Pablo Auladell is a multi-award-winning artist from Alicante working primarily in comics and illustration. Elegant, lyrical and delicate yet strong and disconcerting, his images suggest a particular dialogue between the traditional and the contemporary.
Hi Pablo. Could you tell us a bit about yourself and what you do?
I am a picture book illustrator and comic author. A beautiful, ridiculous profession so, it only makes sense that if I draw I should put my whole life into it.
Could you tell us about your creative process, from the initial idea to the finished piece?
In the last years, everything is illustrated. So, the start for me is always trying to find something that really makes sense to the logic of the project (usually a book). Then I establish a few rules for developing a particular world in those images and try to dive into the text searching for the hidden images. Sometimes I succeed.
What particularly appeals to you about working in graphite?
I try to work with simple, elementary materials. In addition, graphite lets me draw like as if sculpting: now a thin trace, now a stroke, now a line, now a spot…
Favourite pencil: Wood? Mechanical? Other?
A 6B graphite bar.
What other materials do you enjoy using?
Pastels, charcoal. Sometimes acrylics.
What size do you tend to work at? Do you have a preferred scale?
A3 when working on book illustration, 50cm x 70cm for other works.
How do you conceptualize/construct a piece? Do you think of it as a story, snapshot, or abstraction?
I think of it as a world which has its own rules, and which only works in itself. The piece establishes relations and tensions and asks for what it needs.
What’s your favourite subject-matter? What’s the particular attraction?
A cowboy. Perhaps because when I was a child I loved Blueberry’s western comics and wanted to become Giraud when I grew up.
What has most influenced and inspired your vision?
The masters of silence and invisibility.
Can you tell us about a favourite piece of yours, or a favourite creative experience?
The images I produced for the book “La feria abandonada” (Barbara Fiore, 2013). I think it is the book where my imagery and style is best defined and presented.
What are you early memories of drawing like?
I used to draw western comics all the time. Sometimes, Mazinger Z, too.
Do you keep a sketchbook?
Yes, many actually. One as searching field, one for written ideas and one for drawing out of the studio, also anatomy, perspective, gestures…
Do you prefer to tell the stories of others, or your own?
Both options are great. The stories of others let’s me work on stories I am not good on writing about.
Your figures are extremely elegant, it seems like they could maybe glide instead of walk. Similarly, your drawings have a very particular soft, gentle texture. What do you think is the relationship between these qualities?
Perhaps because I do not draw in a cool style. The characteristics you mention are those of an out of time style.
Do you listen to music when you work?
No. Music is too much powerful and drives you immediately to its ground. I use to work listening speeches of some artist or art philosopher. It drives me to a place of higher concentration.
What is your favourite mythical creature/being?
Those of the Mediterranean tradition.
What time of day do ideas come to you?
When I read…
Can you tell us about your graphic take on Paradise Lost?
It is an epic poem, so it is already “drawn” by the writer in some way because the author already describes and details a lot of visual situations and characters. Great artists like Dore or Blake had already made powerful and unforgettable images about it too, so I try to forget all that and concentrate on the music and tempo of Milton’s poem, on translating into images the lyricism, the feeling which is expressed by language in the poem. And of course, I concentrate on translating the majestic, grand style of Milton’s text into comic graphic language, making it more dynamic for visual readability.
Right or left-handed?
Coffee, nicotine, or booze?
Booze. But not for working.
Last film you saw in the cinema?
The Imitation Game.
What books are on your bedside table?
Nabokov’s Lolita and some Art essay by Félix de Azúa.
Favourite city in the world?
Favourite city to draw/sketch/illustrate/create in?
What directions are you interested in taking your work in the future?
I have been a melancholic drawer. I am searching for the expression of the joy.
Thanks Pablo! Keep up with Pablo and see more of his work at www.pabloauladell.com and on his Facebook page dedicated to illustration. You can also find him on twitter at @pabloauladell.
Pablo Auladell features in Issue 4 of Tiny Pencil: The Death & Resurrection Issue! Available to buy here.
This interview was brought to you by Heather McCalden and The Tiny Pencil – fine purveyors of the pencil arts. Follow us on twitter @TheTinyPencil, Facebook, Tumblr, and Instagram for the latest news on all of our new anthology artzines.