The weekly magazine of Boston, MA published my piece Blue
Demon on their cover.
BAK INTERVIEW (TURKEY)
/ Check it here.
- You moved to Portland from Mexico City in the
spring of 2005. How can you describe the feeling of missing
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
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
Would you please tell us what your workspace looks
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
- 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)
COMMUNICATION ARTS (USA)\ FEATURED ON
Duration: I've been in this charming city
since 2005. Before that, I lived in my amazing hometown,
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
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
Philosophy: Pursue passion in what you
do, believe in yourself and eventually, you'll find happiness.
COMPUTER ARTS (UK)
Computer Arts: Can you tell us a bit about your
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
CA: How does Mexican culture influence your illustration
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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,
CG MAGAZINE (JAPAN)
Article dedicated to Curiosity Group and my work during
my time there.