Chris Costa – Freelance Creative // Small timer doing big things

posted by Nicoletta Rolla August 7, 2017 0 comments
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Chris Costa
Melbourne, Australia
Full time freelance creator

IG: @Chrisxcosta
Facebook: Costaxchris



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Portrait by @sarah_etheridge




Chris please, biriefly introduce yourself to the readers.

Hey Everyone, my name is Chris Costa and i’m a full time freelance creator focussing on Band merchandising and branding and am also the owner, operator of Badlands Brand, a clothing label that i started February of this year.

I call Melbourne my home and generate my work from my home office with the assistance of
my canine intern Amelia, heavy doses of hip-hop, coffee and hard work.

A small timer doing big things with a love for bold and simplistic design.




Who or what made you become an artist?

When i was 14 i helped run local gigs with a hardcore crew and when the opportunity came up
for me to try designing posters i got my older brother to teach me the basics on a stolen copy
of photoshop and went from there.

In the beginning designing was just fun and i had no idea that it was something that could be made into a career or earn money from so when high school finished and i had no fucking idea what i wanted to do, my mum gave me the hard word and i signed up for a diploma of graphic design the same night…..The rest is hard work and history.





Can u remember your earliest influences and which are the artists you admire today?


I’ve always looked up to tattooers and the art they create so my first artistic influences would have probably been tattooers i saw on tumblr when i was younger.


Tattooers like Kim-anh Nguyen-dinh and Sam Smith were always popping up on tumblr at the time and it’s a style i still gravitate to today.

I still admire the work of a lot of different painters, photographers, tattooers but i look at the work ethic of designers like Joel Hammond, Travis Price and Callum Preston the most.

These three have created their own business’ and styles with a D.I.Y mentality that growing up in the hardcore scene has instilled in me and just seeing their drive and passion pushes me to do the same with my own business’ and work.



How did your style evolve in these years and how would you define your style today using three adjectives?
I was born with albinism which for me means that i’m borderline legally blind.

So when it comes to creating art i always am attracted to bold lines and tight layouts because when they’re printed on a t-shirt i can see it from a great distance and if i can see the design then EVERYONE can see the design hahaha.

Albinism has made me look at the structure of designs more than anything and really take it down to the bare bones of what you’re working with and make it still something that’s fun and eye catching but without having to mess it up with too much detail and texture.


I would define my style as Simplistic, Bold and effective.







The nicest  and the most boring thing about your job.

NICEST: I get to make people happy through what i do. Whether that be the client that i work with or the kid that picks up one ofmy designs at a gig.
BORING: Gst and Taxes. The business side of any creative project is always a bore especially when you’re having talking about Goods and services taxes.


What are the main sources of inspiration for your Art?

Tattoos, Lyrics, Painters and coffee.




Technique and artistic process, details.


Every design starts off quite the same.

1. If i’m working with a band i’ll listen to their last record and pick out lyrics that i like and that inspire me.

2. Create a list of concepts from the lyrics that have been found and through inspiration that i’ve gathered.

3. Roughly sketch out the design, focussing on the layout and not really the detail of an illustration.

4. Take it into Illustrator and let the party begin.


I’m a mouse guy, so for ever since I was 14 i’ve always used a mouse/pen tool to illustrate on the computer and no amount of technology will really change that.


I’ve experimented with tablets and stuff like that but it’s just not my thing.




Does the  Moto culture in some way influence your work?

I wouldn’t say that it directly influences my work but i feel that the Moto culture shares the same D.I.Y ethos that i have.





What are your passions, in addition to Art?


Music and making people happy.


I’ve played drums in and out of bands since i was 11 and it’s something that i’ll always take time for.

I’ve wanted to quite design a couple of times over the years for a number of different reasons but the thing that always brings me back is how i can make people happy with what i do and it’s to this day the main driving force behind everything i do.



What are you working on? What are your current projects and what about your future plans and dreams?

I can’t talk much specifics about what i’m currently working on but i’ve got some tour merch for a band from the states, four logos projects on the go as well as a large surf brands apparel collection.


As for the future……  I’m always looking to work with new people, try out some new concepts but as it stands right now i’m happy doing what i’m doing for the foreseeable future.


I want to grow my clothing label Badlands Brand more and have a few collaborations and new releases in the works with that so keep an eye on our instagram @badlandsbrand and website



Your definition of Art.

Art is whatever you want it to be and whatever you make of it.
Art is everywhere and everything.





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