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Big Ideas

Mato Atom: Convergent Direction

Itinerant designer Mato Atom muses on finding a balance between commercial and personal projects and the importance of just simply drifting.

Mato Atom is a 26-year-old director, art director and designer, recently transplanted to New York by way of Switzerland. With a portfolio already featuring work for clients like HSBC Direct, Belvedere Vodka and Infiniti and collaborating with studios like PSYOP, Grey Worldwide and Spontenous, it’s clear that this self-taught talent has a very bright future ahead of him. Behance caught up with Atom to discuss his motivations, the development of future projects and the division of commercial and personal projects.

uring his creative process, Atom chooses his methods most appropriate — and beneficial — to the project at hand. “Everyone has their own method of working and there is no general rule. When I’m not under the pressure of a deadline I let myself drift and don’t force anything. A day might be spent reading and thinking or watching interesting documentaries, another day will look completely different and may involve days of focused working on projects and new opportunities.”Atom also appreciates and values his position as a creative, and this pushes him further in all aspects of his work. “We in creative fields are very fortunate since there are so many people on this planet forced to work jobs they dislike. I like to remain objective about my tiny presence in this world and remember that work is just one aspect of life. There is something hidden in everyone’s personality that isn’t always reflected in our daily life or work. I’d like to know more about this universe, what holds it together and where it comes from. I am also interested in politics and how the system on this planet is being managed and how we can influence it for the better and inspire people. It is said that history repeats itself and I wish people didn’t trust our corrupt governments and the mainstream media.”

These are personal projects that frequently get put on hold when new commercial opportunities arise which distract me from focusing on more profound things.

While his portfolio is already beyond impressive, his ambition is unwavering in both commercial and personal projects. “Some of my most interesting ideas and work is yet to come. I am in the process of figuring out the most efficient way to make them come to fruition. These are personal projects that frequently get put on hold when new commercial opportunities arise which distract me from focusing on more profound things. This is not to say I don’t enjoy the commercial work, I just try to strike a balance between the two. If you really believe in your ideas, they will happen.”

Where others crave and require collaboration in the development of ideas, Atom finds a balance in the limitations and boundaries associated with both solitary and team work. “Most of my ideas come about through isolation, especially with my personal work. Commercial work sometimes has constraints which can be a fun challenge as well. In the commercial field I get a basic brief from the agency and develop it further adding details, direction, look and I will direct clients into some new ideas. There are times when I will only have a day or two to come up with the content and visuals that are used to guide the team involved in the animation and post production process. Every project requires a different approach though; other than that inspiration can be everywhere and is subjective to each person and their unique interests.”

At the end of the day, the acceptance of the inexplicable may a huge factor in what sets Atom apart from his peers. “Our thoughts like clouds, come and go. Our ego sits on top of our desires and will permeate into other beings and energies as it manifests itself over and over again. Everything and nothing is true. We give ourselves purpose. I believe there is a reason why the universe created beings with consciousness. Perhaps it was to recognize itself through us somehow. Life is a big long journey to somewhere I don’t understand and as a civilization we are just taking our first steps as we learn to walk. There is too much energy wasted on fighting each other due to money, power, and religious dogmas which only spills oil into the fire. It’s a learning process. Until then, like many of us, I hope to contribute something interesting to this microcosm we are a part of here.”

Comments (2)
  • Leonardo

    Amazing Gallery!!!!<br />
    Regards from Barcelona

  • joyce k


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