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ArtPop Artist Spotlights: Public Art Making a Difference

Written by
AIGA Las Vegas
March 9, 2018



Originally from Hawaii, Cierra Pedro is a multimedia artist, co-founder of Freeform and a designer for Vegas Seven Magazine. She discusses the importance of minimalism in her personal artwork and designs.


Tell us more about Urban Wildlife? What were you trying to covey?

Growing up on the outskirts of Las Vegas, I was fortunate enough to see desert wildlife in its natural habit, and also witnessed the effects of suburbanization to their environment. I don’t think people realize these creatures still co-inhabit our city. Maybe it’s the assumption that because the city has developed more, the animals have moved on, but they still come into urban areas. I think that was one of the reasons I decided to silhouette the animals in white. They are there, we just don’t see them.

How would you compare your personal art to the designs to do for the Vegas Seven?

I try to incorporate my personal tastes for art and design into the work I do for Vegas Seven, so it’s hard for me to compare the two. Of course, the work I do for Vegas Seven is more editorial-based, and things I create for myself reflect my personal interests rather than something that was assigned. But as far as creatively, I feel fortunate that my job has allowed me to work my personal design style into what I create for them.

What currently influences your personal artwork?

Minimalism is a big part of what I aim for in design and art. Simple is better. I’m also influenced a lot by architecture and interior design elements. Clean lines excite me. I think that was more of an influence once Freeform came around and I began to look at design in a different way. Food also influences a lot of what I see as art and I’m constantly thinking of projects I want to do based on food. Food and minimalism. That’s what I love.

Any personal artwork you’re currently working on?

With my current workload between Vegas Seven and Freeform, personal projects have been at a halt. I guess I could say that my current personal project is redesigning and remodeling the house we purchased last year. That’s pretty much been consuming any free time and creative energy I have left during nights and weekends.

Tell us more about your company Freeform.

My partner, Aaron Miller, and I started a design and fabrication company about 4 years ago. He’s such a talented artist and builder, and for years before was just building things for us and clients in our garage. One day we decided to take it to the next level and make a business out of it, so we started Freeform. Freeform is a custom fabrication and design company that builds furniture, props, lighting, anything that needs to be created for a custom space, both commercial and residential. We also do motorcycle and off-road builds, primarily cosmetic stuff, but all custom. Some recent work can be seen at places such as Cornish Pasty, Vesta, and the Avengers exhibit at T.I. I can’t really take too much credit for the success though, Aaron is really the mastermind behind Freeform as he’s the one building everything and doing the hard work. haha. We collaborate on design concepts and I’ll create renderings of the designs before the build begins when needed, but all the physical labor comes from his part. We’re also lucky to be apart of a community that supports small business’ and craftsmanship, and continue to seek out work from us.

Why do you think art is so necessary?

Art is necessary because we need it to live. Almost anything you encounter is in some way an art. It helps us feel and understand one another. When you look at art, you think, you feel, you react. Art transports you to a certain state of mind and helps find beauty of the mundane. Art documents human nature and it’s past, and it communicates in ways that are sometimes otherwise difficult.

Talk about the importance of design in your work.

Good design is noticeable. Bad design is even more noticeable. I would hate to produce something that was visually beautiful, but the lack of good design knowledge ruin the entire project. For instance understanding spacing, typefaces, hierarchy, color theory etc. Not understanding how these elements work together can be disastrous. And don’t get me wrong, I’ve learned the hard way in the past by making mistakes, but that has only helped me get better. This has been important for all the median I work in, whether it be illustrations, photography, video or animations. Design allows me to focus the viewer on what is important, and what elements aren’t.

What alternations did you make to Urban Wildlife. How do feel your work translated on to a billboard?

The only alterations I made to the piece for ArtPop was removing the human figures in it. I didn’t think it was necessary for this so I took it out. I wanted the focus to be on the animals and the landscape, and I knew it would be relevant and relatable to the Las Vegas community.

What has been your favorite response to your billboard?

My favorite response to the billboard has just been people’s reactions to it. I’ve had old friends that I haven’t seen or spoken to in years reach out to me saying how they saw it while driving and how cool it is to have my art out there, and other times just getting texts in the middle of the day from friends and family with a photo of my billboard they were driving by. It’s been exciting. Just being able to connect with people.

Where can we find you billboard in Las Vegas?

Honestly, I’m not even sure anymore. Haha. It first went up off I-15 N and Craig Rd., then it was moved to Russell and I-515 but every time I drove by that area I couldn’t find it. They were running on a few digital billboards as well around town, but I don’t know if those are still in rotation.

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