work in my yard.
How do you take your coffee?
Every so often, when were on a vacation and find ourselves at a fancy coffee shop ill order a macchiato or latte… for like desert.
Walk us through a day in the life of Dustin Ortiz.
The first thing I do in the morning is make coffee and head outside to my backyard. I’m a novice gardener, but I really enjoy tinkering in my yard. I collect lots of plants and cuttings and like making things with scrap wood. My wife usually joins me out there at some point but I'm usually out there by myself or with the dogs for a bit.
Once I finish my coffee I’ll head to my studio. I ride my bike there about half the time, depending on how alive I’m feeling that day. It's about 6 miles away which isn’t bad, and it's along the beach the whole way which is epic. I’m still on a fixed gear so the days I don’t feel alive, I'll drive. I need to get an adult bike at some point.
I like getting to the studio early before it gets too hectic. I share it with my buddy Pete Panciera and he has a brand called Norden so it gets busy quickly. We also have a lot of drop-ins so it's nice to have quiet time.
About half of my energy is dedicated to a skateboard company that I partner in called GoldCoast. That company is based at of Utah and our office and assembly warehouse are all there, I just run all the creative out of my studio in California. We consider ourselves the best designed and highest quality entry level skateboard company. We design boards for all shapes and sizes and get excited when GoldCoast is someone's first skateboard and we had the opportunity to expose them to something that has changed our lives. We started it about 6 years ago and had a different view point than anyone in that space at the time. Since then we are so excited to see that skateboarding has evolved and kids are riding all types of boards. Companies like Welcome, Penny and Landyachtz have really changed what skateboarding looks like to some many different people. It's super exciting.
The other half of my time goes to different freelance projects like, Yes Snowboards, Nitro Circus, Adidas, Electric, Nixon, Norden, The Mattson 2 and a bunch of other epic people that I’m thankful to be able to work with. I also squeeze on personal art projects whenever I can, my studio is always evolving with a new mess which keeps me smiling.
Any future projects in the works?
I’ve been designing a restaurant for the last 6 months and am so excited to have a great client who is allowing me to have a lot of fun with it. It's set to open their doors later this fall. Half restaurant and half bike shop. It’s called Breakaway and it should be radical. Other than that I have a new series of paintings I’ve been working on, no show date at this point but I'd like to do something around the holidays.
How would you describe your style?
Not sure the best way to describe my style, I like to keep things simple and clean. I’ve never been great with words, I have always been inspired by Brutalist architecture from the 1960s and modernism in 1950’s and prints and colors from the 1970’s. Mix that with nature and a dash of surrealism. Not sure if that makes any sense at all, but that's my style in my head.