Ray Oranges is an Italian illustrator known for his spare, geometrical artwork with the capacity to summon up whole stories through simple shapes and bright colours.
Every two months BASE houses an artist selected by Illustri, an association that brings together established and up-and-coming illustrators. The artists spend a week with us, staying at casaBASE, working in the burò, BASE Milano’s project house, and getting involved in life at BASE and the initiatives underway. The creative outcome of the residency then becomes the poster for the BASE magazine.
ON RAY ORANGES’ DESK
Kicking off the series is Ray Oranges. We asked him to introduce himself via the contents of his desk and the things that drive his creative process.
“I was born in Calabria, surrounded by wide open spaces which really stimulate your imagination. My background is in architecture and I still find myself focusing on form. To me, illustration is also about the substance of the materials used. There’s a reason I have a construction built from wooden blocks on my desk. I like putting together shapes, slants of light and angles of shadow.
The Post-it notes that I used for the piece came out of this search. Given the dynamic, many-sided nature of BASE, I came up with the idea of working with blocks of Post-it notes the way you build up layers and shadow on Photoshop. I also brought with me a copy of “Interaction of Colour” by Albers, one of the giants of the Bauhaus group. It’s a great book to have to hand when you’re at your desk as it reminds you of the effect that colour has on people. I listen to a variety of stuff on my headphones. If the deadline is “yesterday” I go for full-on electronica, or otherwise I’ll range from jazz to Brazilian music. Then there’s my diary where I keep my sketches as well as advice from friends and fellow illustrators. My job can be pretty solitary, but outside input is always a source of new ideas, so it’s important to keep sharing and engaging with others.”