Diego Blanco / How illustration changed my life

Diego Blanco

I came to the world of illustration without fully knowing the communicative power that a good illustration keeps.

Being an illustrator has made me appreciate all the elements that keep our visual culture alive. Now I can dissect an image and know why it makes me feel the way I feel. I pay a lot of attention to the colors that things have, the shapes of objects and people and the typographies that were used and are used now.

Besides giving me a lot of visual richness, I have been able to connect with people who see the world as I see it, who dissect it and choose their favorite parts to talk about what really matters to them.

Those of us who are dedicated to illustration are sensitive and critical. I’ve always had trouble reporting injustice through social media and the internet. Words are not my thing, but thanks to my profession, I can choose a composition, some characters and several colors to say the same or even more than with several lines of text.

I believe that being an illustrator keeps you in the here and now. It forces you to be informed about current affairs and to generate an opinion about them. Whatever branch of illustration you do, children’s books, press, advertising… the elements you introduce in your work speak of how you see the world and how you want it to be.

Illustration has also allowed me to rediscover my inner child. He was locked away from the age of 16 to give way to a pseudo-adult with big adult dreams. As a child, I was a person who kept running too much, so jumping from adolescence to adulthood became my goal. I left aside the innocence with which children see things to become a rational and analytical teenager ready, or so I thought, for maturity.

Since I decided to become an illustrator, and not since I started studying fine arts, I have allowed myself to see things with the same naivety as when I was a child. Because I learn much more and because my approach to reality is much more interesting and so are my projects. Thanks to this inner child, play has become a key theme in my work. There is always a playful aspect in every illustration, a humorous gag, or a detail that should make the viewer smile.

I thank illustration for being able to work side by side with my 6 year old self. He is an ideal, fresh companion and I hope he never leaves me.