Magdiel Lopez’s “A Poster a Day”: 550 and Counting
The Dallas creative’s work is alive with imagination, color, style and technique—and with so many specialties at play, not to mention a seeming bottomless pit of inspiration, the series almost feels like it were produced by a team. But it’s all just Lopez—and the sum toll of his output has led to collaborations with some of the biggest brands on the planet.
Here, we check in with Lopez about just how he pulls it all off.
You’re originally from Cuba. How did the country influence your design and art?
In every way! The colors and the culture are something really hard to shake off, and a lot of the ideas you see in my art today are a reflection of my time in Cuba as a child, and things I just daydream about.
Did you study art or design in a formal capacity?
I started exploring design when I was 13 by myself back in Cuba. I practiced a lot, recreating old books covers and having fun making collages, but started making money with it when I was 15–16 here in the States, making album art for singers in Miami.
Your Poster a Day series is brilliant. When did the idea for it first take shape?
Thank you! At the time I was working a lot on other people's projects and I felt like I needed a space where I could explore new ideas and new visual concepts without any consequences. I had been thinking about that for a while, and I had a friend pressuring me to post my work online. I had never posted any of my work online before. One day I saw the poster every day series by Alex Proba, and I felt like it was a good time to do it myself
At first, was it daunting? Did you think you’d be able to pull off 365 installments?
I tried not to think about it too much. I remember Day 10 was the first time I thought, why am I doing this to myself? But then after that, I just kept going, doing whatever I felt like doing that day. I had a couple of days when I didn’t want to do it, for sure, but those were the days I would come up with the best things.
The work has encompassed digital design, collage, motion work—what is your process for the series?
Whatever feels good! The design world sometimes can be very limiting and “safe,” so this series is trying to be free. I’m usually looking at things and breaking them down, and that drives the series. It grabs inspiration from current design, technology, old-school painting, and everything else!
When you hit 365 days, did you know that you were going to continue it?
No, I didn’t think I was going to, but it makes me so happy to do it that I didn't see any other way. It's also a great way to promote my work and get new business.
What fuels and motivates you?
God, family, people. I don’t want to get too deep but I would be failing as a husband, a father, a son and a friend if I wasn’t motivated and fighting. My parents left everything behind to bring me and my brother to the U.S., so I feel like the minimum I can do is to be the best version of myself and to work hard build something for future generations.
How do you continue to find fresh ideas for the series?
I keep breaking down what I see—why some things work and others don't. Not only looking at things, liking and admiring them, but seeing and understanding them.
How long do you plan to keep going?
I have no idea. I want to say I'll keep going until I find a better way to express myself every day.
How would you describe your aesthetic or style?
Surrealist design or digital art.
Your best advice for those looking to start a practice or challenge like this?
Enjoy the learning process and the battle with creating something that you can call your own.
What’s your dream project?
I think a lot of what I’m doing now is a dream project for me. If I can extend this to helping more people and translating my work to a physical form, I would be where I want to be.
What’s next for you?
I started a Studio last year called Belmont, along with my friend and entrepreneur Merrick Porchedu, and it’s been a lot of fun to work with different businesses on branding art and ad campaigns. I’m in the process of starting that physical project I mentioned, so be on the lookout for that. And I’ve had the idea of working on an online experience for a while now that involves storytelling and visuals.