Computer ArtsInterview

Q&A: Electrolychee

This month, Computer Arts catches up with Manila-based Marcushiro & Bru, aka Electrolychee, to talk about innovative print campaigns, their work for big-name clients such as Nike, and the Philippino design scene.

Computer Arts: What is Electrolychee?

Electrolychee: Electrolychee is an illustration and design studio run by us, Marcushiro & Bru. We are also full-time visual artists and we often showcase our pop-inspired artworks in Manila's alternative galleries. Besides painting, participating in design conferences and collaborating with local and foreign artists, we also produce our own Electrolychee-branded Strange Creations merchandise.

CA: Why are you called Electrolychee?

E: It's about wordplay - words that signify the style of art we have fun doing. Our style plays within the realms of both slick, computer-generated vector art (electro) and organic, hand-drawn imagery (lychee).

CA: Tell us about your Nike work

E: Nike commissions us when it has a campaign that's befitting of the type of work we do. We did the '3 Laws' campaign, where we interpreted via a 3D installation the new Nike Flight Basketball shoes Nike was launching, together with an in-store display. Recently we worked on the 'Sum of All Parts' campaign and produced artwork that was inspired by the components of the Nike Air 360 Running brand.

CA: The Imago album packaging you created looks pretty impressive

E: Gee thanks! We wanted to push ourselves to take a different approach when designing an album package, to up the ante, so to speak. So we pushed for an accordion type die-cut. When you look at it folded, it looks like the band members are all on the cover, but in fact they're not. Usually our works centre around illustrations, but this time it took a back seat to the band's photos. We've been getting creative feedback that even though the elements around the band are static; they look like they're continuously moving.

CA: Tell us about your entry to Fused, the Xbox 360 customisation exhibition

E: Although we often fuse analogue and digital art, our entry, 'Undefeated', was a hand-drawn endeavour with textured details - provided by the scale-like dots - and background flotsam. It's art we'd like the audience to touch as well as see. We based the piece on our belief that life is a sport, and that, so far, our partnership and design sensibilities have weathered the storm.

CA: What's the design and art scene like in the Philippines?

E: The design and pop-art scene has finally taken off here. Young designers and visual artists have started to create a community that furthers graphic design and visual art, so it's great that that they get encouragement and support. Design isn't seen as an art form here because it's still very commercial, but things have started to push forward. As for designers, Inksurge, Ewws, TeamManila, Collision Theory, 27+20, Supersteady, Darkbulb, Guadakomeda, Blackflood and Studio Roxas have always been heroes.

INFO Visit Electrolychee's site to find out more

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