Delfo Pinto aka Pinteezy hails from Groningen in the Netherlands. He’s an artist and a musician. In other words, he does for a living what many people love to do in their spare time. Delfo struck it lucky with his first submission to TeeFury and has been going strong ever since.
Of course, his success can’t be simply put down to luck. You just need to glance at his designs to understand that he is a master of his craft. In a world where you could get away with a mediocre design and a good idea, or vice versa, he doesn’t take that route. The Pinteezy design is polished and perfect even if the man himself might not agree.
My pencil’s diet consists of video games, movies and cartoons, therefore it poops out designs that have to do with these things.
Delfo uses whatever tools are at hand to create the design he imagines and uses pop culture as his muse. The Pinteezy portfolio includes references and inspiration mostly from animation (both western and eastern) and video games. He loves what he does and it shows in the love he puts into his art. Read on to find out more about the man they call Pinteezy.
I believe your real name is Delfo Pinto but in the t-shirt design world, you are known as Pinteezy. How did this name come about?
Oddly enough my last name “Pinto” turned into my nickname when I was young. Slowly but surely Pinto turned into Pinteezy when I was in high school and it just kinda stuck. When I needed a handle for my t-shirt designs, naturally I chose to go with Pinteezy. It even has “Tee” in it so I figured it was perfect!
Were you born and raised in the Netherlands? Tell us something interesting about where you live.
I was born and raised in Groningen, The Netherlands. Groningen is a city all the way up in the north of the country which is often associated with farmers. Although we do have agriculture up north, it’s mostly located on the outskirts of the province whereas I live near the center. The city itself is very cultural and brimming with college students which makes for Groningen to have one hell of a nightlife and lots of international festivals as well. You can basically party every night of the week and most clubs stay open till the break of dawn, so you can imagine the fun I had during my college years.
What do you like to do in your free time?
Aside from graphic design, I’ve always loved making music. I’ve been making hip-hop beats together with a good friend of mine for years now under the name “Vinyl Frontiers” We started out as a rap group with two other friends, but eventually we turned to producing.
I do occasionally try my hand at other genres such as video game music or pop music or even dance, but those are more experimental.
And of course, the usual stuff like gaming, watching movies, anime and cartoons etc. Anything I can get some inspiration from really.
About the Artist
When did you know that you wanted to be an artist?
Ever since I was a kid I’ve been drawing, so even then I knew in the back of my mind I wanted to do something along those lines. It wasn’t until a few years ago that I finally made the decision to focus more on graphic design and trying to make a living out of it.
Have you had any formal art training?
I haven’t had any formal art training. I’ve always learned from example, trying to understand how things worked by looking at a lot of great art around me. I did once attend an open house of an art academy in Groningen, but they started to talk about cows on stamps and the thought that I’d have to study all kinds of art & techniques that really didn’t seem relevant to what I wanted to do, led me to choose a different study which was a lot broader. I kind of regret it, though, cuz I think that I could’ve picked up a lot of interesting stuff there.
Ah well, I guess there’s always the internet right?
Apart from t-shirts, are you involved in other art/design projects?
Being a freelance graphic designer I’m involved in several different projects. I do desktop publishing for an anime convention held once a year. I do various logo designs and illustrations for musicians in my surroundings. I did posters for a local music venue for a few years and lately, I’ve been mingling in the local Indie Game developer scene, where I’m involved in doing various art for different games which is a lot of fun and is something I really want to be involved in more.
Were you influenced by any particular artist or style?
Growing up, my brother was the one who introduced me to a lot of art. Video games and Anime triggered a certain interest in me, but comics as well. If I have to pick an artist that really stuck with me than it would have to be Joe Madureira. even though were lightyears apart and my style for t-shirt designs seem to be more cartoony at times.
Could you describe your typical design process from concept to completion?
A typical way for me to start is when I’m in bed trying to sleep. Concepts typically start in my head. After pondering the idea I always try to flesh it out on paper just to get a feel for the composition or look etc. I either scan those sketches or simply snap a pic with my phone. I then proceed to ink the lines in either Manga Studio 5 or Illustrator depending on what style I’m going for. Certain shapes or texts I prefer to do in Photoshop as well as things like halftoning. So I usually switch between programs quite often. They’re really all just tools so I don’t prefer one over another as long as the end result is satisfactory.
Although COURAGE NEVER FADES started as a t-shirt design, I kind of ended up with an illustration as I opted to go for a painterly look. I’m still working on how to effectively turn this into a low color count tee design for the dailies without losing a lot of the vibrant colors which is going to be tough. Halftones are a great solution to this but the way I constructed the illustration left me with all kinds of issues, so I might have to go back to the drawing board and reconstruct it with that low color count in mind.
We’ll see. In the meantime, the full-color tee design is available.
About the T-Shirts
How did you first hear about daily t-shirt sites like TeeFury and RIPT?
One day I found Splitreason by accident. From there I stumbled upon Teefury and it dawned on me that I could actually design tees and potentially earn something with it. After that, I started gathering a lot of info on daily tee sites and it didn’t take long before I had an extensive list of dailies to sub designs to.
Do you remember your first print? If so, what was it and how did you feel?
Well, the funny thing is, right off the bat, the first design I submitted was to Teefury and it was immediately selected for print! I was super stoked. It was a Transformers design tributing the 1986 animated movie scene where Kup uses the universal greeting to “try” to befriend the Sharkticons. It really felt like earning money with t-shirt designs was possible.
I’ve always lacked confidence when It came to my art and to have been picked so fast made me acknowledge my own potential a bit more. Especially after I had just made the decision to throw away that perfectionism that held me from spreading my art out into the world. It felt like I was being rewarded for taking that risk, motivating me to really engage in designing more tees and art in general.
You have had t-shirts printed by TeeFury, RIPT, and ShirtPunch. Who do you usually submit to first? Why?
Throughout the years, I’ve come to have a certain preference or principal when submitting ideas. For example, when it comes to Transformers I will always sub it to Ript first, simply because I know a certain employee from Ript loves Transformers from having talked to him a few times.
The Yetee associates itself mostly with video games and anime so I often sub those to them first and so on. In general, I try to see which site is most suitable for a certain design based on the site’s image and community or my own personal experience with them.
You sell your designs on TeePublic, RedBubble, Design by Humans, NeatoShop and Society6.
Which performs best for you?
Which is easiest to work with?
All of them bring something to the table and are easy to work with. However, I will say that I think Neatoshop is the most involved when it comes to the artist community so it’s always a delight working with them. Also, their print quality is simply second to none. I’ll always recommend Neatoshop even though when it comes to sales Teepublic and Redbubble have been working well for me.
Of the t-shirts that you designed, which is your favorite?
I guess it’s the Sounds of the 80s Series. Partly because it did well regarding sales, but mostly because I simply like to do parodies and taking something I love and turning it into something borderline cheesy, but funny/cool enough for anyone to proudly wear, really makes it one of my faves.
Do you wear the t-shirts that you have designed?
I often wear them, but mostly under a sweater because the weather here is terrible and when it is sunny outside I’m usually stuck indoors working on a design.
Have you seen somebody wearing one of your t-shirts in the real world?
Excluding the people I personally know that bought them, I can’t say I’ve ever seen anyone wearing my designs. I did see other artists have their designs worn by people here so rest assured guys, Dutch people know about dailies too!
Photoshop or Illustrator?
Depending on what you want to achieve it really differs. I tend to work and round up designs mainly in Photoshop. If I were to work on a design that utilizes crisp tight linework I’d probably prep that in Illustrator. For a loose hand- drawn look, I work in Manga Studio 5 simply because my laptop isn’t that great and working on a tablet in Photoshop leaves me with a lot of lag. For coloring and working with lots of gradients etc. I’d prefer Photoshop or Manga Studio over Illustrator, but again I don’t really mind using either as I’m equally comfortable with them all.
About the World
Do you have any role models?
Actually not really. I do admire a lot of people for their principles, talents or beliefs, but I don’t really look up to anyone. I’m trying to live my life according to what I think is best and even though there have been many people that certainly influenced this, I don’t particularly try to emulate anyone in his or her ways of doing things. I think there’s more merit in figuring things out on your own.
What is the most exotic location you have been to?
Even though my father is from Madeira which is a subtropical Island of Portugal. I consider it to be part of Europe and only 4 hours away by plane isn’t really what I call exotic. So I guess that leaves me with Hong Kong being the most exotic place I’ve been to aside from the few days I visited Taiwan.
Where would you most like to visit? Why?
I’d like to visit either Japan or South Korea mainly for the culture and the food and the beautiful surroundings. I think it would be very interesting, to say the least. All the people I know that have visited these places had a wonderful time so I’d like to see what all the fuss is about.
About Other Designers
Which t-shirt designer(s) do you admire the most?
There’s a big list of designers that have influenced/inspired me in different ways. I try to keep up with who’s who and see if I can learn anything from the way they do things not only the way they design but also how they’re involved with their fanbase or how they handle their social media etc. Supporting each other through facebook groups or other social media really helps you get a better understanding how things seem to work and benefits you as a tee designer so here’s a few artists that helped me in one way or another (in alphabetical order).
(These are just a few but the list can go on for days!)
Have you done any collaborations for t-shirts? If so, who and what did you design? If not, who would you like to collaborate with?
I’m not too keen on collaborating simply because I like to have creative control and a certain degree of independence. I have collaborated on a design before with Nertee Designs & CoD Designs, but sadly it wasn’t picked up by any of the dailies. It was a Game of Thrones / Chrono Trigger Boxart mashup. It’s a shame because I really liked how it turned out.
Any advice for new designers/artists?
For one use a site like The Shirt List to check what’s being done at the moment in the tee design scene. Draw your inspiration from a lot of artists in the game and make sure you don’t spend time on a design that has been done already.
Join the daily tee site Facebook artist groups to get feedback and pointers.
Decide on what your angle can be. There are more ways than only a particular art style to make a name for yourself. You can be known for your cleverness, mashups, color use, themes as much as for your style, so figure that out and try to build up something for yourself.
Also, spend some time researching which tee sites there are and which seem the most interesting for you. Don’t waste too much time on sites that are more likely to get you printed but end up earning you a few pennies. Do the work and you’ll end up getting selected by the big fish eventually, so don’t give up too soon.
Finally, what I feel is the most important part of making t-shirt designs is sticking with what you love. The best designs come from people who genuinely know and love the topic of their design. Being able to tap into what people love about a certain character or series etc is naturally easier if you yourself are one of them.
What are you watching on TV at the moment?
I never really watch TV. Instead, I usually stream Anime or watch shows and movies on Netflix.
At the moment, I’m watching a lot of Anime. I’ve been trying out all kinds of new Anime just to see if they’re cool or not. It’s fun to just randomly pick out a show and see if you can discover something fresh, instead of the usual popular shows.
What’s the last movie you saw in the cinema/movie theater?
I saw Deadpool in the local theater and it was excellent. I would’ve made a Deadpool design if it weren’t done to death already. Never say never, though.