15 Artists Under 30: Tina Touli
This is the third year we’ve run our New Visual Artists: 15 under 30 issue. What was once a highly edited list of 20 of the best and brightest young designers is now a deeper exploration of 15 of the most original talents working in visual communications today.
This issue of Print comes at an interesting time. This new group of designers, while undeniably adroit, is part of a generation fully proficient in the art of self-promotion in a digital age. Getting the word out about one’s work is now de rigueur. But at a time when new work is relentlessly blasted out on platforms where seemingly everyone in the room is shouting, is it really possible to break through the volume of voices all vying to captivate and capture attention? Moreover, in the Insta-culture of the early 21st century, how does one navigate through the metadata to find the meteoric? As in years past, that’s exactly what we’ve sought to do here. We’ve gone in quest of craft and cunning ideas and ideals. We’ve looked for substance and style and star-power. The list of Print’s New Visual Artists has become a who’s who of the industry’s leaders, and includes Scott Dadich, Eddie Opara, Alan Dye, Jessica Walsh, Jessica Hische, Frank Chimero and, more recently, Zipeng Zhu, Joe Hollier and Joey Cofone. This year’s 15 New Visual Artists are bold in name and in voice, and are bravely making new work in a new world.
“The paper sculpture represents the rising stars—the new upcoming designers. With its explosion of color it visualizes the power the new talent has.”
Meet New Visual Artist Tina Touli
From: Athens, Greece.
Current city: London.
Education: Central Saint Martins; MA, communication design. Technological Educational Institute of Athens; BA, graphic arts and design.
Earliest creative memory: I remember when I was a child, my German mother was teaching me how to read and write in German and bought me a book to learn calligraphy. I never really bothered to ask her why I was learning calligraphy at that point, just because I really enjoyed it. It was actually the most exciting part of my homework. I was much more interested in learning how each letter could be drawn in so many different beautiful ways than actually learning the language. After so many years, I realized how big the impact was—how these little exercises enhanced my passion for typography.
Path that led you to design: I always loved communicating through any form of art. [When] I was little I was keen on dancing, drawing, playing music and others. I attended a music school, which kept me involved with all disciplines of art, from architectural drawing to acting. Only a few months before graduating I realized what I wanted to do with my life. When a friend told me about design, a field that would allow me to combine everything that I was passionate about—audio, motion, visuals, etc.—I knew exactly where I belonged.
Current place of work: My private London-based multidisciplinary studio.
The key to good design: A good design is something that you will still remember next month, next year and over the passage of time. It can be very simple, but it has to be clever or brave, unexpected or funny and, of course, communicate the message that it was intended to carry.
Work of which you’re most proud: [30 Years of Adobe Illustrator.] I had the great opportunity to be invited byAdobe to take part in the graphic design livestream and share the way in which I am working, and challenge myself to design a poster for this special anniversary live, over three days, two hours every day. Inspired by the way in which we flip the pages of our notebooks—representing the past, the present and the future—I created a three-dimensional paper sculpture and used it as a guide for the design. It depicts the number “30,” a horizontally symmetrical number.
Biggest influence: My friends, both designers and nondesigners, and my family have always been the biggest influence for me. [They] defined who I am today, both as a designer and as a person.
How you would classify your style: Multidisciplinary. I enjoy building solid concepts and constantly blending things from the physical and the digital world, working across different platforms and mediums.
Design hero: Paula Scher.
Favorite artist: René Magritte.
Favorite typographer: Jurriaan Schrofer.
What defines you: Persistency. I like to continuously challenge myself by experimenting and setting up new goals, never giving up on them, and by learning new skills and exploring new fields, new mediums.
Cause that means the most to you: Consumerism.
Biggest fear: Stagnation. What motivates me and keeps me going is the excitement of something new.
What you want to accomplish before all is said and done: Work [created] with passion that will be remembered and inspire others.
The future of design is: Design was and will always be about solving problems. The tools and the mediums of design will only change according to the new technologies and the new needs.