Ulises is a new member of the Exhigone family. He is a talented Spanish illustrator and cartoonist that depicts the everyday life and its ups and downs with humour and discernment. He will be exhibiting his work at our next edition. Here is what he had to say…
Can you give us a bit of background about yourself? Where are you from? Have you always lived in London?
I’m Spanish and I have been living in London for 8 months. After my art studies in Spain, I had very different creative jobs, but I’ve always kept my collaborations with comics magazines and newspapers. Following my passion, I have also lived in Germany and now I am in England.
Did you always knew you wanted to be an artist? How did it start? How did you make it happen?
I think this is something you can not decide. It’s like love. You do not decide who you want to love, it just happens. When you feel the urge within you to paint, create, draw… you simply do it. I have always been drawing, and I will never stopped.
Why comic strips? How did you fall into this?
When I was little, my aunt introduced me to the world of comics. It was love at first sight. I started telling stories through adventure and fantasy comics. Over the years, I’ve started to be interested in other things, particularly “real life”. I like to talk about real situations, always with a bit of humour. Sometimes it does not seem very funny, but when you realize it is a real situation, it’s amazing. Also, I get to capture situations that you would normally forget. When I travel, I never take a camera. I’m just drawing everything that happens at all times. When I read these notebooks months later, I remember forgotten situations, that are impossible to immortalize in a photo.
How do you get your inspiration?
Just from the everyday life. Many people tell me that you must have a very interesting life to tell stories, but it’s not true. Everyone has an interesting life. You just have to know where to look… and draw.
What are you trying to communicate with your art?
Sometimes I just want to entertain, forget about how hard life can be and escape for a moment. Other times, I want people to think and think again, and bring them to draw their own conclusions about something. I also want to connect with people, because there are a lot of us experiencing the same surreal situations, i’d like them to think that they are not so alone.
What is your favourite thing about being an artist?
I can not choose a side, I want the whole pie. The whole process is amazing, from the idea to the finish piece. Even if sometimes you suffer, you are having a face to face with a blank paper … but I enjoy it.
Is there someone that you look up to and inspire you? Why?
There are a few comic artists who have touched my heart, and I can say that they’ve inspired me in the themes of my drawings: real life, and things that can seem insignificant, but if they are well told, they are good. I just like it. Everything is a bit autobiographical.
What is the favourite thing you ever created? Why? What does it mean to you?
I am very critical, with everyone and myself. I can be happy with a drawing one day, and not like it any more the next day. I know what can be improved, and every day I try to get better. I think it’s good not to be very happy with your art, because it can stop you from getting better.
What are you working on at the moment?
I’m telling stories in comics strips for a magazine in London. I’m working a lot on silkscreen, and I’m writing a story about my mother and cancer… all at once.
Do you have a dream project or a dream collaboration?
I’d love to tell strong stories, like the story of my mother, in a graphic novel. It would be great if I could draw with one of the artists that I admire, but that’s gonna be very difficult. For now, I’m working…
What are you expecting from the show?
I hope to meet interesting people, share concerns and have a fun night.
Can you tell us something a bit funny and completely out of context about yourself? Like for example you are a master chef at cooking chicken nuggets, you play ukulele, your favourite place on earth is London underground at rush hours…
I love musical instruments, I have a harmonica, an ukulele, but I’m unlucky with them …I’m a big collector of comics, I have almost 6000 comics and it feels a bit sick. I also love baking cookies, but nothing else, I have no patience for cooking. And I like to dress the wrong way according to fashion standards. Just teasing…
Thanks a lot Ulises for taking the time to answer our questions!
Do you want to see more of Ulises work? Go and visit www.shoyucomics.blogspot.co.uk