Say hi to the fresh prince Leo Natsume, an award-winning Brazilian designer and illustrator who works on projects focused on UI/UX design, advertising, and visual experiences.
“I graduated in Graphic Design in 2012, and started working in 2013 doing digital design at a large communication company in Porto Alegre, in the south of Brazil,” he tells us over email. “Since then, I have received some international highlights and awards, which sparked interest in companies like Google and Facebook to hire me to collaborate on some projects. Since then, I’ve worked as a full-time and part-time freelancer.”
For Facebook, Leo was invited to create 3D illustrations for its mobile app with commemorative dates for October.
“For this, it was necessary to interpret the 2D style created by Facebook and translate the look to 3D illustrations. It was a project with a lot of engagement, and celebrated dates like International Music Day, Dog Day, and Teacher’s Day, in addition to being the month of ‘Pink October’ (in aid of breast cancer.) It was an enjoyable project, and I was able to try a new style!”
Leo was also tapped to create artwork for The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air reunion which ‘bel-aired’ last year.
“I was asked to create a series of 2D illustrations for the episode on HBO Max that recalls the great moments of Uncle Phil as played by James Avery, who sadly passed away. These were ten illustrations that represent moments that marked American TV in the ’90s. Participating in a project like this was incredible.”
Leo finds defining his style a little tricky. “Sometimes it’s hard to say that I have only one style, you know? With each new project, I always try to go further and try new techniques, so that the design makes sense for the client’s business. I believe that the message aligned with the technique is more important than having only one style.”
“I experiment with 2D and 3D concepts, which are technically very different, but I love them both,” Leo adds. “I’ve always designed, so creating and having a solid foundation in concepts and ideas is as important as style. But if we can find a connection between my projects, we can say that it is through colours. They are intense and vibrant and highlight each piece in the portfolio.
“Bringing an excellent combination of colours, and that they can convey the message along with the design, is very important.”
For 2021, Leo wants to try new concepts in 3D and test new ideas that he’s made in his sketchbook. “I also want to explore a more human side of our society, with a reflection on technology and fashion.”
Follow Leo Natsume on Instagram.
Exclusive self-portrait by Leo