Creative, timeless, fun, and subjective; these are all words that can be used to describe art. Today we’ll look at another realm of art, editorial art. Through our recent discovery scouring the net for editorials that not only invoke art but create a certain synergy with information we came across the works of creative director, Bagio White. Bagio agreed to sit down with us today so we can break down in depth his artistic process and art style.
Bagio White is a Jamaican native born in a small town in Kingston. Bagio parents, who are both in the restaurant business, said that Bagio discovered art very young. Bagio said that he went through different phases of art forms to really find his niche.
“When I was growing up, I loved drawing, doodling and sketching. So, I used to draw everyday day, sketching whatever caught my interest at the time, back then it was superhero’s and cartoons lol and I actually wanted to become an animator. When I was in Jamaica my parent really couldn’t afford certain things like a laptop, I was really infatuated with them even though I’ve never experienced one at the time, so I used to make laptops out of card board and I used to draw the screens on the cardboard to pretend I was surfing the net [laughs]. Somewhere between me doing that and moving to the US, I became more and more digitally inclined and I started making digital art”
Bagio said that digital art was a realm of art that he never knew existed until moving to the US in 2001. Bagio’s art was abstract and raw, diving into the fundamentals of graphic design. White learned more about the art form participating in art challenges online.
“I was really immersed into digital graphic design at this point, I was designing every chance that I could, I wanted to get better. So, I used to make these little designs called sigs and post them on design forums to get feedback from other designers and then eventually I used to enter them in art battles and that really helped the development of my skills”
It was around that time Bagio started interning with Def Jam Recordings. We reached out to a rep at the label that was interning with White at the time saying that Bagio was the youngest to ever intern at the label. Bagio interned with the music label for five years as an interim graphic designer working on projects for acts like Rihanna, Ne-Yo and more. until he created his magazine DOPENESS in college.
“When I was interning for Def Jam it was like a dream and I didn’t understand fully how important it was for me. So, when I was in college, I somehow got the bright idea to start a magazine [laughs] luckily enough for me I had the talents that I did. Starting out designing the first set of editorials they were raw but structured, because this was a new artform for me. Symmetry and alignment are very important fundamentals in editorial design, and I actually gained that knowledge from my architectural drafts in college, because oddly enough I was an architecture major in college”
Looking at Bagio’s earlier work we can see the abstract structure in his design. White then went on to say that he studied the works from media giants like Complex, GQ and Vogue. Issues number 4 and onward White’s designs became visually structured and focused.
“The first couple of cover that I designed were, more or less, freestyles I wanted to get my feet wet to see my strengths and weaknesses. So, I studied other editorial designs and applied them to my work, and I got better”
White designs garnered the attention of many celebrities and media companies that White would then go on to collaborate with and feature in his editorials. Bagio has worked with a slew of heavy hitters in the industry, like King Bach, Amanda Cerny, Angela Yee, Bow Wow, August Alsina and more. Even more so impressive, he has collaborated with media giants like BET & Viacom, Universal Records and more. Bagio’s editorial designs aren’t just visual they are interactive.
“My designs are meant to capture and draw people in, so a lot of people in the industry love my magazine for a lot of reason but more so because of the designs”
White’s work is truly captivating using variant bright colors, patterns and art style called subversion. Bagio creates moods centered around the editorial pieces that he creates. We asked Bagio to breakdown his style of graphic art to us so we can get a better insight on his technique.
“My art style is very structured. I use a lot of bright colors and off variant colors, because I only have two color tone mood type that I display in my work, and I rarely do monochrome art. I then choose the emotion type I want to show my readers and that varies depending on the subject matter. And I do a lot of subversion art, which in general means that whatever talent, public figures, Celebrities or etc, that I get the chance to work with, I create an art centered around them that is most likely out of their genre or category which is really fun to create. And they’re are usually props on my set, lots and lots of props [laughs]”
Bagio’s editorial designs are nothing short of outstanding. White has said to collaborate with other editorial companies too that sought out his designs. White opened his services shortly to the public back in late 2016 saying “it’s fun to collaborate and get a peek inside other people creative ideas”. We asked white before wrapping up our chat with him, what was the most graphically challenging editorial piece for him to create and what other career would’ve best suited him if not the iconic creative director that he is today?
“Oh god! The craziest and most challenging design I ever made was definitely for singer Tinashe, it was a semi-monochrome editorial design it was really challenging because I’m a connoisseur of vibrant colors, but monochrome style matched her aesthetic at the time, so I pulled it off. If I wasn’t the creative director that I am today, I would’ve most likely be an architect, I enjoyed the art, and the principals of it”
You can experience some of Bagio’s work on Dopenessmag.com and view them on his website bagiowhite.co