The marriage between technology and creativity has led us into the world of digital art. The line between virtual reality and reality is often blurred, and has simultaneously opened up the gates to a new form of art that espouses digital media.
Jerico Santander, currently available for freelance or long-term contracts, is a Spanish illustrator and digital artist who beautifully represents the inventive world of post digital media.
Santander possesses a portfolio bursting with vibrant, dreamlike essence. Spilling layers of aesthetic appeal to every image he toils with, his use of salient color combinations, artistic composition and elegant originality amaze all his viewers.
Format chatted with the artist to gain insight into how his taste for digital art has ripened, and how he operates within this arena.
â€œI am unable to work with something that looks real or common. I’m always dreaming while I am awake and conjuring up crazy images.â€
Format: Did you first experiment with paint, simple sketches, web design, or something more?
Jerico Santander: Since I was a child I had always been interested in drawing. I remember having a lazy teacher in grade school that used to provide us with paper, encouraging us to draw rather than giving us a grammatical lesson. I think this teacher deserves some credit in helping me develop an interest for the arts that soon became a hobby of mine [laughs].
Back to your question, I first came into contact with design and digital art back in 2003. I observed my cousin who was creating Flash sites and I found myself curious, so I began to experiment by meshing Photoshop with Flash, creating animated sites, abstract illustrations, and other impressive images.
Format: You tend to use plenty of digital media to enhance your work; what drew you into digital art?
Jerico Santander: I found the endless possibilities of blending photography, 3-D displays, and painting beyond exciting. I got addicted to the idea of creating compositions with different stock photos and then combining them as one–painting with tablets, highlights and shadows. Though lately I feel I need to practice more with painting instead of photography. It’s quite difficult, and nearly impossible, to find the exact stock I am looking for and it becomes a nuisance–but at the same time I love it.
Format: How much do the principles of uncertainty and fantasy play into your work?
Jerico Santander: I am unable to work with something that looks real or common. I’m always dreaming while I am awake and conjuring up crazy images. I guess my imagination is a huge part of my work.
Format: There is a substantial dose of surrealism in your portraits; is that something you purposefully create or do your images fluently manifest this quality?
Jerico Santander: The â€œrandomnessâ€ in life makes me smile; that’s why I like surrealism. Some ideas I think about before I start working on them, other times while Iâ€™m working on a piece the idea just makes its way onto the page. I don’t really notice what Iâ€™m doing until I come in the next day and see what I have created. I do think it is best to first start with a sketch outlining the main ideas, then later you can simply add â€œlittle storiesâ€ while crafting the finished product.
Format: Beauty and elegance glisten through your work; what attributes would you say contribute to this?
Jerico Santander: Thanks for that compliment. Frustration can be the main key here. I tend to have an artistic endeavor in mind that is usually out of reach. I can’t enjoy my work or show certain qualities in my work if I can foresee how the image is going to end up; I need a challenge. Another important point is to be sure about what you want the image to portray; writing ideas and drawing sketches beforehand are key. Once you have a solid base for your work everything else comes a little easier, including depicting beauty and elegance. Of course possessing basic knowledge of color theory, composition and such is just as important–but that’s something to be learned and improved on in the midst of working.
Format: Your color palette consists of strong pigments; other artists may be overwhelmed by using such bold colors. Do you credit your creative personality for this â€œbraveness,â€ or something more?
Jerico Santander: I have fun exploiting colors and grabbing the attention of others very much. Most of my work is indeed saturated with bold colors. I just have fun with it.
Format: Since working with the MTV Movie Awards in 2007, what other projects have you been engaged in?
Jerico Santander: I’ve been freelancing for the amazing people at BUCK (www.buck.tv). Some projects I have worked on include Tower of Grandville for Scion. I have also pitched ideas for â€My Simsâ€ TV commercial. In both works I served as some kind of matte painter; it was a really exciting experience for me.
Format: Where would you like to exhibit your workâ€“billboards, video games, movies, tattoos?
Jerico Santander: I prefer to see my Photoshop work in digital media rather than on printed media because of the RGB pixel intensity and the screen sharpness. I wouldn’t mind dabbling in bizarre, erratic matte paintings for Hollywood films, but I think I still have a long way to go before that happens [laughs].
More Info: http://www.jericosantander.com/
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