Latin American Ilustracion: Abraham Balcazar

By David Schonauer   Wednesday May 18, 2016

Abraham Balcazar  loved the chance to create a woman with two souls.

In 2014, Balcazar was among seven artists invited to contribute illustrators for the book Cuentos Populares Mexicanos, a collection of popular short stories based on traditional oral tales from various regions of Mexico. Compiled by poet Fabio Morábito, the book was published by Mexico’s Fondo de Cultura Economica (Economic Culture Fund). Balcazar’s illustration brought to life a tale about a man who makes a startling discovery after being attacked by a tiger.

“While defending himself, he cuts the beast’s paw off, and upon returning home he finds that his wife now also is missing a hand. He realizes that she is the tiger that he fought earlier, and that she had tried to killed him to be with another man,” says Balcazar.

The Mexico City-based illustrator went to work on a dramatic image that brought the story to life. His work was later named a winner of the Latin American Ilustracion 4 competition. The illustration was also one of the Mexican selections in the 2015 edition of the Bratislava Biennial of Illustration.

“Rather than a illustrating a scene, I wanted to do something that combined elements from the entire story,” Balcazar says. One of the most difficult parts of the job, he adds, was creating an attractive and compelling picture about a story with a dark moral at its center. This he accomplished by employing a controlled color pallet.

Balcazar says he loved the freedom of the assignment. “It was my second book with Fabio Morábito, and also my second with the Fondo de Cultura Economica,” he notes.

A freelance illustrator since 2001, Balcazar has created work for a variety of publications, from magazines and newspapers to advertising and children’s books. “I am currently the president of the board of the Association of Illustrators in Mexico, while also doing my freelance illustration work,” he says. “In my spare time I am also a musician, and I like to create ambigrams."

 View more or Balcazar's work at Behance.


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