Pablo Lobato Illustrator Interview

Pablo Lobato

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Can you recall the first time you realized you were going to be an illustrator? What were your earliest impressions?
I can’t remember a precise moment. It was a natural flow. I just did what I wanted to do. I drew a lot and here I am.

Who or what influenced your art when you were young?
My father was always very interested in my drawings. He was an accountant but he loved fine art so there were lots of books and paintings at home.

Do you remember what your first artwork looked like? Do you still have it?
I don’t remember the first one but I guess it was awful. You become good after practicing a lot.

Why did you choose illustration as your life’s work instead of, for example, filmmaking, law, or even medicine?
When I finished high school, I tried to picture myself as a psychologist or as a dentist. I realized that guy wasn’t me. I decided to go with the only thing I knew I was kind of good at: illustration.

Did you study art in school?
I studied graphic design in La Plata University and also took engraving and painting classes.

Where does your inspiration come from; your impulse to make art? Do you have a source for your ideas?
Faces. I love to draw faces; especially, interesting ones. I want to find the soul of a person behind their features.

How would you describe the process of creating art?
Pleasurable, painful, methodical, chaotic.

Do you have a favorite illustrator? What is it about that illustrator’s work you like?
I love Al Hirschfeld’s work; love the line, the elegance, and the spot-on likeness.

If you could do something else, other than creating art, what would it be?
I really don’t know; maybe I’d be a chef.

Do you remember your first set of paints, pens, or markers?
Not the first set. I remember a set of markers my father bought me in Germany. I loved that set. I was never able to find them again. I don’t remember the brand.

Do you have a favorite illustrator supply, a favorite method, or favorite location, where you like to create artwork?
I love working in my studio, but I also like to draw in coffee shops. Supplies are not that important for me. I can use almost anything. Sometimes, I use my kids’ crayons. But I love Pentel brushes.

If you could give a viewer clues to understanding your art, what would you say?
If I have to give clues to understanding my art, it’s not working. It should be understood with a glance. At least that’s what I want.

Why does art matter to you? Why might it matter to the world?
Art is a way to make this world a little better. Painting, dance, music, sculpture, design, give us moments of happiness. I think that is what it’s all is about.

If you could look back or forward a hundred years, do you think the life of an illustrator was or will be better than today?
The more integrated art and industry are, the better the life of the illustrator will be. I guess a hundred years ago, it wasn’t much better than it is today. I hope, in a hundred years from now, life will be better for illustrators.