David Pintor: The Q&A

By Peggy Roalf   Monday October 20, 2014

Q: What are some of your favorite things about living and working in your hometown?

A: I work and live in a small city in the northwest of Spain, A Coruña. It is a very nice city on the coast. I love the sea, and living at the seashore is a privilege. I like to go to the beach in summer, but also in winter. The light here is magical and always changing. I love this city.

Q: Do you keep a sketchbook? What is the balance between the art you create on paper versus In the computer?

A: Yes, of course. I always have a notebook in my bag. I never know when I am going to get a good idea for a book: visiting an exhibition, enjoying a concert or a movie, watching TV, travelling somewhere, etc. My notebook is where everything can happen. All the books, and all the work starts in a little corner of a notebook.

Q: What do you like best about your workspace?

A: I just opened a new studio three months ago. It is a space of 90 square meters with a great view of the sea. Is the place I have always wanted for work. I am very happy about it. The three things I like about this space are the possibility of seeing the sunrise everyday, the daylight that pours in, and a hammock I bought where I can read in a very relaxing way.

Q: What is the most important item in your studio?

A: The most important item is the table where I work. As an illustrator, I need good light, and a comfortable place to work during long workdays.

Q: What is your favorite part of the creative process?

A: Everything, from research to the final art. Also the sketches.

During the research phase, I learn a lot. Now I am working on a children book about World War I, and I have the opportunity of reading a lot about that cruel war.

The sketching phase is the moment where the book start to grow in front of my eyes. I make lots of drawing trying to find the style according to the nature of the book. It is the moment where I look for the "soul" of the book, so I experiment a lot.

The final art process is amazing too. All the sketches, all the thinking, all the images get real in the final art. 

Q: What was the strangest or most unusual assignment you’ve taken?

A: The strangest assignment was to decorate a motorcycle helmet. It was totally different from anything I made before, but it was a very entertaining project.


Q: What was your favorite book as a child?

A: Stormy Night, from Michele Lemieux. It is a wonderful book—I still love it. It has the rhythm of the cinema, and the most delicate and effective drawings .

Q; What is the best book you’ve recently read?

A: I have just read a wonderful book by Julio Cortázar. I admire a lot his style, and the way he has of revealing the most fantastic things in the simplest details of life.   

Q: What was your first professional assignment and how did you get it?

A: My first professional assignment was a very simple drawing of a dinosaur for a schoolbook. I was very young, I think 14 or 15 years old. I still keep that invoice, handwritten on lined paper.


Q: What was the last art exhibition you saw and what did you take away from it?

A: The two best exhibitions I’ve seen in the last couple of years were a retrospective of Marc Chagall at Thyssen museum in Madrid, and the exhibition "A Bigger Picture," of David Hockney’s landscape work, at the Gugggenheim Bilbao. 

Chagall is one of my favorite painters. The personal world he created in his mind is unique. Chagall is fantasy, poetry, color. And the exhibition was superb. I will never forget the sensation of Stendhal syndrome I had when I entered each room at the museum. Chagall would take a theme (the circus, for example) and make many variations about it. And each one was different; he was constantly reinventing himself.

Hockney is one of the most interesting painters today. I like very much his drawing control. He knows the art of drawing. And his sense of color is incredible. It’s as if Van Gogh were alive. Great show.

Q: What advice would you give a young artist about applying to an art school or college?

A: The three recommendations I always give are, work, work and work. This is the only secret to have a long career as illustrator. 

Q: What is your hobby?

A: I love to travel. I like very much to see other cultures, other landscapes, different people. All this gives me energy and inspiration.

Q: If you could be anywhere but where you are now, where would that be?

A: At Whitehaven beach, Australia. Is the place most like Eden I’ve ever found. It would be nice live there, in a little house, and pass the day fishing, swimming and of course, drawing.

Q: What would be your last supper?

A: For my last meal I would like to taste the Fugu, a Japanese fish that is the most dangerous food in the world. I could eat the poisonous fish with absolute calmness.

David Pintor is an Illustrator living in Spain. He has been selected four times in Bologna book fair and three times in the Bratislava Biennial; awarded by Society of News Design; selected for American illustration 33 and Latin American illustration 3; for Communication Arts 2014; selected two times for White Ravens list for his children book illustrations. Clients include C&A Paris; Museo Thyssen Borsnemisza; Cittá del Sole; the Spanish cultural magazine Leer; Opticksmagazine; El Ciervo magazine; and Diplomat magazine among others. Twitter Behance

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