Peppy Colours by Pepe Bratanov
By Alixandra Rutnik on Jul 02, 2020
One Club Member creates digital art inspired by pop-culture
During lockdown, we asked our One Club Members to share their recent projects with us, and we received A LOT of great responses– We love to see what our members have been up to, so don't forget to send us your cool work post-quarantine too!
Pepe Bratanov is the co-founder & Creative Director at The Local Collective as well as the guy behind the Peppy Colours digital art-collection. His art is unique, eye-popping, and all about simplicity and the world around us. We had the chance to chat with Pepe to learn more about what drives his personal creative outlet– Peppy Colours.
So what inspires this collection of digital art?
Peppy Colours is a pop art exploration of the unexpected fun and beauty that can be found in the everyday objects and living things that surround us.
The inspiration behind it is mostly cultural observations and reflections of all the things that happen around us every day– from local culture and things I may have come across throughout the day to visual commentary on current global events and behaviours. So it could be something small or really big. It varies, but the connective tissue is always colour and simplicity. Realizing a complicated subject through a simple execution, in most cases, leads to a visually intriguing and rewarding outcome.
I also think a lot of it has to do with my background in advertising. As a young art director (back when we were still doing a lot of print) one of the most fun challenges for me was to highlight a product feature by creating some sort of visually interesting mashup to illustrate the benefit. I think that carried through for me over the years and is now a big part of the approach behind Peppy Colours.
"Realizing a complicated subject through a simple execution, in most cases, leads to a visually intriguing and rewarding outcome."
When do you work on it?
This project started as mainly a hobby– something I can do on the side– a streamlined outlet that allows me to take a break from all the other creative projects I have going on at The Local Collective (TLC). It’s more of a colourful escape for me really. I try not to overthink the concept too much– keep it light and do it quickly. Sometimes the pieces are even created while I’m sitting on the couch and watching Netflix.
How do you know what you want to make?
I don’t know to be honest. Most of the pieces are reactions to things. It’s like reporting the news as opposed to creating it. So once I have encountered something interesting throughout the day (news, events, social posts), I try to bring it to life in the best and simplest way possible.
How long does it take to make one piece?
It varies– some pieces take a couple of hours, others take days, simply because I like to go back and revisit and look for imperfections. I work the art for as long as it takes until the piece is perfect in my mind, and sometimes I’m stuck on choosing the background colour for a couple of days. We all know what that’s like.
What tools do you use to create this art?
Photoshop! I hope someone from Photoshop is reading this!
What is the step-by-step process like for you?
Normally, I come up with ideas and write them down so I don’t forget, and whenever I have time I get down to work and bring them to life. Then it’s down to finding images I can work with. Sometimes it takes hours to find what I’m looking for. The rest of it is patience. Lots of it. Anyone’s who's photoshopped hair or fir will know what I mean.
I noticed the Joe Exotic tiger– hilarious– how did that idea spark?
Is there an artist who didn’t have their own rendition of Joe? For a while, it was hard to scroll down your social feed for 20 seconds and not see a Joe Exotic meme or some sort of Tiger King fan art. So that was the Peppy Colours tribute to the show. I was just looking to do something different than the stuff I had already seen done.
What does this collection of art mean to you and what would you like it to mean to other people?
The purpose of the art is to put a smile on someone’s face. The same way I clear my head while creating the art, I want the viewers to take a brief moment from their busy everyday lives and clear their heads. I don’t make anything too deep or meaningful in most cases. Just a quick, enjoyable, snack-sized visual break. Though we are all different and some people find their own deeper meanings and interpretations with some of the pieces, which is always nice to hear– it’s doing exactly what art is supposed to do.
What are the themes in your art?
There’s a wide range of themes. There’s no theme I wouldn’t explore. I stay away from political themes, but basketball, big cats, and elephants are reoccurring themes in my art. I have a soft spot for those things and pastel colours.
Are you working on a new piece of art right now?
I’m always working on new pieces. I try to post a couple of times a week on my Instagram @peppy_colours to keep my audience engaged. I just read an article about how we probably shouldn’t be using bath loofahs because they collect all kinds of germs, so I think I know what my next piece will be. Keep an eye out for it.
The rest of the projects I’m working on at the moment are all TLC related, where we try to help brands, big and small, emerge from the lockdown and get back to the new normal.
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