WEEKLY DIG
The weekly magazine of Boston, MA published my piece Blue Demon on their cover.

BAK INTERVIEW (TURKEY) / Check it here.





















INTERVIEW:
- You moved to Portland from Mexico City in the spring of 2005. How can you describe the feeling of missing your homeland?
Well, it's complicated to describe that feeling, it's kind of a feeling that transforms itself through time in different ways...uhmmm, it's a weird mix of excitement and nostalgia. When you leave your homeland you learn to see life from another perspective and you're enjoying at the same time that you're dealing with the homesickness.

- When and how did you find your job in Curiosity Group?
In that time I was planning to move from Mexico City, since my son was born we were concerned in looking for a different place to raise him due that Mexico City is a great place but not too family-friendly as we were wishing for our future, so I sent over a bunch of emails to diverse companies and agencies expressing my interest and showing my portfolio, luckily I received interesting offers. One of those companies was Curiosity Group and in that time there was an Art Director, Necia Dallas, who was the one that contact me, she speaks fluently spanish and as an excellent designer and a dedicated mom she helped and convinced me to decide to move to Portland, she was right!: Portland was such a great kid-friendly city to raise a family and also Curiosity was an interesting agency with great people working in there.

- Imagine that you have the opportunity to create your own comic show and deliver it to all around the world without thinking about the budget.
What kind of story would it have and what would the main character look like?
That would be totally fantastic but to be honest, even that sometimes I could dream about it, I've never take that so seriously to start thinking in themes or characters, I don't know, probably I would love to do something that includes certain kind of monsters or fantastic creatures, Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends by Craig McCracken is one of my favorites cause the story allows you to create any kind of crazy characters, and I truly enjoy creating all kind of different characters. I have the opportunity to met Jorge Gutierrez aka SuperMacho couple years ago in Mexico and he told me about his dreams of making a cartoon show based in his mexican background, now he directs his own show called El Tigre in Nickelodeon, he did it and he did it so well! it makes me strongly believe that everything is possible.

- You both use your brush and mouse in your creation progress.
Would you please tell us what your workspace looks like?
Believe or not I haven't a "real" studio space, what I have instead is just an asigned simple room in my home, nothing fancy, in which I have a desk for my computer, a table to do my painting or drawings, a drawer full of papers, sketches, pencils, paint, brushes and stuff like that and a kid sized table in which my preschooler loves to draw while I'm there. Living in Oregon is also a great chance to work outdoors, when the weather is nice, we love to grab some lunch or dinner and go out to any park or playground where sometimes I have the chance to sketch out or even work with my laptop while interacting with my family.

- If you ask someone - who doesn?t know you at all - to try to guess how your personality is, by showing him your artworks only, he would use adjectives like; ?kind?, ?shy?, ?humble?, ?humanist? and ?lovely?. Maybe because of the less saturated tones, your funny figures or the sweet logotype. Do you agree with that? How do you describe yourself?
Wow, that is a very closed description of how I really am... well, "lovely" umh, ask my mom!, hehe. I never think about it and it's glad to know that I'm expressing myself accurately, leaving some part of me in each illustration!... I love my work and I love to show it... yes, I just love to do what I do, to enjoy it and if I can give away some of that joy to the people that see my work.

- Sometimes, we wish to become super heros. Superman in the traffic jam maybe? Or Casper, to see behind the walls. Which super hero would you prefer for these kinds of situations in your life?
Well, when I think about being someone else to deal with difficulties, I'd definitely prefer to be a 4 year-old child... he doesn't care about traffic jam, about money, he have fun finding funny shapes in the clouds while everybody is worried about taxes, fancy stuff or financial doubts, so I would love to be him in that circumstances.

- Founder of The Republic of Turkey, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk says; ?In the community, artist is the first one who feels the light in his head?. Do you think the artists should have missions in life, like showing people their ways more clearly or guiding them for a better living?
Not really, I think that everybody could influence others in different ways, it depends in how the other is following what you're doing and also it depends in what do you're intended to communicate if you're intended to do so. I think that there are different kinds of artist, those that are trying to communicate something with an specific purpose and those that are just expressing a personal issue or feeling just for the unreasonable pleasure of doing it.
- Your beautiful work called ?Their World, Our Children? has been featured in ?60 Unite for Children?, great book published for celebrating the 60th anniversary of UNICEF. How do you evaluate the future of the world for our children? What kind of life should they be ready for?
That's a difficult question, I love to believe in the nice side of humankind and I try to do my best to contribute for a better world for our children, I like to believe that tomorrow there will still be a lot of trees around, clear water and children running free. My efforts begin raising my child with love and respect for the others and for his environment, so I hope that everybody that have the responsability of raise a little one is doing part of the job of giving them the chance to be part of a different generation.

- Imagine that, tomorrow, you will wake up as George W. Bush. But unfortunately, you have only 24 hours. What would you do first to make things better? How would you save the world in one day?
Wow! that's a tough one, I'm not a politics guy... but well, I don't think that the president of US could save the world... we need more people involved starting with you and me. But if I would wake up as George Bush, first of all for sure I would be horrorified and in the best case scenario probably I'll quit.

- What is your greatest aim in your life?
Be happy, to live freely doing what I like to do and earning enough to enjoy my life modestly with not too much worries. Enjoy my life and my family the more than I can, because you never know when you're leaving, you only know that sooner or later you're leaving and fortunately or unfortunately nothing is forever.


JOIA MAGAZINE
(CHILE)
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COMMUNICATION ARTS (USA)\ FEATURED ON FRESH SECTION
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Duration: I've been in this charming city since 2005. Before that, I lived in my amazing hometown, Mexico City.

Staff: As an illustrator, I'm self-employed—just me and my inspiration, and my lovely wife and our little pirate-monster-spiderman- luchador, who recently turned four.

Education: By choice I got a bachelor's degree in graphic design at the Universidad del Valle de Mexico, Campus Lomas Verdes, but by fate my love for illustration started with my childhood drawings, a hobby supported by my mom and dad when I was very young. They showed me the whole, great world of drawing; my dad surprised me sometimes with these special papers for architecture jobs, fine pencils and soft rubber erasers, and my mom always used to bring my watercolor set to our weekend picnics in the countryside. I feel that I started my illustration education back then.

Cultural Influences: Everything started with my cultural environment. Mexico is a very colorful, warm, expressive, distressed and alive place—having all of this around me, since I was born, has influenced me. When I was a little boy, I remember how much I enjoyed reading the comic magazines of Cantinflas Show, a printed version of a children's cultural TV show. When I was older, I loved to collect the El Santos comic strip series, a parody of the Mexican wrestler "El Santo," illustrated and created by Jis & Trino. Lately I've been strongly inspired by urban vinyl toys, alternative cartoons and the "pop surrealism" movement. That's how my cultural influences began and how I now try to execute my illustrations with delicate hints of this and much more traditional Mexican artistic influences, like the combination of rich textures and decorative patterns.

Environment: My wife reading or chatting with me, my son playing around and me drawing in my laptop, my sketchbook or painting in an improvised space. One day I'll have a studio, but it will definitely have to have a special spot for my family, with whom I sometimes interact while I'm working—this is something that makes me more productive!

Philosophy: Pursue passion in what you do, believe in yourself and eventually, you'll find happiness.

COMPUTER ARTS (UK)
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Computer Arts: Can you tell us a bit about your career?
AC:
I moved from Mexico City in May 2005 and was hired by Curiosity Group, a creative marketing agency in Portland, Oregon, where I’m now a senior art director. I got several job offers because I’d made a portfolio showcasing my skills and had been mentioned on some worldwide design community portals. The art community is strong here and that inspires everyone who wants to create artwork. Maybe one day I’ll go back. I miss the culture, and the tacos!

CA: How does Mexican culture influence your illustration work?
AC:
It’s not technically a Mexican style in terms of aesthetics, but it is thematically and contextually. In the near future I’m planning to create some pieces directly related to my origins. I like subtle and unsaturated colour palettes, which is the opposite of typical Mexican art, but I use a diversity of textures and floral patterns – elements always present in traditional Mexican art.

CA: Your website is divided between design work and illustration. Is your illustration just for pleasure and your design for commercial purposes?
AC:
All my life I’ve been amazed by the illustration world and I’m doing more artwork for pleasure and trying to find time to work in my own art style. I’d love to sell my work, and hope to in the future. I’m still doing design because it gives me the opportunity to explore new ways of creating visuals and communicating messages. I believe that design and illustration complement each other.

CA: How do you combine traditional elements with digital media?
AC:
Painting and fine art provide richness and a feeling that I like – and results that are impossible to create from scratch on the computer. But working with Photoshop and Illustrator daily gives me tools and resources to explore. I think you should use any media if the results are worth it. Lately, I’ve been experimenting with adding texture to my paintings digitally. I create a base by hand using watercolours for the tones and archival black ink for the line work. I then scan the piece, keeping the texture of the paper, and manipulate the image, adding material textures from digitised pictures mixed up with Photoshop filters.

CA: Who or what influences you?
AC:
Many lowbrow artists and contemporary surrealists. I admire people such as Jeff Soto, Mark Ryden and Camille Rose Garcia. My work is currently focused on character design. A big influence on this are designers on cartoon shows, such as Genndy Tartakovsky or Craig McCracken. They create amazing characters with personalities I want in my work.

IdN (HONG KONG)
Featured in the Pick of the Month section.
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DPI (TAIWAN)
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Moved from Mexico, what you got from the culture to reflect to your present career?
Technically I thing I developed some skills to do a little bit of everything. Design, animation, illustration, some scripting and 3D. Professionally I’m graphic designer and is kind of common that the Mexican design companies do too much work with a few resources, here in USA the process is different, the mentality is focused more in the specialization and that allows me now to offer more diversity in my work. Visually I do believe my cultural background is reflected in how it looks my graphics, Mexico is a place full of textures and sounds and rich in graphic elements everywhere, walking in the streets you never has the feeling that is a flat or minimal environment and my style doing design or illustration is that, deep and very textured, intrinsic and decorative such as Mexico feels.

How long did you find artistic style? What features you like to present in it?
All my live I has have some inclination to do art work, I really love and admire the graphic work and the fact how one beautiful image can reach your attention and make you feel something. I never has the opportunity or maybe the enough time to focus my self in that direction since I moved here at Oregon USA, specifically here in Portland, the art community is so strong and you have the opportunity to get closer and get inspired to do art. That is why I decided to do in my free time some personal work and now I’m totally amazed about how fast and good response has my actual work. I’m big fan of cartoons and characters design. My art is about odd and cute creatures with human expressions that reflect our own humanity in imaginative worlds or situations, we live in a social world and everything moves around our society and people who surround us, is a human condition respond to human gestures or personalities and I thing people responds to my characters in the same way, be a designer is another factor I consider add some interesting elements, I know some about aesthetic, color and shape and I use my designer experience to reach some visual combinations on my drawings. My art basically evolve illustration and design skills together.

It is interesting to look at your characters, which has personality and some works, such as “The Boy, The Cloud, The Umbrella, and The Stars”, could you tell us something behind the creation?
I created that piece in particular to decorate my son’s room, I was looking and image that reflects peaceful and tranquility. He has three years old and has some troubles to sleep alone in his room, this was an intent to make more comfortable his space, he likes for some reason umbrellas and that image came to me one day , I did a little sketch and he liked it. The process in the final result is mixed media, I did an original work with ink and watercolors then I manipulated the image digitally since to obtain the final treatment with the textures you can see in the final image.
Do you have obsession with animation films? Please talk about how it affects you.
Well, as I told you I love so much all about characters design, see those great and quirky personalities on strange creatures with a lot of humanity and when I have the chance to watch them in movement in their own world, talking, walking, virtually alive is something that I just can't resist to consume.

In your creations, there are digital technique, texture papers and fresh colors.
How do you combine different tools?

Certainly my digital work reflects some organic flavor and what I do in an intent to obtain it is create my paths practically by hand using my digital tablet, I try to avoid when I can copy or duplicate elements, I draw them as the same way you'll do it using a pencil. Another important element is the tonality I use, the colors are more based what you can reach in nature, organic, not satured and of course all this supporting by the use of textures like wood, leaves and floral patterns. Recently I started doing some hand made work over paper and wood cause some galleries was interested in that type of work to show and realize that I love it! I enjoy a lot doing this and some of my very new work is based in a combination of hand draw color it and textured by computer and I like so much the result. Probably you'll some of these in a near future.

Besides illustration works, design for Curiosity Group is your career too. What is your working philosophy to be a designer and director?
My philosophy doing design, illustration or art is always the same, I take care a lot about detail and quality image, in my experience working on these different areas I discovered I can complement them one each other and help me to define better my visual style. Design and illustration is quiet a challenge cause you need to consider your work is more about communicate some for a user request than just create pretty visuals, is about function some times more that aesthetic and that is why also I love do design, cause allows me to experiment with new tendencies.

Please talk about your first solo art show “Criaturas”.
What’s the interesting content?

The most incredibly issue about it was that I'm a novice doing Art, I just focused on my own style around six month ago and now I have my first show in a pretty great space, is the biggest book store on USA and is visited for many, many people, is a great opportunity to show my work to people who is not related with the design community. Criaturas is the world for creatures in spanish, and literally the content is that, every piece is about one character and the show reflects a world of these creatures living together for a temporary time in those walls, I have diversity on techniques showing digital works, watercolor, acrylic, ink and coffee on paper or wood and also I have some paper cut but the element in common are my little criaturas.

Is any art work related unforgettable memory or experience? What creation is the most proud of?

All of them are very important for me but certainly there are a couple which I consider were the engine that allowed me be in the mood to do more and more, Bear was the piece what makes me feel I got something good in front, I remember have this though – "This is the way I definitely need to follow, I got it! I'm a genius! " well, maybe I exaggerated a little bit but that was the feeling, I was totally pleased about that piece. Was the first using the textured backgrounds and the mute colors on my characters. The Enamored Whale was another which I realized was good the use of human concepts or feelings in my creations. the human emotion factor makes stronger the piece. Nosferatu on paper cut is the beginning of a new era on this type of work, put dimension on my current work seems pretty interesting technique to play with.

How do you keep imaginary and creativity?
Where are your resource and favorite places?

Everything that surrounds me is good for inspiration, I guess just need to keep me open to be impressed for new things and new experiences. That condition feed my mind to keep it fresh for creation. Music, art, films, people, street, nature, family and dreams are my resources and favorite places.

If you could publish a new book now, what contents you would like to present?
Characters, characters and more characters. They can be sleeping, flying, walking, riding, climbing, dreaming, eating, screaming, crying, laughing, singing, thinking, roaring, floating... living.

CG MAGAZINE (JAPAN)
Article dedicated to Curiosity Group and my work during my time there.