Today, we are joined by Iria Alcojor , she is an Illustrator . You can view her portfolio here.
Firstly, I’d like to thank you for the interview. We’d like to understand how your interest for illustration started shaping up. Tell us a bit more about what made you go this route!.
Thankyou for your interest in my work. Well I couldn’t remember when it all started, I’ve been drawing and investigating with colors since forever. When I was a year old my parent bought me a painting station for kids, for I was drawing obsesively. Altough sometimes I draw for work, most of the time it was for psycological needs. So this route choose me.
Tell us a bit more about how you learned it all. What changed in the last few years in terms of ease of expanding your skills and knowledge?
I studied Fine Arts and a Design Master Degree in Spain, where I am from. But I would say that investigating and drawing year after year was the most successful way to learn. (Constant work is a must) Life contrasts had a big influence in my imaginarium, like some childhood experiences: my average loving life inside my home, and the dopefiends consuming outside of it… or my mother telling me not to touch needless while playing outside. I’ve learned a lot from talking to other people, similiar and different from me, listening to music, watching films from all decades, researching art form older times and to sume it up, from the highs and lows in life. In college I listened to my teachers, but I didn’t pay real attention to their advices, if it was for them, I wouldn’t be drawing nowadays. I think is good thing to hear other people advices, but you have to be loyal to what you really feel. Each person goes through situations that change the way they see things. And most of the time, rejection to advices is the right path, and we have art museums to prove that. I learned more in my scholarships in other colleges. The one that influenced me the most, was the faculty of Puebla (México) there, I experienced the most non-regular and some times the most extreme situations in my life. I believe I got a better understanding of the life-death, life/beauty, life/violence, life/misticisim and life/life situations. I particulary try to be honest with myself, trying to follow my own path and not others. While I was growing in my neighborhood I couldn’t find most people like me (the ones I’ve found are still close to me) so I had to look for a very intuitive way to find artistic motivation. Fortunately, we have the big opportunity to witness the cool stuff other people is doing in the rest of the world through the internet, and to follow new tendencies… It’s even easier now to see what happened in the past, in ways that would have never been possible for us back then. This encouraged me to show my work, so I recently started to upload my art online and I’m very happy that I did. The good thing, is the attention the work gets, the bad thing is that you have to work really really hard in order to make yourself visible among others.
What does your creative process look like?
I split my work in two, a more illustrative part and other less illustrative, but… more realistic you could say. Depends on the project I’m going to work, I’m in need of more or less info, sketches, tests, etc, or I can start the illustration in a more intuitive manner. I don’t work under schedules if it’s the job is not for a company, I start whenever the inspiration shows up. When I have more spare time for drawing, I listen to myself and I get my demons out, and I do research on new techniques at the very same time. In this periods of time I achieve great artistic improvements, but it can be really exhausting too. Most of the drawings that come to my mind end up in my drawingbook. There are simpler illustrations, smaller too, that help me to set my mind to think, try and have fun. This compilations of drawings help me tremendously in my bigger projects. I recently started to self-publish some of them as collectable drawing compilations. Right now I only printed 42 black and white units as my first offi ial drawingbook edition. Other steps that are part of the creative process are the expansion of my image files (images that I like, that inspire me or just help me to find better ways to represent animals, gestures, etc) and having great music track lists ready, the kind of music I listen to has serious effects on the result of my pieces.
Do you have a special place or object that boosts your inspiration and helps your creative drive? What is it like and why does it have this effect on you?
As I said before, music is really important when it comes to find inspiration. I have to thank my father for all his 70’s music. While I was growing up I couldn’t identify myself with my friends music taste, and as I got older I gave huge credits to those bands that founa way to my heart and really surprised me. As the internet slowly got into my everyday life, my musical taste continued to grow. From the cradle to the present, I still listen to psychodelic music, punk, black metal, rock n roll… I enjoy a great variety of styles. I could say the same about cinema, it is a great source of inspiration and meditation, and I consider watching films should be a civil right, even the bad ones!
Could you describe how a productive day would look like from your point of view? Which are the most important hours for you?
That’s relative. One day you can make small achievements but you get to learn a lot from them. The world is a relative place. But I guess a productive day is the one you score your goals and feel satisfied with the work done. The ideal work plan is to work during the day, having a social life on the afternoon and to rest at night. But I always feel more productive during night time.
What is your stance on today’s ever growing opportunities enabling artists to take on remote design work?
Everything that helps to get the right work to the right audience is a good thing!
What would you prefer: a steady, well paying job in a local agency, or the freedom and often stressful life of a freelancer? Why?
Each thing has a good and a bad part. It would depend on the real characteristics of the job. If I can have real freedom on the job that would make the difference.
How would you describe “the ideal project”? Did you have any recent opportunities to come close to this?
An ideal project for me is one in wich I can draw and design freely. On my last inquiries it has been this way (Show flyers and a full album art desing) As a child I thought I would have to choose between a regular dayjob, based on the grownups advices, and just couldn’t see myself doing nothing like that. They where right about one thing: The art world is a tough world, but not an impossible one. So the ideal project for me is the one where I do the things I like ,applied to the needs of a client that really wants my work.