How did you get started doing what you do?
I have always loved art and drawing so, for me, studying Fine Arts was a natural step. I decided to become a designer because I wanted to be part of the creative industry and graphic design seemed the best choice. It was later on that I decided to be an illustrator too. While I enjoy graphic design, illustrating means having the freedom to create more personal work, as it’s much closer to art than graphic design. Illustration is the best way I know to express myself.
How would you describe your creative style?
Mysterious and conceptual, often depicting characters in surreal situations. Visually rich in detail and color.
What’s your inspiration?
As an illustrator I’m influenced by art, literature, cinema… Since my trip to Rome last year and my recent trip to Florence, I’ve been very influenced by Italian art, specially Pre-Renaissance and Renaissance art. I also admire artists like Magritte and Boticelli, filmmakers like Jean Cocteau and writers like Virginia Woolf and Albert Camus.
What is art to you?
Art for me is a way of expressing your inner self. Sometimes creating an illustration or watching a work of art can be therapeutic.
How long does it typically take for you to finish a piece?
It depends on the complexity and size of the piece. Smaller artworks that don’t involve a huge amount of details can take about 5 hours. Larger, more complex pieces usually take more than one day (8–9 hours a day).
How have others reacted to your work?
My illustrations are interpreted in many different ways. Sometimes people make connections or find meanings very different to those I had intended the work to express. Other times, they seem to understand exactly what I wanted to say even though I usually leave things open to subjective interpretation.
What, if anything, would you tell your younger self?
I always loved drawing but I didn’t really know I could make a living out of it until the end of my University degree. So I would encourage my younger me to focus on that. That way I would have started working and have a personal style earlier.
Any words of wisdom to aspiring artists who want to pursue a similar career?
It’s essential to have a strong portfolio and a professional website to showcase your work. These will be your main tools to contact the right clients where your style and work would fit. Be patient because making a living out of illustration is a long run. And work hard of course!
What are your thoughts on art school?
I studied in Spain, in two different universities: Sevilla and Valencia. The differences between them were huge. The first is more classic, with an emphasis on a figurative style and traditional techniques. The second is much more diverse, experimental and forward-looking. While I believe the technique I acquired in Sevilla was priceless, in Valencia I learnt about how to make a living out of my creative work. Without that knowledge, I wouldn’t be able to work professionally as an illustrator today. Although artistic education as I know it has a lot to improve, it was definitely the right choice for me to study at these two art schools.
What’s your dream project?
I’d love to illustrate a book by Virginia Woolf or Gabriel García Marquez.
What art supplies do you use?
I’ve been using pencil and gouache since I started working as an illustrator. Lately, I’ve been using pastels, watercolour and ink too. I love analogue techiques because they allow me to have direct contact with the actual physical artwork I’m working on.