piątek, 20 maja 2011


Niedługo na blogu pojawią się króciutkie notki o każdym z Ilustratorów, żeby można było lepiej ich poznać.

Na dobry początek wywiad z jednym z najlepszych Kolumbijskich ilustratorów - José Sanabria.
Sam artysta przesłał nam go w języku angielskim i tak też go tutaj zamieszczam. Wywiad został zredagowany dla koreańskiego magazynu.

Korean Magazin: Are there any art period or style has influenced you? And how would you describe your own style?  
Jose Sanabria: Have been mixed, according to my training period. When I went to the Faculty of Arts to study graphic design, I felt identified with French Impressionism. Then I had a great fondness for the Florentine Renaissance art, and now I feel very attracted by German Expressionism, and artistic manifestations of primitive cultures, resulting in Gothic art. I have a great need to move away from naturalism, after having studied it thoroughly. That sums up my style, or rather, my searches

KM: What material, tool and techniques did you use and why you choose that? Usually, what’s your flow path for your works?
JS: I know many techniques, because my training was academic, but the preference for the washes was remarkable from the outset. The immediacy of watercolor and its expressive power are an enormous appeal to me. I’ve been teaching illustration since several years, and this activity requires me to investigate constantly. Anyway, to illustrate a book I use watercolors, which is the material I know best. I do so I can concentrate on the conceptual part of the book, because I believe that the technique is a medium and not the main thing of the artwork. 

KM: We found that your works full fill an atmosphere as aesthetic purity and childlike poetry. Could you share your aesthetic or philosophy about your work?
JS: I think there is a tendency to disregard the child's perception, putting forward adult aesthetic needs. I am interested in the receiver of the work, even more than the editor or parents, who logically infer in the choice of book. With my illustrations I try to reach the magic that touched me as a child.
When I was a child, I had very few picture books, but I could watch a TV channel that passed Russian, Czech, Chinese and Japanese  animated shorts. I don’t surely remember who the authors were, but now as a professional I recognize those images in the artwork of Francesca Yarbusova, Stepan Zavrel and other masters of the seventies. These images are part of my childhood fantasy, and try to rescue its spirit, mixing it with modern languages.

KM: Please talk about your works "Tales of Goblins" and "The Little Match-seller", what message would you like to convey in those works?
JS: Just these two books represent who I am as an illustrator, and what publishers want. In "Tales of Goblins" I yielded to the request of my editor, who was looking for a classical aesthetic. He is a very nice person and convinced me but I saw myself illustrating in a forced and very different way from what I wanted my artistic development to be. It was a mistake because I worked uncomfortable. This book is not good.
Instead, in the case of "The Little Match-Seller", which I consider my best work, I developed it as a personal project, taking all the decisions and doing what I think best for me, for the book and the child who will read it. I did a lot of books and with many constraints, because I needed the money. They’re are not good books. Now I have learned to live with less and I can afford to refuse orders to pursue my personal project. That is the best way to work and evolve.
The paradox is that the editors I know are amazed with "The Little Match-Seller" and "Tales of Goblins" was completely overlooked.
I do not intend to leave a message with my books, just move and make the reader take a trip through the world of the senses.
KM: Can you share with us about your series works "La cerillera"? Their compositions are unique. What imagery you are trying to show? 
JS: That's a stark story. It's about a girl who dies alone in a big city, under the indifferent gaze of all. It's something that happens every day and very close to us. With this book I intend to draw attention to this sad reality, but through the aesthetic beauty. The story takes place in a European city, in winter which explains the grey weather. Recently, in Florence (Italy), I was in a restaurant and next door there was a couple with a child. As they spoke spanish and were South American we started to talk. When I told them I was an illustrator, they were interested in knowing my work. I had some pictures of the book with me, and the couple began to show it to the boy, asking him what he saw. The kid, with some fascination, said it was very cold, that the girl was sad, and that it hurts ...
There I felt that the objective was accomplished

KM: Please describe your works "The Lost Ship" and "The Crows of Pearblossom", the colors and characters here are fascinating. What are the stories about?
JS: "The Lost Ship" is a personal project on a boat who loves his master. One day, in port, when the man is on the ground, the boat falls asleep and drifts. Upon awakening he realizes he is lost and does not know how to find the captain. So he begins a journey through every ocean, trying to find his master. During that trip, he meets strange and amazing cultures. It is a book in which I'm using as a leitmotiv the search through the watercolor stain. I have no fixed direction, as the boat, but I feel that I will finally find what I want.
I did "The Crows of Pearblossom" with enthusiasm because it was the first time I worked with a great text (Aldous Huxley). The story is great because the author represents deep human conflicts with a pair of crows. But I had to defend my proposal to the editor, who wanted specific images and wanted me to represent them in his own way. As in almost all my books, I tried to generate a special atmosphere limiting the color palette. In the text, the animals were humanized, but I didn’t want to draw human animals. So I drew the animals as they are, but using small details of human clothing: hat, scarf, glasses ... because I thought the birds had stolen those elements from the house where the story goes by.


KM:  We found that you have illustrated for publications and newspaper, could you introduce few works of them to us?
JS: I didn’t realize specific illustrations for newspapers. I just participated in book collections that were made by El Pais de Madrid and Buenos Aires paper Clarin. It is a very common type of issues now, with low cost, but they not particularly attract me most. I prefer working with publishers that are dedicated specifically to children's book.

KM: As an artist, have you been influenced by your own country Argentina? Would you please to share the creating experience or illustration environment there?  

JS: I was born in Colombia, but I live in Buenos Aires since 18 years In Colombia I received the influence of my own culture, but graphically I made myself seeing illustrators from other countries. As a child I was brought up with books from Europe, so my graphic vision is more universal than local. In Colombia there wasn’t, at that time, a professional environment of illustration, and I had no where to study. So I moved to Argentina.
In Argentina, I have been in contact with great illustrators and I learned my work from them. We had a particular phenomenon in Latin America: European immigration, reached a high level of illustrators from the 60s. Just now in Argentina illustrators are beginning to search our American roots, though some of them, like Oscar Rojas has already left an indelible mark in this area.

KM: Which works is the most special or the most favorite for you? Would you please share the work and the reason as well with us? 
JS: My favorite is definitely my last book: The Little Match Girl. A few years ago I did a version of this tale of Andersen for a publisher in Spain. I liked how the pictures were, but the issue was very poor. Also I had to do in an absurd time of two weeks, so I felt like try doing something better. Still, and perhaps because of the speed I worked with, new and fresh things appeared in my work. I sent it to the sample of Bologna but it was not selected. When I tried to retrieve the pictures they were lost during the trip. Just in those days I had to send a job to participate in the same fair in Bologna, but in the exposure of Argentina as guest country. I decided to make four pictures of a new version of the book, this time with a very personal adaptation of the text, which I written myself. This time it was selected and from there I started to work on it making all the decisions. I put all of me in this project, featuring all the time I wanted. Each illustration earned an average of two weeks of work, because I spent my time taking care of all details. It is logical that it is my best work because I had no constraints of any kind.
KM: What’s your creating plan in the future?
JS: As a first step I must finish "The boat lost", and then I plan to introduce in some contests whith personal projects. Until now I could not do it because I attended many books on request. I think I'll do some others in this way, but this time I will choose those proposals on which I can have an interpretative and artistic autonomy. It is the best way to use the maximum of an illustrator.

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