As a multi-disciplined Graphic Designer and Artist, Michael Pantuso thrives at the intersection of creativity and strategically inspired ideas. Throughout his career, Michael has managed his own design practice, partnered in the branding agency IDEAS360º, and held positions inside a leading international advertising agency and financial corporation.
Today, Michael resides in the Chicago area and is focused on creating design and art for clients that make a social impact — these include charities, not-for-profits, NGOs, educational and arts bodies, social enterprises and for-profit businesses who want to do more good. Michael creates all the usual outputs of a branding agency — design identities, advertising, social media, print literature, websites, e-newsletters, photography, etc… But he does so in the context of the bigger picture of what the brand is, and even more importantly, what it could be. It’s a passion that comes from a desire to make things better.
Michael’s art is an extension of this passion but it’s revealed and expressed in a more visceral way. One example of this can be seen here through his “Mechanical Integration” work where he explores nature and humanity through a series of fine art illustrations that integrate natural life forms with the inner-workings of mechanical components. It’s here where graphic elements and colors intersect, patterns overlap and shapes collide. Graphic expression is blended with representational executions. And rather than avoid, I utilize visual tangents to create anchor points of tension that hold the composition together. The result of this creative journey reveals the fragile connections between nature and the artificial world. These pieces were recently part of a solo exhibition which began in Paris, France followed by a tour of Europe that concluded in early 2020. Much of that work now remains in galleries and private collections.
“For me art and design is not about medium, trends or the surroundings that come from being an artist or designer. It’s not a lifestyle. But it is about life. I use my talents as a creative person to bring things that I feel are important into some expression of reality. And whatever it takes to get there is what I’m willing to do.”
— Michael Pantuso