Seize the time and illustrate away | 創作在分秒之間

Although he might have left the pleasant temperatures of Spain and his native Columbia behind, Russia-based illustrator Jhonny Núñez still fills his artwork with warmth and life. With strong contrasts and colours, his works rest in a comfortable spot between collage and vector graphics and between Disney and Jamie Hewlett. He himself says, “99.9% of illustrators on the planet have no idea what their work should be called. That is exactly why I classify my style as ‘illustration cartoon-naïf-retro-geometric.’” A fitting description!

Jhonny developed his style by observing artists he admired, investigating, testing his comfort zone, and last but not least, spending a great number of hours practicing intensively. Illustration gripped Jhonny early.

“I remember my childhood, spending hours sitting on the floor of my room looking at the images of magazines, advertisements, front pages and comics. When I saw the genius of these images, my head became filled with questions, my eyes widened as I saw the attractiveness of the colours, and my heart felt the seduction calling me to sink into this world of colours, forms and images. I think that was the time I discovered I liked graphic design,” he said.

“What pushed me to study illustration was also history; usually people do not really realise, but illustration is an extremely important discipline for humanity,” he added. “The history of humanity was told through illustration, using it as a codified system of language. We can find proof in the cave drawings of Lascaux, in the hieroglyphs of ancient Egypt, in the Mayan ideograms, in the Turkish nautical maps and in the great number of ancient alphabets that were composed not of letters, but of illustrations. It is possible that I see illustration the way it really is: a narrative science that uses aesthetics as a creative resource.”

After studying at a number of prestigious schools in Colombia and Spain, Jhonny was ready to apply the most important lesson he says he was never taught at art school – “seize the time.” He plunged into the freelance world. A struggle at first, he eventually started to be able to support himself through his work. Today, he has a range of well-known brands on his client list, and moving to Russia to be with his wife hasn’t cooled down his productivity.

“While illustrating, I don´t think about the financial part of it and I feel good during this process. I am relaxed and I feel happy. Illustration is my key to escape and run from boring reality.”

Although globalisation undoubtedly affects the field, Johnny says he has picked up differences between Spain, Russia and his home country. “Colombians focus on a strong presence of the human figure and surrealism, Spain is known for its more narrative style and Russia for the use of landscapes.” As his favourite artist, he nominates Drake Brodahl (a Californian), but emphasises that there are a lot of fantastic illustrators that he follows.

His future dreams include illustrating for a world-famous clothes brand, making an illustration fest and possibly transforming his studio into an illustration agency so that he can “stop working till late at night.” His tips for young illustrators is to get adept at using the internet, which he likens to a superpower: “You can study for free, find answers to your questions, distribute your work, receive feedback, and what is more important, you can work in any part of the world for any brand or person. You just need to learn how to use it wisely.”

 

即使離開了西班牙和家鄉哥倫比亞的宜人氣候,在俄羅斯定居的Jhonny Núñez的作品依然充滿溫暖和生命。特徵為強烈色彩對比,他的作品在「拼貼與向量圖形」和「迪士尼和插畫家Jamie Hewlett」的雙極之間遊走。他形容自己的作品道:「世界上99.9%的插畫家都不知道應該怎樣為自己的作品命名,也之所以我定型自己的風格為『插畫、卡通、幼稚、復古、幾何』。」多貼切的形容!

通過觀察自己喜歡的插畫家和不斷測試自己的安舒區,Jhonny不斷進化自己的創作風格;更重要的是他花了很多時間去練習。插畫從他小時候已經擄獲了他的心神。

「我記得在我小時候我花很多時間坐在房間裡面看著無數雜誌、剪報、廣告和漫畫。當我看見那些圖像的時候,我腦袋裡充滿了問題;我的眼睛會因為看見色彩而張大;我的心總是躍躍欲試去投進顏色,形狀和圖形的世界裡面。我想我是從那時候開始發現自己喜歡平面設計的。」

「讓我下定決心修讀插畫的是歷史,很多人其實都不了解插畫其實在人文發展中有著極其重要的地位。」Jhonny補充道:「人文歷史是透過一系列有系統的插畫來表達的:諸如拉斯科的山洞壁畫、古埃及的象形文字、瑪雅文化的表意文字、土耳其航海地圖和無數古代字母其實都主要是插畫,而不是個別文字。我看見了插畫的真正意義:以美學為創意源泉的敘述性科學。」

當他在哥倫比亞和西班牙註明的學校修讀完畢後,他準備了將學校沒有教他的一課投入社會中實用 – 「善用時間」,他投身進自由職業當中。一開始事情並不順利,但他漸漸的能夠讓不同的項目支持生活。今天的他已經與不同知名品牌合作,而移居到俄羅斯並沒有讓他的生產力下降。

「當我畫畫的時候,我並不會想太多關於賺多少,我只享受創作的過程並感到放鬆和快樂。插畫是我逃離沉悶現實的最佳方法。」

即使大環境全球化確實有影響到創意行業,Jhonny說他發現了不同地方的創作區別。「哥倫比亞看重人物和超現實的風格;西班牙比較喜歡敘述式創作而俄羅斯則偏好風景。」說到最喜歡的插畫家,他提到Drake Brodahl(美國加州人),但同樣強調他還喜歡很多插畫家。

他最想做的項目是跟一個世界知名的服裝品牌合作、創辦插畫節和將自己的工作室進化成一個具規模的插畫機構,如此一來他便不需要工作至深夜。他給年輕插畫家的意見是盡量使用互聯網,更將之比喻為一種超能力。「您可以免費的學習、為自己的問題尋找答案、公開自己的作品、接收不同的反饋,更重要的是你可以與世界上任何品牌和團體合作 – 只要您學會善用它。」

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