Ronnel Cabardo aka azrhon aka roncabardz hails from the Philippines and is relatively new to the T-shirt contest world. Joining Design By Humans in late 2011 Ron has managed to gather quite a following. He has also racked up seven wins including a special contest win, that resulted in one of the most beautiful tees Design By humans has ever printed. The Dark Officer shows Ron’s talent for line art and stylized realism. Amazing detail and an incredible eye for color this artist uses his canvas wisely. Let’s find out more about this man of mystery and welcome Ron Cabardo to the Design By Humans family.
Roncabardz The Digital Hand
Q: Tell us a little bit about you, are you new to design or have you been designing in other formats for years?
A: I’m new to designing T-shirts but I have been involved in advertising for 5 years. Designing stuff for billboards, leaflets, posters, cards, invitations and many more. It was late 2009 when I got interested in making art for t-shirts. A friend of mine who made T-shirt art for Schools and Universities here in my town was the guy that convinced me to do T-shirt designs. That was the time where I started drawing digitally. Just recently I realized that I needed to return to traditional drawing and decided to go back in pencils.
Q: What are your influences? You seem to have a comic art style reminiscent of some of the graphic novel greats.
A: Yes, mostly marvel and DC graphic novels. Frank Franzetta, Marc Silvestri, Travis Charest, Harvey Tolibao, Mico Suayan, Leinil Yu, Alex Niño, Jerome Opeña, are some my idols in the comic world. They inspire me to make art and help me realize that this is what I want to do for the rest of my life.
Q: Your design ‘The Dark Officer’ printed so well and really worked with the T-shirt as the canvas. Was this intentional? Do you consider the process when designing t-shirts?
A: Yes, it was intentional. The process, placement, color choices should be considered first. My rough sketch is primarily done on a T-shirt mock-up because it gives me a good view whether it fits well on tee. One thing that is also important to me is creating a story on every t-shirt Illustration that I make.
You seem to know your pop culture references pretty well, are you a nerdy girl? What is your favorite TV show, Game and Nerdy item currently?
A: I was really surprised to be part of the DBH Collective. I’m new to this industry and I still have much to learn yet I was chosen. Still doing some sketches for my Collective and will experiment more on robot stuffs. Thank you so much Design by Humans for having me in the Collective :)
Q: Let’s find out more about you. What do you do when you are not designing T-shirts?
A: Video games, sometimes I do hate the fact that I love playing consoles for long hours! I go to the gym, watch movies, go out biking and sketch a lot. There are times when you can’t draw something, no matter how hard you squeeze your brain trying to come up with a good concept and my solution? I go out for a stroll, grab a fruit shake and when I get back at home, kaboom! New concept! I prefer going out when I’m out of ideas, observe the surroundings, people and nature. Its makes my hand want to draw when I return to my studio after being away.
Q: Your work is very illustrative and detailed, did you have formal training or are you just super talented?
A: Drawing has been an enjoyable activity for me since grade school. I did lack motivation and support from the close people around me so I never focused on it. Nicebleed helped me and convinced me to join Design by Humans and also influenced me in making T-shirt Illustrations. I’m a self-taught artist and I’m still learning the techniques of making art for t-shirts. Right now I’m also trying to refine more on my traditional drawing. My detailed style is my way of appreciating the realistic approach.
Q: Of your seven printed winning tees which is your favorite and why?
A: My first print was most treasured to me. “The Great Connection” design was fueled by my interest in Cosmology. I am so glad full documentaries are available in Youtube. Yeah, I watched all “The Universe” episodes. This was the first design that I got to experiment using halftones too.
Q: Robotics and Spacemen seem to feature in your work quite a bit, is this an area of influence or interest?
A: Robotics has been my weakness in drawing and I’m trying my best to lengthen my patience by giving more time on details, which I enjoy a lot. Travis Charest and Harvey Tolibao are my influences in drawing mechanical things. Jeremy Geddes is my influence in spacemen stuff.
Q: You also seem to feature nature or natural elements in your artwork along side machines and futuristic elements. Are you influenced by your surroundings?
A: Yeah, nature is my ally in formulating ideas. I prefer to mix natural elements and human influence in my works. It’s like putting innocence and savagery together. Though I do kinda discreetly and subtly add the negative side in my art too. It’s up for the viewer to spot the conflict.
Q: Finally, who would win in a fight between Superman, Batman, Spiderman and Catwoman? Explain your answer!
A: Spiderman would end up in the hospital. Dude, call your Marvel friends! lol. Nah, no one would win, they are all good guys. I’m sure they would settle for peace :)