Karoly Kiralyfalvi has been involved in street-art since his teen years, “As a kid, I was always interested in visual arts, but the main influence came from my father, who was a painter, a poet and a sculptor. Pencils and markers were always my tools, until one day my father bought our first computer. Computer graphics have been my passion ever since”. As a teenager, Karoly became part of the local scene and under the name Extraverage, he made a name for himself. With his great skills, he mixes different styles and art languages in a powerful way. His work includes design for stickers, cans, clocks, magazines, books, posters, boards, tracksuits and t-shirts. Karoly is especially interested in design and images that stand on their own: bold, simple and strong!
Karoly is also the man behind projects like the World Wide Connections PDF Magazine and the Print4Street urban art gallery, and the founder of Drezign.hu, a community platform for Hungarian designers. Extraverage.net, his personal portfolio, features an extensive catalogue of his amazing graphics.
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN WORKING AS A DESIGNER?
In high school I was already making illustrations for a course book. My first official job was in 2001, as a graphic designer and DTP editor of an urban lifestyle magazine. That was also the time I switched from analogue design to computers.
WHAT INSPIRES YOU?
The inspiration for my work comes from everyday life, like the city itself, friends, music (mainly from the 1997-2000 electronic scene from the UK), books, contemporary art, traveling, … I’m also very inspired by my father, who was a multi-disciplined artist.
WHAT’S YOUR ULTIMATE DREAM PROJECT AS AN ARTIST?
The greatest thing is to work for projects in the same scene I’m interested in. For example working for brands that support the underground music scene, urban artists, and things like these.
Another nice example is of course a global collaboration project with great designers around the world, like the current Remix Project for ‘Coke’. It’s always really interesting to see the end results.
HOW DID THE ‘COCA-COLA’ HISTORY AND THEMES INFLUENCE YOUR REMIX WORK?
I tried consciously to use the warm ‘Coca-Cola’ colours, and to focus on positive feelings and shapes in the graphics. The aim was to create something happy and fresh, in line with the iconic ‘Coca-Cola’ images.
WHAT INTERESTS YOU MOST IN ‘THE COKE SIDE OF LIFE’ REMIX PROJECT?
Actually the basic idea of the Remix Project: give a blank canvas to an artist and let him work around a theme. The briefing gave us endless possibilities to experiment. This liberty was the biggest inspiration.
WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST IDEA IN RELATION TO THE “YES IN THE FACE OF NO” THEME?
The “Yes in the face of No” was quite hard to handle, my first feeling was to show the impact of the ‘yes’ and the ‘no’. The ‘yes’ is colourful and positive, and fights with ‘no’ in a friendly way. Of course you always hope that the ‘yes’ will win…
DID IT TAKE LONG TO FIND YOUR PERSONAL STYLE?
It took long years, and the reason is that I’m always open to new things; always trying to create fresh versions of my artworks, trying new directions. Nowadays, I feel there’s a style I’m recognizable for…
CAN YOU SHARE ANY INSIGHTS IN YOUR CREATIVE PROCESS?
Ninety percent of my graphic works is planned in my head first and then realized with computer. The basic shapes and the main impulse of each job is based on my experience and style. Then you have to mix concept & style correctly.
WHERE CAN WE FIND YOU WHEN YOU’RE NOT WORKING?
Actually in front of my computer, working on personal projects. Or somewhere in the streets, riding a bike. In luckier cases, I’m abroad!
HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR STYLE?
Always simple, pure and fresh.