How did you get started in illustration? I always enjoyed drawing, but didn’t believe it could be a job or a way of life. I studied audiovisual communication in college, and afterwards, I decided to get my post-graduate degree in design applied to communications. I was totally focused on graphic design, but one of my classmates was an illustrator. That was the beginning of it all. I was charmed by her and I wanted to be like her, a nice person who made a living out of drawing nice things. Years later, I moved to Madrid. Without friends or a job, I took refuge in drawing, which I still do today. It has already been seven years since I first arrived in Madrid.
What personal experiences or circumstances have most influenced your style? My way of seeing things has a lot to do with cinema and the graphic traditions of Barcelona, where I grew up. My creative vision has been influenced by the colors, compositions, iconography and cinematography of filmmaker Pedro Almodóvar. My work also has a clear Mediterranean personality; it’s kind, luminous, light and welcoming.
What inspires you to mainly use primary colors in your work? Primary colors are a statement. They are immediate, fun, universal and simple. They are also easily related to games and childhood, two worlds that affect my way of being and my work. I am interested in everything related to children because it is through them that we can live in a better place. I have worked with children in schools for many years, and I enjoy spending time and playing with them. I like the idea of my work having the same kind of character, truth, immediacy and lack of artifice so typical in children. I identify much more with kids than with adults. I can hardly understand anything adults do and I’m not interested in them because they are rarely honest.
How did you develop your minimalist yet playful aesthetic? It’s how I imagine things, or how I would like them to be. I try to simplify what I draw. I believe the drawing is better the further it is from reality, while still being easily recognizable. The softer it is, the more I like it. I long for something modest, kind and appealing—a clean truth that is perceived without artifices. Basic drawings work the best, and they speak the clearest. If my drawings were alive, they’d treat you nicely, for sure.
What draws you to using a variety of mediums, including silkscreen printing, Risograph and paper cutouts? Diversity is always positive because the difference in crafts, techniques, mediums and materials implies different crafts, which can guide you to different results. Each medium has its own specifications, and it’s interesting to learn about each of them and to try new things. Some techniques work well for artistic expression and others are more decorative. Some are more functional and others transmit concepts in a simpler way. I like experimenting with different scenarios without being tied to a single form of creativity.
What were the challenges of creating illustrations for the 2020 Design With Pride campaign for Harry’s, a maker of men’s personal-care products? The campaign already had an established theme, which referenced barber shops and salons as a safe space for young LGBTQIA people. Normally, these places can be delicate surroundings, where you can easily feel judged for your appearance. The campaign revolved around the concept of creating safe spaces where young people can express themselves with total freedom.
I had previously worked with the Harry’s team to design their 2019 Shave With Pride set, so I knew they were a great and easygoing team. But at the same time, I wanted to challenge myself to surpass the campaign that we had put out in 2019—to approach this campaign differently, while also making it fresh, bold and exciting. In addition, the disruption of COVID changed things a different direction during the final stages, so we had to adapt to new circumstances. I would’ve loved to enjoy the final part of the work without pressure and despair due to a global pandemic, but I didn’t have that power in me. But ultimately, I ended up creating illustrations for not only the packaging, but also for different parts of the campaign, which made me feel very happy and satisfied with the results of working with Harry’s a second time.
Which illustrators do you most admire? Agata Dudek and Małgorzata Nowak of Acapulco Studio, Joan Alturo, Mayte Alvarado, Cinta Arribas, Mikel Casal, Chloe Cushman, Montse Galbany, Miguel Gallardo, Susie Hammer, Mar Hernández, Jean Jullien, Javier Mariscal, Naida Mazzenga, Cota Olea, Andy Rementer and Yime Is Great. I love them all because they are undeniably fucking cool in their own essences. I admire illustrators who are honest, hardworking and progressive.
What excites you about illustration right now? I’m 100 percent excited to continue learning and growing. Drawing, just like writing, making music or any other artistic discipline, never ends and that’s what excites me the most. There are endless ways to express myself. I think about the things that are to come: everything I will learn, everything I will change, where my work will take me, and what I will discover about myself and about the world.
What’s one thing you wish you knew when you started your career? This is a career you begin every day, and it never ends, so it’s best not to be in a hurry.