I’ve been honored to be featured in last month’s issue of the italian JazzColours magazine (www.jazzcolurs.it)
Thanks a lot to Marco Maimeri who interviewed me for his column “Jazz&Arts” where I have the pleasure to be considered among all the greatest musicians that covers this email-zine focused on the jazz world.
The magazine is written in italian so for those who not speak the language I reproduce the original/unedited interview in english below the images of the magazine. Hope you find it interesting
He tenido el honor de aparecer en la edición del mes pasado de la revista italiana JazzColours (www.jazzcolurs.it)
Muchas gracias a Marco Maimeri que me entrevistó para su columna “Jazz & Arts” donde tengo el placer de ser considerado uno más entre los grandes músicos de los que habla esta email-zine centrada en el mundo del jazz.
La revista está escrita en italiano así que para aquellos que no hablan el idioma reproduzco la entrevista original / sin editar en inglés debajo de las imágenes de la revista. Espero que te parezca interesante
Article from jazzColours – June 2015 (Year VIII, issue n. 6) – All rights reserved
When did you decide to become an illustrator and how did it start?
I think since ever. Since childhood I have a lot of fun drawing and never raised the question “what I would be when I grow up?”.
I knew that that was what I liked to do and the people close to me too. It was something natural.
How and when did you study Art or was it just a passion you had?
When the time came I studied design at an academy and classical drawing and painting in another for a while. Soon I got the opportunity to work as an assistant for an illustrator whose work I admired (Ramon G. Teja) and that really was the great school.
With him I came into contact with the professional world and after attending the “American Illustrators Workshop” in New York and listen to the great illustrators that I saw in every year in the annuals, it was clear to me that I would try to make a living doing what I liked best.
How did you cultivate your creativity, in terms of studies and experience?
Life. What you read, the movies you watch, the music you listen, the travels, conversations with friends and family, internet, books on art, photography and illustration … Everything around encourages you for better or for worse and becomes part of you and that just emerged in one way or another in the works.
Are you inspired by Art masters and if so, how do they influence your work?
Yes, no doubt. Increasingly. The more you know and the more experience you have, the more value the work of the great masters. Picasso, Gaugain, Hopper, Bacon, Velázquez, Klimt, Siqueiros, Magritte, Tamara de Lempicka, Leonardo, Michelangelo, Matissse … the list is endless.
At the end you realize that all of them have resolved the same problems long before you (color, composition, message…) and are the best source of inspiration. Everything that comes after it’s based on what they made before.
When did your passion for Jazz originate and what attracted you in this music?
I’ve always heard very different music and jazz was no exception. What attracted me was the freedom of the compositions, expressiveness and how the same piece was interpreted differently in any session or merger of the musicians who played.
For a long time I shared studio with my friend Eric Milet, a Belgian graphic designer who is an absolute fan of jazz. Thanks to him I get to know more in this music and discovered a lot of musicians.
Do you listen to music when you create and who are the jazz musicians you prefer?
Like I said I hear all kinds of music while I work. Depending on the timing and mood may be R&R, Blues, classical and often jazz. Among my favorites are Miles, Coltrane, Stan Getz and Charlie Haden.
Do you have some specific Jazz albums or collections you fond of?
Classic Blue Note, is what I enjoy most, although I have some albums I never get tired of listening as Charlie Haden / Eigsberto Gismonti’s ”Live in Montreux” or Stan Getz / Kenny Barron’s ”People Time” .
What are you inspired by when you realize your artworks?
Most of my work are professional assignments of all kinds (editorial, advertising, books …) and in each case there is something different to solve. Inspiration comes from research on a particular topic, try to come up with a good idea and bring it to your personal world to try that this illustration also has identity outside the context for which it was created.
What can you tell us about your on-line video course?
Well, at first I was a little reluctant to do so because I was ashamed to appear in video explaining what motivates and what is my way of working. I have now realized how much I earned receiving feedback from people who appreciated my comments or advice. During this course, besides introduce myself and talk about my influences, I explain step by step the whole process from how I came to have the idea to finished one of my illustrations. Eeeeeverything is reflected in videos, even when I made a mistake, lol.
Why did you decide to use a Jazz-theme to illustrate this course?
I wanted to make something that motivated me so my enthusiasm working could be seen. Jazz is a very intimate and emotional topic and it seemed perfect to do this illustrations that also sure will end being part of my portfolio. Moreover as I established it, it is a set of pictures that end up forming a single, different instruments that work independently and much more better when you finally make a band. I thought it also had a very positive message.
How do you choose the main-themes of the Jazz works you illustrate?
Most of my jazz pieces are personal and comes from little doodles done on papers next to me while working on other things. Have no idea, maybe comes from the music I’m listening or my feeling at this moment. That happens also on the commisioned pieces I’ve done for magazines or clubs. Never have an external art direction or suggestion of who/what kind of jazz to illustrate.
What do the colors you use in your illustrations represent for you?
It’s obvious every color has a meaning and provoques a mood. Color play a very important role in every piece. Change the overall color and it’s meaning will be totally different. Not sure what to tell you, the only thing I know for sure is that I feel very comfortable using blues, not too saturate blues. Don´t know exactly why. I assume that it´s because instead of using greys the blue gives an emotional feeling, some intimacy.
Looking at your artworks, you see that each work is different from the other, no common traits: why is this?
What a difficult question. It’s nice you see them that way. My perception is the opposite. I find common places in all of them but I can’t be so objective. All are done by myself.
I suppose the answer is that as most of them are commissions for different clients, themes or uses, seems logical that each is different to the others, in concept, composition or colours.
Do you create your works when you have an inspiration, during a concert, or only on commission?
The majority of them are done on commission, that’s how I earn my life. Every now and then I take the time to make something that appeal me and that I think could be positive for my portfolio. Sadly not ever the commissioned fulfill what you want to do. Besides the personal side, doing pieces without the constraint of an assignment is necessary and give you the opportunity of try new things.
You are an illustrator and create murals: are you also interested in other Art forms, and if so, in which other technique would you like to express yourself?
I’ve never tried other Art forms but I will like to try every of them someday. I admire and feel jealous of the musicians, the sculptors, writers….
For my work I started working with traditional media but since a very long time ago all the color work is done digitally. Always begun working on paper, sketching and then refining my drawing and once I’m satisfied with it I move to my Mac to continue working. In the case of murals is not different. The beauty of doing something for a mural is that I can see the final piece at the same size I created it. Always work at 200% zoom in my monitor and have very few opportunities of seen the final piece at this size.
Do you have any future projects you would like to realize? And if so, could you please tell us something about them?
At the moment I have enough trying to do what I have to do, but once I get some big idea will call you to share it. Well, and maybe a big mural in a famous jazz club or a collection of covers for Blue Note