I was born in Ibiza, in front of the sea. That day, the sun spilled copper red light over the whitewashed houses. In the sky, two naughty seagulls looked at me cheerfully while crossing the Mediterranean on their way to Barcelona, the city in which, funnily enough, I live today. I remember that the day I started to walk I did so supported by an enormous gnawed pencil that doodled endlessly. From this very moment, the passion for drawing, like an enveloping patina, took possession of me helping me to understand my surroundings a little better. It’s been living inside me for many years now, but the strength with which it still drives me to undertake new artistic challenges makes me tremble just the same. Perhaps this passion will leave me one day, who knows, but until this day arrives I will continue drawing, embraced by it with the thrill of a child who, somewhere in his memory, is still looking at the sea.
I am a normal person. I have no hobbies or pets. I prefer to do rather than to talk. I don’t like tomatoes. I am dyslexic. I eat, therefore I am.
The most important thing for me is the concept I want to convey. The content prevails over the form. As a long-distance runner who’s end is the goal -which he will not be able to reach without a good training- I believe the Goal is the Concept and the Training, the Technique. On the other hand, in order to visually communicate my message, I choose every time (aware of my limitations) the technique that helps me to express it in the best possible way. I usually work with watercolors, pencil, charcoal, ink, color pencils, gouache, acrylic, collage and mixed techniques. I combine computer with other manual techniques but it is often the tool with which I do the final finishes (details and small elements).
I do not have a preference for any particular technique. Since I started working, my method has always been the same. In fact, one could say that all the drawings I have made in my life are part of a large drawing, which changes with the passing of time. I am always evolving and researching. This is something I cannot help. When I stick to a particular style for a long time, I begin to realise that I miss things I would like to try. The negative side of this continuous stylistic fluctuation is that I’m never able to go deeper in a particular style, but it also provides an artistic freshness I wouldn’t be able to achieve otherwise. It generates some emotional stress too, and that makes me live constantly looking at the white paper and wondering what will happen next. But it also amuses and excites me, it makes me feel alive. At the beginning of their career, illustrators usually look into themselves in search of their own style. Once they find it, they develop it for many years (perhaps during their whole life) and this graphic signature defines them and gives them their personality and singularity. I think this is very good for a number of reasons: first, because this makes you unique, different and, above all, more recognizable and visible. But precisely because of what I explain above, my artistic figure remains blurry. My stylistic schizophrenia makes my work less recognizable for the public in general. I am aware of it and the truth is that it doesn’t really matter to me. I actually prefer anonymity. My only claim is to continue exploring and enjoying my work for many years to come and my wish is being fulfilled so far.
Being observant is important for the artist: I try to analyse everything and to learn how it all works. When I understand how a bicycle is constructed I will be able to draw it better. Being self-critical is important for the artist. You need to know where the fault is in order to correct it. I think the more self-critical we are the better we move forward in our own creative process.
For an artist every field has its positive and its negative aspects: Illustrating for the press means freshness, freedom to create – except when you bump into censorship-, working with topics of current interest and the diffusion of your work. However, the haste is terrible and the budgets low, so money is usually scarce.
In advertising people are usually very open minded and you can get great challenges and interact with professionals of related sectors such as photographers, art directors and copywriters. However, there is always (again) time pressure and you can find yourself working weekends or at unearthly hours.
What I love in the world of publishing, apart from having more time is the cultural and social value of the book and the possibility of creating a story from scratch and being able to develop it graphically. There is a lot of magic in bestowing visual life to a character or to stories written and invented by someone else. Unfortunately, a sadly conservative mentality and somehow patronising morals prevail in the sector and, if we take into account that complexity of the projects, they are often not paid accordingly.
I don’t have children, although I love it to illustrate children’s books. When I’m working I try to break through to their universe through my creative process and in that way understand them better and incidentally understand better myself too. My partner (also an illustrator) and I often live in other cities over certain periods of time in order to have new creative experiences in different places and to observe ourselves in a variety of situations and from other points of view. Although it may seem contradictory these periods are very introspective. Therefore these journeys are actually more inwards than outwards.
The most intensive experience for me is to have the time to explore, amid the dense web formed by the daily routine that numbs us, our wildest and most daring side, which is our best engine for creation. Sanctimoniousness always dwells among adults and my aim is for the grown-ups who read my books to be, even if only for a few minutes, more like children, that is, freer. We adults are often boring know-it-alls and find it difficult to comprehend whatever escapes rationality. Children understand many more things because their values system corresponds to better criteria. Their values come from instinct; ours, from fear.