Posted on May 22, 2014
Tell us a bit about yourself.
I’ve been living in London for eighteen years, I was originally from Spain. I’ve been doing illustrations since I was a kid, never had like an invitation for it, I was doing drawing all the time, my parents are quite art-related people so me and my brother – my brother does comics, he works for Marvel comics and he does Spiderman at the moment. He’s really good at that, but I’ve got more into the illustration side, he likes the action, I mean I can do it but it’s not my thing, I prefer working hard on a themed idea. As I said, with illustration I’ve been always doing and having little jobs here and there in the last few years, but lately in the past four, five years it was when I started to concentrate and take it more as a job. And I’ve been working more as a freelancer.
Was it hard to make it into a job?
Yes, it was horrible, yes. And I’ve got side jobs in offices and stuff, it’s not something you can make into a living straight away but you just have to build it up. And work as many places as you can and try to do as many things. The thing is as well for me I don’t like to use the commercial. I don’t like to offer myself as ‘I do anything illustration’, I don’t like to be generic.
You want to retain your integrity.
Exactly. So it’s kind of the sense, I’m lucky because so far people who approach me for work are people who have seen my work and want something similar. But it could be sometimes someone who just wants me to draw a woman on a motorbike and if it’s not my kind of thing and it’s not an interest then I say no. So far it’s nice because the work I’ve got are themes I’m interested in, or illustrations I wouldn’t mind to try for the occasion.
That’s a very admirable ethos. And you’ve kind of answered this already, but how did you get into arts and illustration in the first place?
My parents, both of them, did fine arts. I grew up with painting, photography, filming at home, we used to do like movies with a shoebox and cameras at home, so we were really in like an arty environment. We went to the cinema a lot, had a lot of books available and lots of tools at home. So I grew up with an interest in the arts in general, and to be crafting and creative. And I like drawing and lots of stuff, like photography, but mainly I concentrate on the drawing part.
A spin-off topic, but do you think you would have been artistic if you hadn’t had artistic parents?
You can. You can if you have the interest. I think if you have an interest, like illustration or drawing, people say ‘you’ve got such a talent’, I don’t think it’s a talent, I think it’s a skill like you practise, you get it. I mean I’ve been drawing since I remembered, I’ve done comics from when I was six-years-old so if I’m drawing every day, if I keep drawing hands and faces and people and everything continuously, you improve it. You don’t need to have a talent, you just have to have an interest and work hard, like anything else.
What was the hardest thing for you to draw as a child?
As a child, my favourite things to draw were Egyptian gods, people with animal heads, so I used to draw lots of monsters as well. And I remember like ballroom dancers, like Frankenstein monsters with the brides, I was really obsessed with dark characters and so I was really obsessed with animals and mythological monsters and stuff. I used to draw people since I was a kid as well, I had a fantasy of creating characters and they were always kind of freaky with different arms, and I think freehand. What needs more structure, like line drawing where you’re doing flats or houses or stuff, I’m not very good at that. I’m very quick at sketching, I like to do something in like two seconds, like talking to you blah, blah, blah and I can do a drawing in a long time.
Do you find a release or meditative when you’re drawing?
Yeah, you need to get stuff out of your head. When I was a kid it was a way for me to express ideas and to create things I wanted to like places. Like fantasies I have with other worlds, with different people living there and different gods etc. And I grew up having that escape. Even now with portraits I like to draw people, when you think of someone, it’s always an interest of that person, it’s kind of a way to meet people. You pick things you like and you recreate them.