Jon Denham: For those unfamiliar with your work, could you tell us about yourself and what you do?
Sergio Membrillas: I am a freelance illustrator working mostly for editorial clients, sometimes with advertising and clothing clients, from all around the world. I teach Editorial Illustration every year at the University of Fine Arts in Valencia.
JD: Have you always known you’d be an artist? Did you grow up drawing lots and was there a time when you decided it wasn’t a hobby?
SM: It is hard to tell. I have always been skilled with the arts since I was a kid, but it took me some time to realise this. I first had to try the music world, and some random jobs in graphic design, to realise that the field, which made me win medals, and that I would make my living with was drawing.
I think that every different artistic field I have worked on has helped me to understand and build my drawing personality. For example, I love photo books, sometimes even more than illustrated books. I get really inspired by them. In my experience, everything counts in the end.
Photograph © Raúl Pérez.
JD: How did you develop your aesthetic?
SM: I think aesthetics evolve naturally. The more you learn, the more you live, the more you see; you naturally put all that encouragement into your drawings. And obviously, working hard.
JD: Where do your ideas come from? Do you find yourself searching for inspiration in unexpected places?
SM: Life, movies, books… the usual. I like to be a day-by-day hunter of charming scenes when taking a walk or going for a takeaway coffee. Nothing too fancy in the end, just the usual. Life.
JD: How does your creativity inform, fit with, or rub up against commercial projects. How do you approach a brief and respond to clients needs?
SM: I have found a formula that I’m 200% comfortable with it. As artists we give a service. We need to understand that the commercial projects need that in the end too: being able to give their service correctly.
JD: Have you ever found your work or creativity affected by a client’s request?
SM: Sometimes, obviously, but that’s part of the job. Even big artists like Oldenburg or Guston would have had to deal with the galleries and the client’s demands. It’s really a part of the client and provider how to.
Illustration © Sergio Membrillas. Photograph © Raúl Pérez.
JD: Do you work on projects of your own, purely because you want to, if so, any examples you can share?
SM: I usually work on one or two personal projects every year. I have been self-publishing zines for 4 years now and this year I have produced a print on fabric that makes me really happy.
JD: What has illustration taught you about life? Have you learnt anything surprising?
SM: Both illustration and life are in the same field for me. Life and drawing are one. I don’t know if that’s good or bad, but that’s the way I experience it. Let’s just say I keep living a good life surrounded by drawings and on the way I keep improving my drawing surrounded by my life.
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