We recently sat down with with Brooklyn based graphic artist and interactive designer Thomas Pregiato — whose designs will be featured in our Pop Souk booth — to talk about his favorite visual artists, his summer hideout away from the city, and the funniest new Twitter we’ve read in a long time. Check out our interview as well as a glimpse at some of TP’s detailed and colorful work. And make sure to stop by and see us at this Sunday’s Pop Souk, where you’ll get a chance to interact with one of Pregiato’s designs.

OAK: What font would you be and why?
THOMAS PREGIATO: Franklin Gothic. At first glance it feels similar to most standard sans serifs but at a closer look it has those odd proportions and tweaks that separate it from the rest.

OAK: If your life had a soundtrack, what would be its top 3 hits?
TP: In no particular order…
1. Mount Kimbie – Vertical
2. Mo Kolours – Banana Wine
3. Tommy Wright III – On Da Creep

OAK: What era or past visual movement(s) do you dig and why?
TP: Abstract. Which is pretty broad but, specifically Wade Guyton, Jules Otliski and Gerhard Richter are huge idols of mine. Works that are more my thing are ones that play with texture and color, are just a pleasure to look at and can mean something different or nothing at all to each viewer. I was never a fan of realism or anything that I could immediately understand; unless there was humor involved. Toshio Saeki is one of my (new) favorite artists. His works are so dark and hysterical that I just lose it every time I see one. I really align with what’s happening right now and what has been coined “Post-Internet”. I was born in 1988 so, I really (consciously) grew up in the 90’s. The internet was a huge part of my adolescence and being apart of this generation has really changed the way I perceive art and culture. The internet takes the piss out of everything and to me that’s what makes it so fun. I never want to take my art work too seriously, I make it simply because I enjoy making it.

OAK: I definitely notice the increase in artists and designers alike gravitating towards the digital realm as far as process and aesthetic. In your personal practice, what are you rejecting and embracing? What sets you apart?
TP: All of my works are primarily digital but I find myself rarely rejecting old techniques and more-or-less adapting them into my digital works. My most recent works have all been made on an iPhone or iPad but they all start as some form of my surroundings. Whether it’s a screen shot of a current website I’m working on, a pattern on a piece of clothing, advertisements; it’s a very mag-pie type of approach. I think this gives me a lot of room to play and expand with countless sources and allows the work adapt to what’s happening at that specific time and place.

OAK: How does voyeurism inform your work?
TP: In the sense of simply looking, then it’s a huge part of my process. I’m constantly looking for objects, textures or found compositions to grab a photo of and use in a piece. Ideally, If I had the space I’d probably be a hoarder.

OAK: Your girlfriend, also an artist (and super cute), is more traditional in her approach. Do you guys butt heads when it comes to art, specifically your art?
TP: Yeah we do have our own opinions on what is considered “art.” She’s an insanely talented realist painter and web designer. We agree on a lot of the same approaches to web design but she just laughs at me making art on mobile devices. It’s honestly a really nice balance though, and I really enjoy pissing her off with my digital works haha.

OAK: Working with Hi-Res, you deal with a lot of fashion clients. Are there aspects about this type of work that you enjoy more than others?

TP: Fashion is a touchy place when talking in terms of technology. Believe it or not most people in the fashion industry are not internet-savvy people. So there is a bit of a challenge to sell innovative ideas to fashion clients. But in the end it’s always a great result, the content is beautiful from the start so the rest is just properly setting the stage for it to live on.

OAK: What was the hardest thing you ever done? What did you take from it?
TP: This might sound pretty weak compared to most peoples toughest experiences but completing 4 years of art college was a haul. I have my opinions on if it was worth the money but I learned a lot about myself. I built a work ethic at school and taught myself that none of this is personal, it’s all about the work. I also learned to not fear failure. Once I let go of that my entire approach and outlook changed, not only within my work but in life in general.

OAK: We spotted you shopping at Oak a few times. What’s your style philosophy?
TP: I’ve recently traded smoking cigarettes for running so I’ve been getting more into active wear. I tend to keep it pretty minimal, no accessories other than a Rothco 5 panel and rarely wear color unless it’s on my feet. I’m usually always in black or very dark denim. I used to work in construction so I still have a thing for the classic workwear stuff too like Carhartt and Dickies. I’ve always felt comfortable wearing odd proportions, usually one item I’m wearing is somewhat oversized.

OAK: It’s starting to get nice out, where will you be hanging out this spring in Brooklyn?
TP: I spend a lot of time in DUMBO; nice park, great food. Honestly though the city in the summer can get nasty, I like to hide out upstate at my parents place in the mountains and ride my motorcycle.

OAK: What was the last thing that made you laugh?

TP: Modern Seinfeld Twitter

Follow Thomas Pregiato:
Twitter @ambdxtrous
Instagram @ambdxtrous
Tahmus on Flickr
Thomas Pregiato on Vimeo