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I was born in the mountains and was raised by wolves; okay I’ll be serious for a moment.
Hola! My name is Heriberto Sanchez (Heri). I’m a 25 years young freelance graphic designer from LA. I dream in illustrations and breathe design and composition. I have an obsession with cheese and the color green. I like drawing and I carry my sketchbook everywhere I go, and I just recently developed a taste for human blood, lol just kidding, I just wrote that to see if you were paying attention! :p I like to invent words, write short stories, take pictures and make up slogans like, “when worst come to worst, my sketchbook comes first”. I spend a lot of time drawing on my desk while listening to loud and repetitive electronic music.

When did you first decide to become a graphic designer/ illustrator? Was there a pivotal moment?
As an infant watching cartoons on television, going to kindergarden and building small houses out of clay, getting into trouble for drawing on the margins of my school books. At school, I was always consider the “artist” in the class. I was painting the backgrounds for the school’s plays. There was no pivotal moment when I decided to be an illustrator; the journey was spread out like butter on an English muffin. I always had an interest in art, especially cartoons, I grew up in the 80’s watching the Muppet Babies, The Thunder Cats, Cantinflas, Mazinger-Z, The Ninja Turtles, The Flintstones, Richie Rich and the Smurfs to name a few. I was influenced by the art of animation, then I decided to pursue and study animation in Los Angeles.

Who or what inspires you?
Artists and seeing their work inspires me. Friends and people I come in contact, situations in my life give me ideas for illustration. Being surrounded by art and artists inspires me. Comedians inspire me. Music, friends and the way people act and interact inspires me. Sometimes I sit and listen to my ipod while I look at people interact with each other, it’s interesting how much you learn about motion, gesture and behavior when you watch people.

Where does your training come from? Self-taught? College/Art School?
I just graduated from Westwood College with a Bachelor Degree in 3D Animation. I focused my time away from the computer into my sketch book; I took some painting classes on the side along with a lot of figure drawing. Most of what I learned was outside of class, it was independent research, online tutorials, books and magazines, and constantly staying up late at night drawing away for hours, which I still do today.

How do you keep "fresh" within your industry?
By being aware of the current trends, like clothing, music and news. Looking at magazines, books and newspapers. I also check out numerous websites with fantastic artists, if I see an illustration I like I save it and ask myself “why makes this so appealing?”. Sometimes I print out the artwork and pin it on my wall just to remind myself what other artists are doing, and I just enjoy surrounding my self with great art, it keeps me motivated and thinking creatively.

What are some of your current projects?
Currently working on building and polishing up my portfolio, my last portfolio was stolen not so long ago. Doing humorous illustrations, character design and layout design, I want to start working in the field of animation, and I need a full time job, I’m creating versatile designs to show that I can adapt to any style; however as an illustrator I have a specific style. I’m also working on an 8x10, 40 page book of mine that will be completed early next year. Also, I was just asked to do some drawings for a movie.

Which of your projects are you the most proud of? And why?
I’m proud of each piece in my portfolio, because I take pride and time on each piece.

Are there any areas, techniques, mediums, projects in your field that you have yet to try?
I haven’t tried oil paints; I also want to get into the video game industry. I’ll give any medium a try.

Any advice to the novice designer/ illustrator?
I am not new to design, however I’m fairly new to the industry, and I will share some advice that was given to me by several instructors, have an open mind and be prepared for criticism and rejection. As far as my own advice, love what you do and your work will show it. Have a sketchbook with you at all times and draw what you see. Just like anything it takes about 4 years to get “good” at something, whether you practice martial arts, painting or bow hunting, it takes 4 years just to get “good”, so as a beginner designer it will be stressful and it will be tempting to skip a few steps with out first learning the fundamentals of design. I see this with artists that are just starting out.
Art is an iterative process so be patient, it takes a lot of practice. Learn beyond the classroom, draw every were you go and your drawings will improve, work hard at it on a daily basis. I will end using Bert Dodson words, "Anyone who can hold a pencil can learn to draw with some degree of proficiency."

What makes a designed piece or illustration successful?
Taking advantage of all the design elements, whether it’s a character design or a corporate identity package it must have emphasis, unity and balance.

What do you do to keep yourself motivated and avoid burn-out?
Well, what keeps me motivated are the vast online communities of artist that display their work on forums, like Concept Art, CG talk and the Drawing Board. I also keep an artblog that I update daily, the positive feedback, and comments of other artist encourage me and motivate me to keep updating every day. Check it out at and to avoid burn-out, go out sometimes and have fun, go dance, go play, go laugh!

And finally, what is the best thing on prime-time TV right now?
Nothing, but on Monday, August 21 the new Season of Prison Break will begin! So everyone grab your popcorn and sit down to watch it, don’t miss it! I sure won’t! It’s the best show on earth! And I have a front roll seat!

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Mette said...

I'm a huge fan of yours, Mr. Heri. (: Keep spreading your art around the world, we need it.

Anonymous said...

Would you like to come and speak to my storyboarding students?

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