Spanish art director gone illustrator Antonio Uve on sketching guys with moustaches

Self-taught illustrator Antonio left the world of advertising to go freelance, honing his of geometric shapes and textures.

Spanish-born Antonio Uve is an art director turned freelance illustrator. After realising his Instagram feed was full of illustrations instead of design, he left the world of advertising and set off to make a living from illustration.

Now based in Madrid, Antonio creates characters and scenes from basic geometric shapes and lively colours, with a touch of texture to give his digital work a hand-painted look. For Antonio, it always begins with a sketch for his illustrations, but he’s also interested in craft-making, applying his illustrations on textiles, pottery and recently embroidery.

Now signed with European creative clinic Colagene, Antonio was picked as one of 2018’s up-and-coming illustrators.

Taking a particular passion for drawing men with moustaches in various outfits and scenarios, Antonio tells us about moving into motion graphics, being fascinated by outer space and his year ahead.

Miriam Harris: How did you begin working as an artist?

Antonio Uve: "I worked as an art director in Madrid at an advertising agency and, in my spare time, I illustrated things for myself. I began using Instagram to post my artwork and I started to get some assignments. One day I realised that my portfolio as an art director was full of illustrations and no longer focused on design, so I thought it was a signal to go freelance and make a living from illustrations.

"It has been a long process and I think it had to be like that. I learned a lot about the process of working and developing my style."

MH: What are you hoping to achieve artistically within 2018?

AU: "I hope to be busy with diverse projects. Last year I was working with motion graphic designers to give life to my illustrations and that was very exciting, I would like to try that again. I would also like to work more with my hands, either painting a mural or going back to pottery classes."

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MH: Tell us a little bit about your creative process.

AU: "My process starts with a sketch. I force myself to work a lot with sketches and ideas since it saves a lot of time later in the project. Then I scan the sketch and start working with shapes and colours – looking for the composition that I have in mind.

"When I have enough time, I like to go for a walk to let it rest. When I am back at the computer I decide if it’s finished or needs any adjustments. The last step is to add textures and small touches to finish it off."

MH: What do you have a deep fascination for and would like to see more in your artwork?

AU: "I am fascinated by outer space, planets, astronauts, rockets…. You can find them in much of my artwork, I have to stop myself from drawing more."

MH: Is there a particular thing you like to draw the most, and why?

AU: "I love to illustrate characters, my sketchbook is always full of them (especially guys with moustaches). I like the process of giving them a personality with clothes or the colours that they wear."

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MH: What have you been working on recently, and what’s on the horizon for you?

AU: "I finished the year working on some editorial illustrations and the new year started in the same way.

"I love editorial assignments for newspapers and magazines, so I hope there are more exciting editorial jobs waiting for me on the horizon."

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