Tim Casiero. Photo credit: J March Photography
I guarantee you, one day we will all be wearing T-shirts with Tim Casiero’s designs emblazoned on them. This young gun has his sights set on building an empire, much like jeffstaple’s. In our latest spotlight, Tim tells us about his ambitions and why he loves lino carves.
Q: Hello Tim! Can you please tell us a bit about yourself?
A: Where should I start with this? I’m 21 and I’ve been creative by nature all my life. I completed a Bachelor of Visual Communications (Graphic Design) at UniSA at the end of 2015. While studying to become a designer, I took an elective in relief and intaglio printing. At the time I wanted to get into screen printing and thought this would be the next best thing. The course started with lino carving and I was instantly hooked to the hands-on process. Most modern design can be completed on a computer, so being able to work with my hands is extremely satisfying.
Q: Who inspires you? What inspires your art?
A: I am heavily inspired by mythology and folklore of various cultures. There is so much imagery to draw on and I enjoy learning about different supernatural creatures within various cultures. Alternative music (particularly metalcore) and tattoo imagery have been stylistic influences for years. The imagery used on band merch has always appealed to me. Stay Bold’s work is a great example of what I mean.
Q: Do you have a preferred medium?
A: Without a doubt it would have to be linoleum to create a relief print block. I find lino carves really easily and is great for carving finer details. Because it carves easily, I enjoy using it for linework-based imagery.
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: I don’t really know how to describe my style because I feel it’s ever changing and improving. Currently, my work is quite bold, making use of the high contrast imagery that can be made with a single lino block. I use heavy shadows and show tone and shape by carving out just the highlights of objects. I work almost exclusively in black and white at the moment because of my love for linework.
Q: Can you please describe your artistic and creative process i.e.: from lingering idea to putting it into practice?
A: My process usually starts when I’m doing a menial task and an idea pops into my head. Once I have an idea to work with, I start researching around it. If it’s a more conceptual design I research into the visual language I intend to use in the final. When I’ve compiled enough research, I begin sketching ideas. For me this is the most challenging part because I’m trying to render what I’ve created in my head down onto paper. After I’ve developed a suitable sketch, I clean it up digitally. Working digitally really helps me when I’m refining printmaking images because I can add and subtract so easily from the image. The finished drawing is then transferred to a lino plate and carved. Once the plate is finished, I always test print it. When I pull several successful test prints, I print the final edition, which I number, date, and sign by hand.
Tim’s Mayan-themed plates
Q: Where do you see your art practice taking you in the next five years?
A: I see myself working under my creative label, which I’m currently developing. I’ll likely be doing a combination of graphic design and printmaking work. I hope to have an established T-shirt label as well, which does small runs of hand-printed relief t-shirts.
Q: If you could recommend one artist, who would it be?
A: It would have to Grafic Mazatl, their work is just awe-inspiring. The style they use is one I’m definitely letting influence my current works, especially the way they handle animal textures, such as fur. I find their printmaking work has so much personality and style and the quality of their work is what I am aspiring to create.
Tim’s linostamp and print
Q: What is your favourite gallery?
A: SASA Gallery on the UniSA City West campus. During my time studying at UniSA, I was exposed to a wide range of art forms and styles at this gallery. I walked past it every time I went to class so it became a constant source of inspiration and motivation to keep working hard.
Q: Where can we find more of your work?
A: Currently the best place would be my Instagram. That’s where I post most of my creative updates. I’ve also got prints for sale up on my Etsy. I’m hoping to have my collective brand up in the near future which will be across most social media.
Tim’s lino print transferred onto a T-shirt
Q: If you could switch places with anyone for a day, who would it be, and why?
A: I’d probably swap places with Jeff Staple, the founder of Staple Pigeon. I’d just love to see inside his world and gain some insight into how to make my own creative ventures as successful as he has.
– Masya Zabidi