Music and art have always meshed well together. The tones in a particular track often portray vivid images of colour, composition and of course, art. Melbourne creative Darren Oorloff takes this process just that little bit further, working to effortlessly fuse two artistic processes to create something incredibly beautiful.
The darkened world of Darren Oorloff is fraught with geometry, mind-bending iconography and an unflinching addiction to musical collaboration.
HAPPY: Tell us about the moment you realised you wanted to be an artist.
DARREN: I always liked drawing and painting but never had the patience to see it through. Being slightly OCD and quite impatient is a strange combination for those particular mediums. Finding digital as a new medium changed the way I could approach art and design, giving me a platform to quickly change and manipulate every aspect from the ground up.
HAPPY: A lot of your work features female artists, is this something that’s important to you?
DARREN: Honestly this isn’t something I’ve actively pursued. However I have observed that female clients tend to be better at expressing their ideas and concepts, making the collaboration process a lot more fluid.
HAPPY: Tell me about your use of colour, particularly the fusion of purple, pink and grey. Is there something in particular that you love about this combination?
DARREN: I’m a sucker for contrasting colours, really pushing for an intensity and vibrancy in my artworks that may not commonly be found in nature. The softer pinks and purples are usually paired with hard architectural or masculine imagery creating that contrast.
HAPPY: What advice do you have for younger artists just starting out?
DARREN: A little bit of arrogance won’t hurt in this field. Especially in the music industry where self promotion is everything, force yourself to exploit social media. Create a system if it doesn’t come organically to you. There’s no room to be shy in 2016.
HAPPY: Which aspect of your work are you most proud of?
DARREN: My field of design is primarily based around collaboration. Constantly having restraints from the client whilst trying to keep a consistency within my style and aesthetic has been a massive challenge. But I’m slowly developing a recognisable aesthetic that works across multiple mediums photography, illustration, film and design.
HAPPY: What is it that drew you to combining art with music?
DARREN: Again the collaboration process has always been what’s appealing for me. I treat it like a big puzzle, my job is to take music, concepts or ideas and visually represent it in an appealing way. Taking into consideration the artist’s vision, current trends (so it’s relevant today), longevity (so it’s relevant in years to come), how it will stand out on a record shelf and how it links conceptually.
HAPPY: I particularly love the design for the Untainted EP (above), what was the inspiration behind that?
DARREN: Grecian architecture is popping off right now!
HAPPY: How do you feel the ever changing world of technology influences the way you create?
DARREN: It keeps us all on our toes thats for sure. Personally I’d love to learn how to handle some 3D programs because that seems to be where everything is headed. However in trying to replicate the 3D style utilising only vector and photoshop, I found there’s something romantic in the naivety of my imperfect lighting and perspectives.
HAPPY: Who are your major influences at the moment?
HAPPY: Since a lot of your work revolves around creating artwork for artists, do you listen to anything in particular whilst you’re working?
DARREN: I’ve got a very broad taste in music, so thats a difficult question. If I’m designing for a specific album or EP I’ll play that out a couple of time whilst making the artwork in hopes that subliminally the ‘mood’ will reflect in the design.
HAPPY: As it’s coming up to the end of the year, and nostalgia seems to surface, what are your major goals for next year?
DARREN: I’ve been in London for the best part of this year setting up some cool projects for the new year. I’m pushing to move away from a computer screen – gravitating towards art direction roles for photography and film.
While you’re here, check out our piece on Aussie musicians who are also artists.