Adrian Macho is the 32 yr old graphic designer and illustrator behind the brand, Seaside Spirit. Hailing from the small Slovak town of Mocav, which translates to "Bear Village", he was raised "among the sketches and pastels." Turning early inclinations into a successful creative path, the S6 community has brought Adrian's work to the homepage several times since joining Society6 in October of this year. With the holidays quickly approaching, I wanted to talk to the man behind the brand and share some of his branded material for inspiration.
How would you describe the personality of Seaside Spirit?
I think that we live in strange era with plenty of negative vibes around us. I try to express myself in a rather opposite way - creating likeable, peaceful things with a straightforward message that anybody can read and absorb at first sight. Of course, there is a bit of irony and dry humor imposed. For instance, this tattooed, well-proportioned, ginger sailor - him being ginger pre-determines him to be an outcast, living in his own world with a mild, dreaming gaze in his eyes - a character from fairytales for grown-ups.
I'm trying to avoid typical cliches like blue stripes, white yachts, etc.
Another important thing for me is the role that palette and textures play. My choice, in the end, was to emphasize a slightly melancholic, vintage atmosphere, yet in positive kind of sense.
What originally inspired Seaside Spirit?
In my free time I read books, dream - if there is a chance, travel - wander to the places I've never been before. I love the murmur of the sea, Italy, summer time, old navy legends and old-school tattoos.
Seaside Spirit was actually originally just a draft name for the whole concept, yet it fit where this project was heading. So, I decided to publish it under that name officially.
It's been a way to let my creativity go really wild and do what I enjoy the most. Although the work I do for a living requires creativity - top to bottom - even I, as many people in the business, realized that I needed to start something of my own. Something that couldn't be pushed by never-satisfied clients or hastened by ever-pressing deadlines.
You joined S6 at the end of October and quickly made it to the homepage.
Uploading at the end of October was just an experiment. The positive feedback actually took me by surprise. I'm glad that people like what I'm doing and I'm really grateful for that.
If it was just an experiment, why open shop with S6?
I've known Society6 for a long time and I like the how it works. I think it's a great way to get known and good place to offer my work to the broad public with no substantial funding behind it.
Also, it's inspiring to browse through the work of other people and to always discover new things - already have some of the works in my favorites.
When you joined, did you have all your artwork ready to go or are you still creating?
All the work published on Society6 was created this past fall and with the brand in mind. Recently, I've experienced quite a lot of productive time. If I'm not actually working on something, I'm writing notes and developing ideas. In some cases, I work on multiple illustrations at the same time, depending on the time available or actual mood.
There aren't many pieces published on Society6. Yet, I think that sometimes less is more.
How have you used social media to build Seaside Spirit?
My friends on Facebook have known the second creative me and are used to my regular Sunday posts - where I publish my latest creations regularly. My fanpage was something that had to come alive eventually so I could publish this manifest of mine to the public.
I've been using Instagram for quite a long time as well. I started with posting illustrations in my personal profile. I think it's better than just having purely professional profile and spam other users with advertisement banners and photos of products only. Since it is a social network, which almost everyone with smart-phone has access to, and one among few that doesn't have paid advertisements, it's great to work with using the hash-tags. For example, if one shares pictures of hand carved wooden boats made of wood washed ashore it can only help to depict that it is done with sincere love and care and not just to strike a pose.
How should an artist approach branding themselves?
My brand gives hints to what it's about at first sight. That helps me to stay within the lines that I've outlined. Also, I didn't want to publish my work under my name as I thought the brand might benefit from something else. Although, my family name sounds quite hot. Macho, hahaha.
Haha. Seems like a good spot to close. Any final words?
I'd like to thank the folks at Society6, on social networks and all around me for their support.
And thank you right back.
See more Seaside Spirit: