Artist Spotlight: Zach Pacheco

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Pacheco in his natural habitat — the Graphic Center’s office on UC 4. WILLIAM WIN/FOGHORN

If you’ve looked around the halls of USF, one has most likely seen Zach Pacheco’s work without knowing it, via the array of colorful flyers he’s designed for on-campus events. He is an accomplished graphic designer with the USF Graphics Center, and describes his work as “disruptive.” Pacheco is a senior, double-majoring in design and advertising.

Kate Sagara: How would you explain graphic design to someone who doesn’t know anything about it?

Zach Pacheco: I would say graphic design is problem-solving with visual language and interpreting information in a new way.

KS: What does your creative process look like?

ZP: My creative process is a mess. I’m always looking for inspiration and stuff in the media that I’m saving into my desktop. Whenever I make something, I look at as much stuff as I can. I scan as much as I can and then I just make something until something sticks.

KS: What’s your favorite part of digital art? And graphic design?

ZP: What I like about digital art is that it’s still so new and there’s so much to be explored and so much that isn’t being done. Not a lot of people think of the internet or a website as artistic language, so there’s something exciting about turning people’s expectations on their head and disrupting that. With graphic design, I like that it’s a professional and commercial way to make art. And there’s a beginning and an end and it’s really satisfying. I feel like with art there’s no clear beginning or end and there’s no piece that’s ever finished.

KS: How would you explain the difference between graphic design and digital art?

ZP: If I’m making digital art, it’s just for myself and I don’t need anyone else’s approval. Graphic design is for a purpose. So there’s a bunch of people who have a say. Digital art is just for me.

KS: What role do you think art plays in society?

ZP: I think art kind of critiques society and forces people to confront things they don’t want to. But it also helps celebrate parts of society that aren’t celebrated in traditional mediums.

KS: Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

ZP: I hope to be working at a creative industry doing interdisciplinary work with nonprofits, publications and hopefully individual artists and musicians. I see myself being proud of my work and lifting up young artists of color, like myself, and hopefully giving a platform to them.

You can see Pacheco’s work on his website. His senior thesis will be shown at the SoMa art gallery during the week of May 16.

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