Pedro Campiche, also known as AKA.CORLEONE is from Portugal. He works as a freelance designer and illustrator and draws inspiration from graffiti.
“Born on the wrong side of the tracks, the once called ‘chuck norris of the underworld’ soon learned how to survive and prosper from illegal acts, but the constant menace of sleeping with the fishes forced this upcoming mafioso to embrace the less dangerous but equally exciting illustrator career… Nowadays AKACORLEONE draws cats, naked ladies and shady fellows without the fear of waking up with a horse´s head in his silk sheets.”
Could you tell us a bit about yourself and your work?
My name is Pedro Campiche (AKACORLEONE) and I divide my work between commercial illustrations, experiments for exhibitions and mural painting on every surface possible. I currently live in Lisbon, Portugal but I plan to conquer the world!
Are you right or left-handed?
Left handed FO LIFE!
Your work involves handmade elements and also digital… what do you enjoy about each and how do you make them work together?
Well, everything starts with a blank page and a pencil, so everything I do is drawn on paper before becoming a wall, a sculpture, or a weird gif… Nowdays I always search for a handmade feel, I love textures, paint and ink stains, so even when I´m working digitally, my goal is to make it look as handmade as possible!
What appealed to you about working in pencil for your Tiny Pencil contribution?
Nothing beats printed illustrations! I love print, I love to experiment with printing processes, so every chance I have to work with printed mediums I take it! I love to try different stuff so i thought that working in a pencil based illustration would be a nice change from the computer based work… finally I had seen the first issue of tiny pencil and I loved the idea and I´m a big fan of most of the illustrators who participated, so I had to be a part of this…
What’s your favourite pencil? Brand? Wood? Mechanical?
Going back to my childhood I have to say caran d´ache, my father had a big collection of pencils so I was amazed with those metal boxes with cool images of the Alps, the ultimate goal was to use every single color on a drawing…
Could you tell us a bit about your creative process, from the initial image or idea to the finished piece?
As I said before, everything starts with the sketching phase, just drawing freely with a pencil until I get a nice idea…then usually I scan the sketch and draw over it with the wacom tablet and have fun on photoshop, working on textures and colors… also with the mural painting, it´s almost the same, I only change the photoshop with the real deal, paint and brushes, scaffolds and ladders, love to get away from the computer…
How do you conceptualize/construct a piece? Do you think of it as a story, snapshot, or abstraction?
Most of my work usually comes from a dumb idea I had in the shower on the toilet… I like to add humour to my work normally, so most of my ideas come from something I heard or read that made me think of a joke… I like to tell stories so most of the time I think of a narrative or an illustration that hides information, making you look for it to understand the story…
Your work strikes me as quite joyful and exuberant… there’s a clear love of street art within your style but what are some of your other influences? Who’s art do you really admire?
Yeah, one of my main inspirations is stuff I see on walls, but also I´m a big comics lover, so I have a big influence from the comics world…nowdays I´m a huge fan of everything Nobrow publishes, also Le Dernier Cri, and then illustrators around me, artists that are present for ages, I could be here all day talking about influences…
What size do you tend to work at? Why this preference?
When I think about printed illustrations I usually think about them as posters, as something you would love to have hanging at your home, so I usually work with 70×50 cm images, also because you have cool frames at ikea with these dimensions, haha!
But for murals, the bigger the better, I love to work on a building facade, seeing your work covering a huge wall is something amazing…
Do you have a favourite subject matter? What’s the particular attraction?
Well, I have to say that my main drawing obessession it´s ladies, and particularly boobs…yeah, it sounds creepy, but I can´t avoid drawing boobs…
You’ve described yourself as a comic enthusiast and movie buff… what are some of your favourites and why?
Haha, this is one of the most complex questions ever…both my movies and comics favorites are constantly changing… but I have to say I´m a big gangster movie buff…The Godfather, Goodfellas, Once Upon a Time in America and so on…also everything Tarantino filmed is holy for me…on the comics world I love almost everything from Frank Miller, everything Alan Moore has written, Mike Mignolia… nowdays I love Dungeon Quest, Kyle Platts, Cowboy Hank, damn I can´t stop thinking about comics…
What was the last film you saw in the cinema?
Blue Jasmine by Woody Allen…meh.
What are the books on your bedside table?
Dungeon Quest, Animal Farm, and The Eye of Apollo.
Can you tell us about a favourite piece of yours, or a favourite creative experience?
My favorite work is usually my latest, I get tired of my own stuff quickly, that´s why I constantly try different stuff…
I have to say that my favorite creative experience so far has to be my mural at the BUKRUK street art festival in Bangkok back in february 2013, I had the chance to meet and work with some of my favorite artists right now, paint a big wall inspired by the cultural icons of the Thai people and the best of it is that i had the incredible luck to share this experience with the girl of my life, Kruella D´Enfer, who was also an artist invited to paint there, the experience was overwhelming… I fell in love with Thailand, the food, the crazy pace, the people, in fact I plan to get back there as soon as possible!
Do you have any early memories of drawing or, what’s your first memory of an image?
my reported earliest drawing is a cat in a skirt. I don´t know what is says about me, but the drawing was not promising which makes me believe that everything is possible, even when you´re a slow learner.
Do you keep a sketchbook?
All the time… I have to doodle all the time so a sketchbook is essential because my best ideas come when I least expect so I have to be ready to draw all the time.
You’re a fan of travelling… do you think travel influences your work? If so how?
It does, a lot! Mainly because I get to see different stuff, from different perspectives, so it makes me experiment and try new stuff!
Coffee, nicotine, or booze?
BEEEEER! and mojitos!
Favourite city in the world?
that´s a hard one… a mix between Lisboa, Bangkok and Barcelona!
Favourite city to draw/sketch/illustrate/create in?
Barcelona for the cool vibes, Bangkok for the exoctic and chaotic feel and Lisboa for the views, other inspiring artists and more and more huge murals painted all over town!
What directions are you interested in exploring in the future?
I want to paint more and more murals, trying to develop the style I have on digital work, on a bigger scale, on big ass walls! Also I want to draw more comics, I also want to develop my transparency layered illustration technique in physical pieces, it´s something I have to explore…
What are you working on now? What can we look forward to from you next?
I have a bunch of new walls lined up and as I said earlier I want to explore with turning my digital illustrations in tridimensional pieces, so maybe a new show coming soon with these experiments!
Where can people get a hold of your work, or find out more about your previous projects?
I have a brand new website WWW.AKACORLEONE.COM where you can check my latest works (I hope by the time this interview gets published the website will be finished) and my fb/akacorleone page has all the latest news and work in progress photos of my adventures in illustration yey!
Pedro’s work appears in Issue 2.0 of Tiny Pencil: Mammals, Monsters and Mars! Available to buy here.
This interview was brought to you by The Tiny Pencil – fine purveyors of the pencil arts.
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