To those who’ve had the pleasure of viewing Pol Solà’s work before, you’ll know exactly what he means by the description of “visual yoga”. His harmonious tones, structures and textures work in utter cohesion, featuring lines so smooth and refractions so life-like that you’d be hard pressed finding anything quite so metamorphic. “My work has always focused on minimalist compositions and colour aesthetics,” he tells It’s Nice That. “It’s a meditation of light, space and colour.”
Born in Barcelona, Pol went on to study at Elisava for a degree in graphic design, later pursuing a masters in motion graphics at Bau. It was here that he learnt the ropes of digital art and design, before weaponising his skills as a freelancer for the following three years. After which he set up a global animation studio with four friends, named Device, which is currently celebrating its ten-year anniversary. Ever since, the group has continued to expand their practice with two further animation studios, titled Amigo total and Allinpixel. “In addition to this, over the last four years I have been very focused on developing my personal style through a lot of practice and experimentation,” he adds. “After gaining experience, applying myself and feeling more confident, things started happening really fast.” This included his first solo exhibition Back to the Party (2018), followed by the next, Millennial Art Market (2019). He was also invited to speak at two design festivals pre-pandemic in 2019, calledGreat Eight Fest in Moscow and Ucraft Fest in Yerevan.
Pol’s slick creations tend to take shape from the events that unfold around him. Or better yet, the relationship he has with these events – whether that’s in nature, through music, cinema, art, design, animation and the work happening in and around his community. “My life can be pretty chaotic at times,” he notes, “so perhaps this is why I’m drawn to create work that evokes a feeling for order and balance.” Other key reference points are that of artist girlfriend Kim Van Vuuren, his “family" at Device, as well as friends Judder, Niceshit, Makmac, Sebastian Baptista, Pocull and Mariano Pascual.
When commencing work on one of his formulaic pieces, Pol will usually grab a coffee and a sandwich, before walking or cycling to his studio in Poblenou. Often he’ll be flitting between various projects at once – sometimes several – so its imperative for him to stay well organised and keep on top of the workload. This is in some ways unsurprising, given that Pol’s artworks are impeccably organised and well structured, mirroring his life and ability to stick to a routine. “I don’t get to work on my art every day, but I do try to assign time whenever I can,” he says. “Recently I started using an app, Todoist. It’s helped me manage projects and time accurately, curate my thoughts, inspirations and concept for new pieces.”
But even though the work is well considered, Pol still allows himself the freedom to experiment and toy with new ideas. When it comes to the ideation, for instance, he doesn’t like to be too strict on himself – especially when setting up for a new project. “The key to a successful project is being patient and trusting the creative process,” he says. “Being in the industry for over 13 years has taught me to work well under pressure, with tight deadlines and tricky clients. However I do prefer working under less pressure. It makes my art practice more enjoyable, and evidently the final pice, or project, will always be stronger.”
One of his most recent projects is a commission for Adobe. Tasked to develop a design system for Adobe Experience Cloud, Pol used Cinema 4D and Photoshop to build on the brief. “The original concept was to create several complete compositions and then be able to deconstruct them in order to build new images with the individual elements that I created,” he says. The result is an abstract compilation of bubble-like shapes, fit with glassy textures and reflective surfaces. All of which are brought to the foreground in front of a bold, primary red backdrop.
Another project, a collaboration with friends at Six N. Five, evokes a similar dreamy effect, only this time the objects have been pulled from the typical 2D landscape and reproduced into the realms of 3D. “It was very interesting to see how my work could be reinterpreted by another artist,” adds Pol. “The overall concept of the images and the final 3D render illustrates an almost uncomfortable balance between light and dark, organic and geometric, sharpness and soft edges, and the space the holds it all together.”
And this is exactly what we love about Pol’s work: its simplicity and careful consideration with form. It’s very much a meditative outlet, and the term “visual yoga” is certainly one that can be applied to his portfolio. “I’m always trying to evoke a state of harmony, stillness and escapism in my work,” he concludes. “But in the end, the most important part of my creative process is maintaining my creative integrity and enjoying what I do.”
Pol Solà: Vases of Future (Copyright © Pol Solà, 2021)
About the Author
Ayla is a London-based freelance writer, editor and consultant specialising in art, photography, design and culture. After joining It’s Nice That in 2017 as editorial assistant, she was interim online editor in 2022/2023 and continues to work with us on a freelance basis. She has written for i-D, Dazed, AnOther, WePresent, Port, Elephant and more, and she is also the managing editor of design magazine Anima.