Ten minutes with: Finnick Arrow
Livery designer - Adolfo Ernesto Valle Martínez
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Where do you find inspiration?

Inspiration can come in many ways and can be hard to achieve on some days, for me is mostly others artists work on motorsport world and outside of it, the design community is reaching an amazing level and everyone is pushing the boundaries of design day by day and it really helps you to evolve and improve your work when you open to a different perspective, and not always being closed to your mindset. This work is really demanding and competitive sometimes and you can often feel out of inspiration and stuck, always it’s good to take a moment to breathe and disconnect from the pressure of deadlines, I will do wonders to your work.

Tell me about the projects you’re most proud of and why.

This question is a bit tricky as we constantly improve as the time goes and objectively the first ones lose in the comparison, all the projects I’ve done are really special for me, from a Mazda Miata cup to a single seater there’s a lot of effort behind every single one of them, but to be honest seeing one of my designs on the streets of Monaco this year with the FRECA feels like an old childhood dream finally came alive. Also, another one of my projects I really feel proud is the design of a DTM based prototype car for an Assetto Corsa mod, form the ideas for the body kit design to the aero concept it was a project I really enjoyed working on.

What software do you use and why?

I always used the Adobe Creative Cloud suite, I remember I first learnt to vectorize on Fireworks CS6, not the best tool for that as I learnt later by the way and I found it easier to stay on the Adobe environment due to practicality and knowledge I could carry from program to program. Now that I have taken the step into 3D rendering after taking a shot to Autodesk VRED, I use Keyshot to render with photoshop for texturing as I found it easier to use while learning it and Blender and preparing my hardware for professional photorealism rendering (thank you crypto miners by the way for the shortage).

Have you studied design or self-taught?

Mostly it has been self-taught until a few months ago that I have started taking a couple courses online on my free time. It was for me to be able to properly study design while focusing on the start of my engineering, I found it helped me more to spend time playing around with the programs in order to get to know the tools and potential of the programs while getting experience which is quite the key rather than fully understand all the features of the programs. There are many wrong things with the traditional education on university right now and you don’t get as much as it is promised sometimes but if you want to try it go ahead, it will be experience at the end of the day both on the educational side and the relation and social management while being there and it work better for you than self-taught.

What’s your dream job?

Aside from being a driver which I am clearly late for it, I would love to work as a race engineer for a big team, including the whole background way before reaching that position, I really love engineering and applying my knowledge and experience on a sport that it’s my passion and is always pushing the limits of the achievable would certainly be my ultimate goal, is a job that constantly keeps you learning and demands you improve with its competitive feature that would be my ideal workplace.

If you could design a livery for any team or driver, who would it be and why?

For a driver It would love to design for Tanner Foust, since I was a kid, I have been following his career since discovering he was one of the stunt drivers for Fast and Furious: Tokyo Drift and has been one of the reasons to really get into motorsports and looking further away from Moto GP, F1 and Rally, I think I am not the only one that remembers spending a lot of time on Colin McRae: Dirt 2 where he was one of the real racers in the game, his work on Top Gear USA and becoming a star of the X-Games. In my personal opinion most of his liveries and helmet lids have not been up to the hype that may generate other designs of his main sponsor.

What is the most challenging livery you have ever designed?

There’s one design I will always remember as the most challenging regardless it was never a serious project, a design for a Sacha Fenestraz helmet design competition last year as the whole design idea was to develop an iconic Japanese inspired design with aggressive touches while trying to keep as much of the usual helmet lid as possible, I recall it took me 10 days from the initial idea to finally come up with the design and during that time I recall fully getting into that design going back and forward with ideas for the design and learning a lot from the different approaches I took for it that helped me to later improve my work.

What do you think makes a good livery design?

There are some aesthetics considerations are not relative to define if a livery is good or not, the rule of thirds, structural design, colour theory, composition, etc. For me a clean, simple and creative design normally makes a great livery but also, we have to remember that the sponsors are a really important detail on them and the design needs to make them stand out, they need to define the whole livery, a truly masterpiece of art can be created for a car but it won’t matter how good it is if you can barely read the main sponsor on the side or I can be appreciated on limited view angles.

How do you make your designs stand out from the rest?

Mostly due to my engineering background I really focus on the structural design bases in order to design a livery and balancing the whole composition of the project, I try to boost the brand image of the team on the design which often is left aside, I like playing with the different surfaces in order to improve the different view angles of the livery which is why I love doing single seaters but most importantly I try to always add some innovation on the design, subtle changes like different paint/wrap finish when it is allowed can really transform a livery however sometimes the best way to make your livery stand out is allowing your creativity to take the driver seat, relying on your experience and talent without thinking too much can lead to great ideas.

Lastly, for those starting out. What advice would you give?

Learning from my mistakes I would advise you to always be sure to value your work no matter your skill level, everyone starts somewhere and a lot of dedication and hard work is needed until your idols become your competition, as I said before experience is one of the keys in the world of design and be aware that it is not only your skill that matters but your relations with the people are really important too, the interactions and the quality of them will become essential in your journey while creating your network, do not expect fruits from the trees that you have not planted.

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