Alvaro Tapia Hidalgo Fresh

Alvaro Tapia Hidalgo

This Chilean illustrator uses digital and analog techniques to play with the nature of duality.

Alvaro Tapia Hidalgo

alvarotapia.com

Duration: Five years in illustration. I started working as a professional graphic designer in 2000, before switching exclusively to commissioned illustrations in 2011. 

Location: Viña del Mar, Chile. 

Education: BFA in graphic design from Universidad de Valparaíso, Valparaíso, Chile; BFA from Escuela de Cine de Chile, Viña del Mar, Chile. 

Career path: After working on graphic design and on audiovisual productions, I started exploring illustration as a hobby. I worked directly on my computer using the vector drawing software Adobe FreeHand—this year, I switched to Adobe Illustrator—and then combined my digital illustrations with handmade textures made with watercolor on paper. It was just for fun at first—I had no expectations. I uploaded my work to my Flickr account, my website and Society6. Suddenly, my illustrations attracted a lot of attention. The US literary magazine Annalemma gave me my first professional commission in 2011. Later that year, I received a commission from WIRED magazine, and then a cover illustration for Spain’s Rolling Stone magazine’s end-of-the-year issue. I have been working nonstop in illustration ever since. 

Keep searching constantly through experimentation, hard work and new creative techniques.

Favorite projects: The illustration of Portugal’s national football coach José Mourinho for the cover of Rolling Stone is one of my favorites; it was my first step into a fulfilling career. The five commissions I received from The New Yorker were a huge achievement and remain one of the projects I’m most proud of. Some of my favorite projects have been album artwork, like the ones I’ve created for the musicians Tako Lako, Dirty Art Club and Chico Mann. They gave me a lot of creative freedom to develop a concept and idea from musical input.

Approach: Compared to other illustrators, I started on this path pretty late in life. This which might seem like a disadvantage, but my previous professional experience in project management, conceptualization, organization and execution provides me with a good basis for my current illustration work. I bring a fresh perspective to illustration from my background as a graphic designer. My technique merges digital and analog processes, adding plasticity to an otherwise digital environment. Like a dark interior under a brilliant surface, I work with the idea of duality, whether analogic and digital, figurative and abstract, or emotional and intellectual.

Aspirations: Working on interdiscplinary creative projects, including ones that integrate music, motion and technology. I’d also like to have a studio with a small shop and gallery to exhibit works from different creative disciplines. P.S. I’m open to proposals to exhibit my illustrations at art galleries. 

Philosophy: Be honest. Enjoy your work. Keep searching constantly through experimentation, hard work and new creative techniques.

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