Anger & Hope
Tainaker is a 34-year-old Panamanian living in Spain. He has been working as a graphic designer since he was in school and has had his own branding studio since 2015. He also earned a masters degree in Art Direction in Elisava, Barcelona.
1. I haven't asked anyone this before, because most names just seem like a nickname or online alias, but I feel like there's a backstory to your name for some reason. Where does the name Tainaker come from?
Tainaker is an urban word referring to mutt dogs in Panama. There used to be a company called "Tin and Co" that was in charge of trash and trashcans in Panama. So we called trash cans 'Tinaco' and the street dogs 'Tinaquero.' So pronounced in English would be Tainaker. But it is mainly because I love dogs with no specific breed, as I can relate to them.
2. Can you tell us more about your branding studio?
So I have always been working as a freelancer. Once I met my wife studying in Barcelona, we decided to open our studio, called Estudio Varsovia. We have worked with brands like Naturgy, Red Cross, United Nations, and Samsung. We do branding, design, strategy, web design, motion graphics, etc. a little bit of everything really.
3. Has any of your branding work or experience crossed over into your NFT journey so far?
Definitely! I've worked on a few projects doing their artwork, branding, and design. Now everything in my Pond of Dreams series is using all these skill sets. The color palette, website, art music, logo, and messages. Previously I was a partner with a Belgian guy, making a mobile game. It was called Apocalypse Hunters and was a location-based card game. This was before Pokemon Go came out. So it was a mix of Heartstone and Pokemon. Unfortunately, it failed. But that's ok because I've learned from that failure.
4. Do you think studying and getting your degree in Barcelona influenced your art style at all?
Absolutely. Art direction gives a very wide vision of how different artistic techniques are used to portray different messages, emotions, and moods. It also teaches how they can be complementary. That's why most of my work goes with animation, music, and some storytelling. It is one of the reasons that I don't focus only on the technical part of the art, but on a deeper meaning or message behind everything I do.
5. On that note, what is the message/meaning behind your two series, "The Pond of Dreams" and "The Tenants"?
The Pond of Dreams is a story about a little kid that is attempting to rescue his old past dreams while facing unique challenges, including his own feelings. With the story of The Tenants, I'm trying to normalize talking about feelings and dreams. The culture in which we are living currently pushes us away from that. Right now talking about emotions is sometimes seen as a sign of weakness, and following your dreams is like a fairy tale. So I'm trying to push encouraging messages so more people don't feel alone. There's a lot behind the story and each story fragment. It's all about getting to understand yourself, and being there for others.
6. How much has your art helped you personally talk about and share your own feelings and dreams?
Creating characters, like the ones from The Tenants, helps me see feelings as unique and more personal beings. It helps with seeing certain emotions as another person so that it is easier to identify the reason behind what I'm feeling. I hope it helps other people the same way.
7. What's your take on the current state of the 1/1 scene on SOL?
I think it is growing stronger. Every day a new wave of artists and collectors are joining in. Artists are maturing, as are collectors. It is a very good moment since there are not a lot of big projects at the moment. So those who are consistent now will really be remembered. Be sure to follow Tainaker!