Spain’s design scene is constantly growing, and amongst its rising stars, we have amazing talents like Alejandro, the Madrid-based illustrator and art director. In this interview, we explore his journey as a designer, discuss the influences behind his style, and learn about the challenges he faces in striking the delicate balance between art and commerce.
The Art of Illustration:
Alejandro’s love for illustration began during his childhood when he would spend hours creating superheroes and fantastical settings inspired by his favorite comic books. “Drawing was always an escape for me,” he shares. “From Star Wars to Marvel, I’ve always been drawn towards geek culture.”
This fascination blossomed into a passion for conceptual and expressive visuals as Alejandro moved into adulthood. “I realized that making something beautiful isn’t always about perfect technique or anatomy,” he explains. “It’s about conveying an idea or emotion that touches the viewer.”
That said, expertise with a variety of media certainly helps bring an illustration to life. Alejandro regularly creates work using watercolor, gouache, digital software or even a mix of these tools, choosing the medium that best captures his intended mood.
Influences and Inspiration:
While classic science fiction aesthetics certainly show up in some of Alejandro’s work – think bold lines and vivid colors – it’s clear that diverse sources of inspiration blend into each piece.
He takes cues from vintage illustration styles popularized throughout the mid-20th century in Eastern Europe, as well as 90s streetwear graphics (Alejandro admits there might be some nostalgia at play). Fashion photography also plays a part in driving his experimental use of light and composition.
“Finally,” he adds with a smile, “I can’t forget one of my main inspirations: music. I mostly love electronic music because I find it so texturized and visually evocative.” It’s easy to see how these vibrant auditory cues might translate into thrilling designs.
Balancing Creativity with Commercial Demands:
Being both an illustrator and an art director has provided Alejandro with valuable insights into managing clients’ expectations without sacrificing creativity. He understands that sometimes commercial priorities may result in less imaginative final products but believes that every project has room for creative expression on some level.
“It’s definitely a big challenge,” he acknowledges. “But it’s also what pushes me to grow as an artist.”
He advises other designers to avoid being too precious about their own work; while it’s crucial to stand your ground when necessary, being flexible ensures you’ll maintain ongoing relationships with clients.
“I try to find a middle ground between what they need and what my soul wants to voice; I am thankful that more often than not, they do trust my vision.”
Advice for Aspiring Illustrators & Art Directors:
When asked what advice he would give to rising artists pursuing careers in illustration and/or art direction, Alejandro offers three key pieces of wisdom:
1. Develop a strong body of work that showcases your skillset; invest time in creating works you’re truly passionate about.
2. Interact with the art community – both online and offline; network with fellow artists to learn new techniques, find inspiration or gain access to job opportunities.
3. Just keep going! The road may have ups and downs but keep working hard- it will pay off eventually.
The Creative Future Awaits:
As for what lies ahead for this accomplished artist? Alejandro dreams of expanding beyond illustration onto larger projects such as installations or set designs that allow artistic engagement on entirely new levels.
With so much talent and drive coupled with an uncanny ability to adapt to new challenges, it seems safe to say that nothing will hold Alejandro back on this path towards genuine artistic success!