Gustavo Emilio Quintana Kennedy
Place of birth: Guatemala City, Guatemala.
Currently living in: Back in Guatemala City after a year in NYC.
Train, bus, bike, or other: Bike, always.
What’s the most important object in your studio? A black 0.5mm Muji Pen.
Paper or plastic? Paper.
Favourite project you have produced so far? “Derivatives”, a personal, never to be published tryptic series, that I have in my house, that is based on the theory that to become a great designer you first copy, then you make derivative work, until you develop a style of your own, a little like the Renaissance masters. In this tryptic series I literally copied by studying the geometry of an illustration, of a series of well known designers, then I made a second version of something different but in the illustrator’s style, and then I redrew the second Illustration but in my own style, my favourite is a Green Dinosaur with a cigarette and a drink in it’s hands, made by Finnish Illustrator Rami Niemi, which took me like 2 weeks to get it exactly without tracing it, just using geometric understanding and a lot of trial and error, then I made a blue Unicorn with a joint and a beer, still in Niemi’s style. I then made a blue unicorn with a joint and a beer but in my own style, it was a fun, personal and experimental project.
What are you working on right now? I was trained as an architect, but in the process I became a self thought graphic designer, which led me into interactive design so basically right now I run 2 studios, The first one “Milk n’ Cookies”, where I work as a founding creative director, basically specializing in UI & UX for both big companies and startups, while running our own incubator, and Parallel to that I co-founded with my Girlfriend “ Quintana Ros” a graphic, product, and spatial, studio where we create more experimental work that ranges from branding, to furniture and art pieces, to exhibitions and interior design.
Favourite food? That’s the hardest question you can ask someone, but my hart is split between pizza and tikka-massala.
Coffee or tea? Coffee, always, iced or cold brewed, with half an ounce of skim milk, more than half an ounce makes it too milky, and less doesn’t get the right balance, but always iced even in the harshest winter.
What’s your earliest creative memory? Doodling with Crayolas I drew a caveman and a cow in my grandmother’s closet.
How do you prefer to spend your mornings? I wake up at 6:00 AM and go for a 1 hour run, get home, take an iced cold bath (full submersion), then have a traditional Guatemalan breakfast and hit the office around 8. I then try to design as much as I can between 8-12 since I find these are my most productive hours, no email and no phone until the afternoon.