Robert Tirado is a fantastic graphic artist and illustrator. He was born in Venezuela and currently lives and works in Madrid, Spain. Robert makes use of manual and digital illustrations techniques to create exceptionally beautiful art inspired by female beauty, fashion, and lifestyle. His works have been exhibited and published in many books and renowned magazines in many countries. He creates his illustrations in very lavish and appealing style with use of bold figures and liberal use of colours. Robert has worked extensively with music bands, fashion houses, and advertisers. Here’s our Q&A with this very talented visual artist:
I was born in the valley of Caracas, Venezuela. Caracas is a strangely beautiful city surrounded by an incredible mountain (El Ávila). Presently I live in Madrid, Spain which is an amazing place with an outstanding cultural offerings and fantastic weather. I work here as a freelance illustrator and professor of Design at the Istituto Europeo Di Design, Madrid, mainly with interior design and product design schools.
Art is an essential part of my life. I can´t imagine life without doing what I do, it’s more than a job to me. For me, art is the best way I know to express myself, to show the way I see the world around me and transmit a message. An Artist is, after all a communicator…
Curiously, I also realize that my hobbies and preferred activities beyond the work are all related to art: Listen to music or going to concerts, watching movies, going to art shows or visiting historic places. I enjoy architecture and sculpture.
I have always been involved in the art, in one way or another. Besides making illustrations, I also do paintings or drawings, graphic design, playing bass guitar or guitar, writing or making sculptures. But surely, what I enjoy most is doing illustrations.
How do you create illustrations and how much time does it take usually?
Regarding the process, I could say that everything starts with an idea. Then I look for some references to find out how will it be expressed.
The time I spend on each piece depends on many facts. Although usually takes me about 3 sessions.
Tell us something about your style:
Basically, it’s a mix of manual and digital techniques. I’m constantly searching for new materials and media that allow me to evolve my own style. I actually feel completely free when it comes to creating and working and above all, I like to follow my intuition and take advantage of happy accidents.
Among my favorite materials to work would be pencils and water-colors. I also use acrylic paint and inks. Paper cut, Photoshop and Illustrator.
What other themes would you like to work on in future?
For many years I have used my work as a way to show beauty, show the seductive side of women or to tell beautiful stories. Now, I notice that I’m at a point where I feel the topics of my work is changing, because I feel the need to also use it as a tool to be more critical with the world around me, even while seeking the beauty of everything I see.
What are the creative and artistic challenges you mostly face?
It’s the ability to experiment with new mediums and discovering new materials or tools. This search always leads to new paths and discover new concepts. For me it’s an exciting process.
Being able to do my work to reach as many people as possible, keeping my personality, while keeping loyal to my convictions.
I feel really lucky to do what I do and to live it and to have the opportunity to show my work in some main cities of the world, In addition of the confidence that various design institutes have had on mi to teach hundreds of people, I have been teaching for over 10 years.
My selected clients include Adobe Systems, Rolling Stone Magazine, The Telegraph Fashion, Harper´s Bazaar Spain, Harper´s Bazaar Brazil, Glamour Magazine, Oh My Cut!, Playboy Magazine, Chivas, Fossil, and Istituto Europeo di Design/ Madrid.
What are your views on contemporary art?
I think contemporary art is having a great moment right now. We can count many new tools that allow us to increase our production and work faster, reducing our margin of error and give us the opportunity to mix all kind of media. However, I think the future will be going back to the roots, in order to recover expression and warmth of the craft process. The contact with real materials and the exclusivity of the unique pieces will be very important in future.
I’ll continue spreading my work and move into other areas of art. I think right now I’m in an imminent change and a new step of evolution of my own style, possibly involving the use of 3D software, different kind of papers and boards and possibly animation.
I would like to continue participating in exhibitions and working with print media and textile industry, they are my favorite media application.
Tell us about your sources of inspiration and motivation:
I find a lot of inspiration in images (photography and films), music and art´s history. I especially like the impressionist and surrealist movement. The Bauhaus, pop culture, the 80´s…
The source of inspiration, and the possibilities are endless expression. In that sense, I think it’s hard to lose motivation. It´s true that there are more productive times than others and there are moments when you could feel lost and then you must find yourself again, but if you work at it, you always end output and find the answer to your own questions.