Maurizio Di Bona, also known under the nickname theHand, is the designer behind bitLanders avatars.
We interviewed him to know more about his work, where he finds inspiration, and what he thinks about the freedom and safety brought by avatars.
bitLanders: What is your work background and experience?
Maurizio Di Bona: The very first works I remember are the ones I did on desk at school, caricatures of teachers and rough strips... especially when lessons were boring. I went on and on, till when it started to become a real paid job. First at newspapers and magazines with satirical strips on politicians, and lately as cartoonist freelance with illustrations, web design and graphic.
bitLanders: How did you come to know bitLanders and start designing for it?
Maurizio: Kind of coincidence, you know the story of following the dots... let's say "the power of the web"!
bitLanders: What design work do you do for bitLanders?
Maurizio: I design the avatars, their expressions, wardrobe, gadgets and all upcoming stuff.
bitLanders: What inspires you or guides you to design the avatars? What is your design process?
Maurizio: People on the street, but also what I watch in movies... and of course in comics! I am classic old school, not a big fan of graphics tablet, nothing is better and more powerful than pencil and paper. I do sketches and then I rebuild in graphic on computer.
bitLanders: What do you think about using avatars and the privacy, freedom and safety it brings?
Maurizio: This is a very interesting subject. Considering the problems we all know and heard of in the last years about privacy and risks related to social and communities, I would say that avatars are the best solution. Some filters like this or nicknames are needed, especially when users are very young and have no clue about people that get in touch with them. And then for sure, avatars are more fun and look cool!
bitLanders: What projects are you working on for bitLanders?
Maurizio: I have lots of sketches here on the desk, most of them are animals, for stickers/emoticons...
bitLanders: You also designed some NPC (non playing character). Can you tell us about that?