On the Cover: An interview with Erminio from Big Nazo

Erminio Pinque: the creator of extraterrestrial creature phenomenon Big Nazo, our comics editor, and nuanced pad and pencil enthusiast spoke with me about his design for this Motif’s cover.

“Since it sure doesn’t seem like spring yet, but hints of it, the idea is to depict the mindset most of us are in, which is hibernation states — still cuddled up in the cave of winter, but dreaming of spring to come. The idea of the hibernating bear in its cave with its headphones on and tuned in, phone to turntable, old school and new school music, listening.” Pinque laughs, “just imagine the songs of a frog and a bunch of birds. I wanted to represent cold, cooler, dark pigments juxtaposed with some light springtime warmth.”

Pinque is a deconstructionist, a pusher-of-envelopes, he bounces between mediums to solve abstraction challenges. “A cover assignment is very different than what I do in a comic panel. A cover assignment is an artistic solution to a problem or challenge. The challenge is that you’re given an abstract concept, like how do you represent music or spring? In this case I choose a drama that I cast with my own characters that can help make a story. A comic panel is a window to do anything we want, everybody is their own writer, editor, director, conceptual artist.”


Our comic pages are where Pinque’s passion lies, “The comics page is such an important feature to the magazine. Individuals are expressing something completely unique, I encourage someone to open it up and see what is happening there. Held in the audience members hands, that is what is unique about the Motif. It supports artists and lets them be seen for free. It is a printed page that celebrates a smattering of RI artists.”

When asked which cover character Pinque relates with the most (hibernating bear or tune-janglin’ frog), he laughed “am I projecting myself in one of these characters or all of it? Very interesting. I don’t know the answer yet.”

What Pinque does know is that spring in Providence is something you don’t want to miss. “Things look even prettier. There is something to be said about hunkering down for the winter, it makes you give attention to other things. Rediscover the city you live in by doing the slow-mo of walking through it, just getting on a bike to rediscover the nooks and crannies that make it special.” 

Photo taken by Rafael Medina, features Pique in front of own mural for the Avenue Concept. You can find Pinque at his Instagram, @miniomindwarp.