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Project X Artist Spotlight: Yan Fernando



Hopefully by now you've tried the latest release in our Project X Series, New Horizons. If you cracked open our latest Hazy IPA and found yourself captivated by the label, we don't blame you. Yan Fernando - the artist that is responsible for the background art on this beer's cover - is a Brazil-based digital artist that uses combinations of images to create mosaics that evoke specific emotions. We spent some time with Yan getting answers to our burning questions and talking about his art and our beer.


 

Q: Where are you from and what inspires your work?


A: I’m from the northern region of Brazil, a state called Pará, and I live in a city called

Ananindeua. My parents, however, are from Belém, which is the most important city of our

region. Belém, with its many legends, stories and historical places, is an infinite source of

inspiration for many of my works, including my collages, the texts that I write, or the pictures

that I take. The city is part of the huge amazonian rainforest, and has over 4 centuries of

stories to tell.


Q: How much of what you do is inspired by your home and your experiences?


A: You may notice that some of my works use real photographs from there, and each one of

them has its own significance. The statues; the animals (vultures, egrets, parrots); the places

and the people are some of the many elements that I include during my creative process.

For example, the art on my profile called “Plana Alto” shows a giant egret flying near some

old houses from the colonial period, near the “Pedra do Peixe” (fish’s stone), the place

where fishes and many herbs, among other products, are sold. Another one called “Belém:

406 anos” is a junction of many impactful elements that mark our city. These elements are

part of our identity; they make us recognize ourselves as residents of Pará.


A large bird flapping it's wings over a small man staring up
"Plana Alto" by Yan Fernando

Q: I saw one of your posts where you say, “music is my companion at all times. Many

inspirations arise because of it.” What kind of music inspires you, and how?


A: Well, I’m very much into psychedelic sounds (like Still Corners), but I’m also an avid Frank

Ocean listener, for example. I like that he creates a sense of storytelling on his tracks,

building narratives out of a bunch of sentences that sound good to the ears. I try to look for

that sense of comfort these sounds make me feel when I am creating, and it helps me to set

a ‘mood’ to the artwork.


Q: What types of mediums are you typically using to make art? Can you explain your

process?


I usually do a sketch of my art with pencil on paper just to remind myself of the way I

intended it to be, then the image hunt begins. I usually sweep some stock photo sites where

I can find valuable assets, then I gather them and start to cut them out in Photoshop. The ideas come to me when I'm in the middle of some other task, so I usually take notes to not forget them. Also when I listen to music or watch a movie, or read a book… The act of consuming some other form of media and reflecting upon it gives birth to many new ideas based on the mashing-up of my interpretations of it, and also on a subconscious process that I’m not aware of when it’s happening, I guess. On [Photoshop], the next part of the process begins. I group the pics and choose which position, angle, color and lightning fits better with the scene and mood that I intend to create. Then I usually add some human figures, assets, color schemes, add hue and saturation and then, finish the artwork. The human aspect is very important to me. I think it adds a layer of subjective thought to whoever is seeing the art from the other side, to imagine what’s the meaning of that person there.




Q: What was the inspiration and meaning of the art on New Horizons?


A: The inspiration came mainly from the work of my friend Denis William (@visivel.br), who collaborated with me in the creation of this piece. The art style is based on his creations, and with a quick look at his works you can see his signature: warm tones and psychedelic landscapes that set the tone for this piece, with our 'hero' stranded on an unknown alien planet with few resources. We talked shortly about it beforehand and decided to let our creative process flow without boundaries, and that's how we got to the final result.


Q: The concept of our Project X Series is merging traditional art with the art of making beer

and creating a harmony between the senses. Why do you think that is important and what

makes it work so well?


The craft of a beverage is, in itself, a form of art. You might have a recipe that you must

follow in order to obtain a certain flavor, color or different aspect. But there are some

nuances in the process that make the final result very different from any other, and that truth

is also applied to the process of making an artwork. Your subjectivity is shaping your process

during all the time you’re creating, and that differentiation is what makes your work unique.


Q: How does it feel to have your art on the side of a beer can? Have you done projects like

this before?

A: Oh, I’m feeling very grateful for that, hahaha. I’ve had some other artworks being used on

songs and albums, for example, but I never expected to see it on a beer can label. It’s

something new to me. I’m sure it’s a fine product, and would like to taste it, if given the

opportunity hahah.


Q: What are some exciting projects you are working on that you want folks to know about?


I am currently working on expanding the merchandise based on my artworks, like shirts and

stickers. These products sell well around here, and I wanted to diversify my production

beyond prints and digital artworks. Also, I’ve realized now that artworks may have many

different applications from what we imagined for them, and it might open doors in many new

and interesting places.


 

Make sure to follow Yan Fernando on Instagram for more updates and to follow his work.

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