RAY ORANGES: LIVING COLOUR

Shapes inspired by surrealist landscapes and modernist architecture. Warm, saturated colours arranged against a backdrop of the bluest skies. Ray’s images have been said to echo science fiction book covers from the Sixties and Seventies. In conversation with MYKITA JOURNAL, he gives insight to his creative process, talks about his impressions at MYKITA HAUS and reveals the secret to great Italian cooking.

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Ray in his studio

What led you to become an illustrator?

While I was finishing university I started to work in an architectural firm, the work was not bad but slowly I started to get bored. I was doing the same thing, day after day. So, I followed my inclination to be an illustrator, consistent with my passion for drawing. My passion started in primary school. I remember one day the teacher asked us to draw some fruit. All my mates just drew some fruits. I not only drew the fruit but also the table, the tablecloth, the flatware and the chairs all around the table. Obviously my teacher gave me an excellent grade!

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Because I'm curious, the area that most struck me was the one I couldn't visit – the doors were closed for a meeting. It was the area dedicated to the design development

Do you express yourself creatively in any other way?

Sitting at the desk all day, drawing on paper or on computer is amazing but it’s also very sedentary. I have always been fascinated by manual work so, thinking how to mix my job and that other part of me, I realized that I could have this perfect combination by creating my illustrations myself. So asked my artisan friend to build a chalcographic press for me. I never imagined that he would really make it. Now I'm learning how to use it, wondering if in the future I’ll be able to show the results.

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Ray's sun-drenched studio

Tell us how you go about creating an illustration on a specific subject.

I follow a very simple scheme that is nevertheless not easy. I start thinking about the keywords related to the project, I break up these words thinking about synonyms or similar words, then I search images that the words inspire me, in books or online, then I choose what I feel is closer to my idea and/or the buyer idea. Finally, cross my fingers that people like it.

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Picking a favourite one is hard but if I have to, I choose the DD2.2 Black/Black with Green Solid lenses from the MYKITA / DAMIR DOMA collaboration.

What was your first impression of MYKITA?

The first thing I noticed was that this company is really fresh, energetic and young. I think the atmosphere you can feel inside is difficult to convey only in photographs.

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MYKITA HAUS by Ray Oranges

Which was your favourite area of the MYKITA HAUS?

Because I'm curious, the area that most struck me was the one I couldn't visit – the doors were closed for a meeting. It was the area dedicated to the design development and as a good creative, I would have liked to see how the creative process looks at MYKITA. Although, I knew that the company encompasses so many professions, I was pleased to note that each job had its designated area; there was even a great photo studio and a press office. My compliments, really.

Did anything surprise you during your visit?

Honestly, I was impressed by the relaxed space where employees could play ping pong or grow vegetables in the garden. I think by paying attention to the whole person, also to his need to free the mind, will provide the right energy to face work commitments in a serene way.

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MYKITA HAUS by Ray Oranges

Is there a reason behind the primary colour scheme you used for your illustration of MYKITA?

The colour pallet derives from the Bauhaus style (blue, red, yellow, black). My contribution was to look for a combination of a retro vision with a fresh one and more suited to the philosophy of the company.

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Do you have a favourite style of glasses or sunglasses?

Since I can remember I had always gone for the Blues Brothers sunglasses style (Eds. Note: Ray-Ban Wayfarer) Maybe it’s time to change?

What is your favourite MYKITA frame?

Picking a favourite one is hard but if I have to, I choose the DD2.2 Black/Black with Green Solid lenses from the MYKITA / DAMIR DOMA collaboration.

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Is it a myth that all Italians are outstanding cooks?

More than 80 percent of Italians will answer that question with “Yes, of course!” When I came to Florence, after six months of tomato sauce pasta and cordon bleu, I decided to ask my mum and my grandmother for some recipes. After modifying them and creating new dishes I can now modestly put myself in that 80 percent.

Do you have a signature dish that you like to cook?

One of the first recipes I learned was the one that I eat the most voraciously: stuffed calamari (“I porcellini”). Needless to say I cook it very well and this is also how I won my girlfriend’s heart, who – as a good Italian – measures her man also by his kitchen skills.

 

Credits

Agency: Machas
Photography: Francesca Dattilo
Location: Studio Eutropia

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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