There’s something exquisitely dark and erotic about the work by Madrid-based creative team Nastplas. Illustrator Fran R. Learte “drFranken” and creative director Natalia Molinos “Na” have been a couple since the age of sixteen and the sensual tension shines through in their artistic vision. They work in both black & white and color, often fusing the human figure with abstract illustrative elements. They’ve also integrated their illustrative talent with their interest in science and engineering to craft haunting motion shorts. Their love story is real.
A portrait of Nastplas, illustrator Fran R. Learte “drFranken” and creative director Natalia Molinos “Na”.
LF: Nastplas is a team of illustrator Fran R. Learte “drFranken” and creative director Natalia Molinos “Na.” How did the two of you meet?
DRF: We’ve known each other since we were sixteen and have been together as a couple since. We decided to start NastPlas because art and design are our passion and we needed to express all the art that runs through our veins. Natalia is responsible for the creative side and me the technology side and production.
LF: Was it creative love at first sight?
NA: Definitely! We connected from the start. Time increased our telepathy.
LF: Do you think working professionally as a team has changed your visual aesthetic?
NA: Definitely, working together has expanded our visual and creative perception. When you work alone, many important aspects are often overlooked and it is very difficult to cover everything. Teamwork allows multiple points of view , and it focuses more on our own skills as well as in learning from each other.
LF: Most of your work incorporates a figure with illustrative graphics. How does the human form inspire you?
NA: The truth is that we are inspired by everything around us, but certainly we have a lot of influence of the human figure, the brain, and science because my sister is a great scientist and often we talk together about their projects. It is very rewarding.
LF: You’ve worked with some huge corporate clients like Coca-Cola and Lexus. Do you feel like you lose creative control when working for such corporate clients?
DRF: We always try to express maximum creativity without losing sight of the objectives set by the client. I think for a project to be successful you have to make a good working relationship from the outset where each part must be clear what their role is. We like to bring our creativity in each work we do. It is one of the factors that make us stand out and allows us to show our professionalism.
LF: You’ve worked with Advanced Photoshop Mag, and obviously from the look of the work, it’s digital genius. What are a few of you’re coolest Photoshop tricks?
DRF: Although it is a very powerful tool, we don’t have many tricks on Photoshop, normally we use it as a tool for composition. We use many tools and techniques to reach the end piece.
LF: You do motion as well and your videos are mesmerizing. Can you talk a little bit about your process in making this videos?
DRF: Although we are not specialists in video, as our expertise is digital illustration, we really like this medium. We create and edit motion graphics and we try to make things that come to mind. We are very spontaneous in this sense. As a software developer, I use many algorithms to make new effects, which I enjoy. We are currently filming a short film that we will present in 2015.
IdN Video Opening Title v19n5 from NastPlas on Vimeo.
LF: You live in Madrid. Do you find it to be an art-centric city?
DRF: Despite the difficult times we are experiencing at this time, Madrid is a big city, it provides many opportunities. Here, many people bet in creating culture, and the creativity is alive. There is much movement in the independent arts scene.
LF: What’s your favorite aspect of the city?
NA: We like many places in Madrid. One of the sites that we have recently discovered, is “La Neomudejar” a renovated old station as a center of arts and artistic residence. Definitely an interesting place to visit.
LF: Who inspires you in the illustration world?
DRF: We like many artists, we can not say just one.
LF: If you had a chance to meet any living artist, who would it be?
NASTPLAS: Most people who inspire us and we admire are dead. If we had to choose between people today, we would choose these: In architecture, Santigo Calatrava , literature, Chuck Palahniuk , illustration , sculpture and other rarities, HR Giger.
LF: What gets you off, literally or figuratively?
DRF: The darkness, the strange, the impossible
LF: How fast do you live?
DRF: I think we live in a world in which everything goes too fast, at a breakneck pace. I like to live fast but enjoy slowly.