Mo’ Safavynia is a rad dude. Once a Danger employee, Mo’ now spends his time making killer design work over at Nebo, a design agency here in Atlanta. When he’s not at work, Mo’ enjoys spending time with his wife, his buddies, and his two pups.
He was recently given the opportunity to turn three of his latest illustrations into limited edition prints and chose us to get the work done. We took the opportunity to catch up with Mo’ at his condo to hear about how things have been since Danger, his current art projects, and his creative process.
Could you tell us a little about yourself and what you currently do as artist, designer, etc?
I am a designer at a marketing company called Nebo. I get to do a lot of things there, lately working on websites and ads and the like. I also get to do a lot of illustrations and branding stuff through work too. On my off time, I still draw constantly and work on freelance and personal works. Really just staying busy doing what I like to do. I am trying to wrap up my site and maybe start creating things I can sell and set up a store with some of the homies.
Could you tell us about the inspiration behind these prints? You seem to have been inspired by wildlife for this series; could you tell us more about it?
Yeah, man, so the prints started as a pitch to a client I was working with. We were driving donations for animal wellness during the holiday season and I pitched the posters as a gift. It was a good idea, but ultimately the client wanted to go with photos instead. We wrapped up the project and it went well but I wanted to just knock these out for my own. My boss saw that I was working on these and was into them so we decided to print them for ourselves. Pretty stoked that I got to do something with them for sure.
You were once part of our team over here at Danger. What would you say your biggest takeaway was from your time with us?
Danger was rad. It was super fun and I was lucky to have gotten the job out of college. I guess one thing I took away was to work hard but enjoy it. The job was tough but fun; I met a bunch of my best friends there. I feel like I still work hard and enjoy it, and I think it shows. There is no point in grinding away at something that is killing you, and when you are into what you are doing, the work speaks for itself. I think it also helped me in the digital world too. Now when I am working on posters and stuff I try and think like if I was printing them myself, trying to think about the way lines meet up and how colors can help textures.
How important is it for you to continue creating works on paper through screen printing?
Super important when I can. It always feels good to be able to have something tangible to look at and have. So much of what I do these days is all digital and so they live on screen. I try to print things out as much as I can and, lately, I have been trying to think of new things that I can get done like pins, stickers, and patches.
Favorite artist tool?
I basically stay using Illustrator. I do a sketch on paper first to get things kinda where I want them, but once I get things down, I move to Illustrator to get them done. I have recently started using the iPad and Procreate to work and it’s pretty rad. I can get quick sketches done and drag in reference material as I go. It’s not like working with paper, but it has its sweet spots.
What projects are you currently working on?
I actually just wrapped up a poster for a show being held by AIGA and I made my first 2 enamel pins and am working on 4 more to finish the set. Got a few other things in the works but it’s too early to really talk about (haha).
José takes pride in printing your posters and fine art prints. If he’s not in the shop you can find José at a photo session, drawing and designing at home, or spending time with his loved ones.