Gonzalo Flores lives in the countryside of a city named Patagonians´ Gate, Bahía Blanca, Argentina.
After graduating as an Animation Film Maker (Avellaneda Cinematographic Art Institute) and receiving his degree in Graphic Design (University of Buenos Aires), he embarked on his career as an Illustrator, concept artist and animator.
He has integrated the Art Department of several leader Spanish and Argentinean enterprises, as "Torneos y Competencias Sports"(TV network), "Telefe" (Film and TV Production Company) and "Arbol / Promofilm " (film and TV Production Company), designing and performing concepts and animation works. He has been a part of several important productions, including animated features for TV, both for the Latin American and International market.
Over the next sixteen years, he has amassed an interesting portfolio with special emphasis on fantasy, science fiction, iconic designs, characters, creatures, costumes, cultures, environments and technology.
He is also a Fine Artist and his paintings have been displayed in England, Italy, Spain and Argentina in exhibitions organized by The National Academy of Antique and Modern Art of Italy (Accademia Nazionale d’Arte Antica e Moderna d’Italia), the European Community of Art Critics, A.C.E.A.’S (International Federation of Fine Artists), the Society of Wildlife Art (S.W.L.A) of U. K., among others.
When did you first decide to become an illustrator? Was there a pivotal moment?
I´ve grown up among oils and brushes. Since I was a child, drawing and painting were my most important languages. Eventually I realized that my drawings could get life and movement and I fell in love with animation and the Disney universe. I dreamed of spending my life among these fantastic characters. But I think the pivotal moment in which I realized that these wishes could become real was when I was chosen among a lot of graphic designers to work for a leading TV Channel's art department. There I came to understand that I could make a living with my craft.
Who or what inspires you?
There are a lot of things that inspire me, but mostly I find inspiration in the process of drawing. There I find a way to understand the world, a way of knowledge. Drawing and painting from life reveals to me the beauty which is hidden out there. I also pay attention to what other artists are doing and I try to understand their way of seeing the world.
Where does your training come from? Self-taught? College/Art School?
I graduated from The Avellaneda Cinematographic Institute and I have a degree in Graphic Design from Buenos Aires University, Argentina. But I actually learned the method to understanding form and color from my professor Carlos Marchi. I studied with him for six wonderful years!
How do you keep "fresh" within your industry?
I try to find ways to improve myself in each work. Each illustration implies a challenge for me. Sometimes I research a specific type of light. And sometimes I experiment with composition and perspective. In addition I visit as many art exhibitions as I can.
What are some of your current projects?
Presently I’m working in a Star Wars RPG book and I have a project of my own: I’m working on a full color graphic novel. I’m in the very beginning stages of the project, designing characters and environments. I’m also planning a series of big oil epic paintings.
Which of your projects are you the most proud of? And why?
Definitely, the Star Wars covers I made in 2008. They were a huge challenge for me. I’m really happy with the results I reached on these covers!
Are there any areas, techniques, mediums, projects in your field that you have yet to try?
Oh yes! Fortunately there are always techniques and mediums to explore. I’m interested in getting deeper into watercolor technique, I love this medium and I want to improve my skills in dealing with it.
Any advice to the novice designer/ illustrator?
I think is important to keep in mind what Picasso said: this craft is 90% work and 10 % talent. Illustrators have to train themselves every day in several topics and use this knowledge to improve their expression skills.
What makes a designed piece or illustration successful?
Well is really hard to understand this matter. It’s a very interesting question. I think it’s a mix of a good technique and understanding of the medium we are using and a fresh soul reflected in that piece. Something like an old man and a baby living into the same person.
What do you do to keep yourself motivated and avoid burn-out?
I always try to set myself a specific goal to achieve and I keep my mind focused on that particular topic. I enjoy the challenge of getting into the language of painting the several materials that I have to work on: metal,leather, cloth, skin,hair.
Finish this sentence. "If I weren't a designer/illustrator I would have been a..."
...I would work into the film industry, in the field of special effects.
And finally, what is the best thing on prime-time TV right now?
I’m so sorry but I don’t watch TV.
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