Fabricio Lima on his personal illustration style

In each issue of Computer Arts magazine, we ask a top designer to create their own take on our Design Matters tagline. For Brazilian designer and director Fabricio Lima, that take included a nightclub in a toaster and a rave on a coffee machine. We caught up with him to find out why...

Computer Arts: How did you approach the project?

Fabricio Lima: Most of my works are inspired by simple, everyday used objects or food, such as a espresso machine, a sandwich or even a toaster – something that is relevant to what I am experiencing at the time. I them turn these objects into buildings or houses, and add little details of things in my life: how my house or work place actually looks, the food or drink I was having, and especially friends that were present in my life.

So basically this is what my piece is about, it describes the period of two to three weeks in Buenos Aires, where I currently live. Weeks fuelled by too much work, too much partying, lots of coffee, and also some great friends that were part of it. Little bits of their stories are included, too: an Englishman that loves Fernet (Argentinian spirit), a New Zealander photographer, an American friend who had a huge fight with a taxi driver, the list goes on!

CA: Where did you get your inspiration from?
FL: When I was a kid, I used to have a book called The Way Things Work by David Macauley. Basically, it describes in very specific detail each part of a certain thing, like an aeroplane or even a mosque. I loved the illustrations in those books, and the perspective that allowed us to see so much detail.

CA: What was the hardest part of the project?
FL: Animating things frame by frame is definitely the most challenging part. I did the animated version of this illustration for the iPad version of the magazine, and the more details you add to a still image... sometimes you forget you will need to re-draw 20 to 40 more frames of the same thing doing a basic movement! Multiply those little things and you get an exponential problem. But I enjoy the process regardless!

CA: What's your favourite part of the final design?
FL: The lounge party going on at the top of the espresso machine! There is a cat DJ there – how awesome is that? This cat is also a reference to a French friend of mine who loves cats, and loves this video/meme of a cat that is a DJ.

CA: Why does design matter?
FL: Design matters because communication matters, it's the path we use to understand things, how they work, what they do, how we use them.

Fabricio Lima is a Brazilian freelance designer and director living in Buenos Aires. His Design Matters logo appears in Computer Arts issue 215. You can see more of his work on his website, illustration blog and Vimeo page.