Leo Espinosa
October 2006
This is the only piece I've ever gotten into CA. and it was submitted by the magazine and not by me.
It's not new but it marked a crucial point in my development as an illustrator when I was stuck with cartoony figures. It was for a fiction story for Playboy in which a man becomes obsessed with the voice of a telephone sells person, that ends up being a computer. Her name was Lucy and mostly all the secret calls, take place in a dark motel room while the man, an investment banker, drinks Wild Turkey (in a very wild way). He was blinded with his own hands and his world was being absorbed by a totally synthetic illusion. That's why the cold colors and the unfriendliness around. Even the bed was meant to look cold. Quite cheerful, right?

Doing this gig was the product of an illustration conference with Marshall Arisman, Gary Kelley and the art director and editor of the magazine. They liked my version and said to me that they would publish the story with my illustration if it was okay with me. I told them, of course! but I haven't mentioned it to my grandma.

I never thought about working for Playboy, yet that illustration became very relevant to me. That makes me think that the path I want to follow is less and less a path at all.
It's about TIME
Spread for TIME Magazine
I got a called last week from Edel to do a job for Time. The brief included such cool things as a hot chick and flying mini coopers (Mr Rodriguez used this illustration as a point of reference).
I got really psyched and started sketching right away, but the thing is that I've been doing the editorial stuff for so long that I got too deep trying to do a "visual translation" and my first sketch was rejected.
He said, "just do your thing, give me some Leo", and that did the trick. Boy, it felt so good to hear that, I'm telling you! Soon enough I was blasting Arctic Monkeys, singing at the top of my lungs and drawing like a madman.

Thanks again for the gig, Edel!

I met my wife in 1992 taking a class with Milton Glaser at SVA. I missed more than half of what he said because I got distracted and because my english was really poor and his vocabulary incredibly rich. I took the same class years later and the experience was overwhelming. I still have my hesitations about Glaser's work, but as a teacher the man is gold. A phylosopher of both design and life. Enjoy.
The wedding present from uncle Milton hangs on our cozy living room
Does anybody know where the book is?
The traveling comic book left my studio like three week ago and I just wanted to know if it's circulating. The idea was to keep it for a couple of days and then pass it along to the next person in the list which started with Staake.
Federico's post got me in the mood of reading about the people that actually make the whole world of illustration relevant.
This interview with the amazing Marshall Aristman gets me super inspired every time I read it
Reflecting on the future

Future Shock (a really cool mix of music, art, design and fashion) was the second theme driven event created by Future Classic and it took place last saturday at the Boston Center for the Arts. I made it into the show at the last minute and I had no idea of how it was going to come out, no clear expectations about showing my work there. I guess, that's why I didn't tell my fellow Boston Drawgeroids to come and see it (I wasn't sure if it was going to look any good).
But the organizers and the crowd were super nice and I got a really good vibe of what is like to have people looking at your work, reacting to it and even wanting to talk about it.

Also the show happened at a very good time since I've been thinking about my future in this field for quite a while now. Do I want to move in a different direction? Where does all my editorial stuff fit in? Am I still an illustrator? Is that what I want to be?
144 Hours (awake) in Berlin

Needless to say, this was a very intense trip. Both from the professional and the personal point of view. We shared with Zimm the need to step out of our world to put things in perspective, to be able to question ourselves and see the whole picture from a different angle.
Berlin is an amazing place, full of creativity and artists that can still afford to live in a city that by European standards is not that expensive and I think, very low key. The Pictoplasma event -a pretty much 12 hour daily extravaganza- was mind blowing. Of course it had the occasional tech problem or the little timing mishap, but over all, those guys pulled off something impressive. So, congrats Peter and Lars!
The people that gave the lectures were mostly very, very professional and I was really impressed with the way the British presented their work. The Dutch where the ones with the most out there stuff (I mean, freakin' crazy stuff!), and the people from this side of the pond... well, they weren't bad, except for one very obnoxious character that is just way too full of himself. I should not forget my fellow South Americans who also kicked butt.
The best thing was to see that big people are really nice and open people. Pete Fowler, Studio AKA, Tim Biskup, Friends with You, Motomichi Nakamura, Christian Montenegro, Airside, to name a few. Pictoplasma allowed easy access to all these monsters and they were all super cool and willing to share their knowledge.

As a personal experience, I was able to stay with some really good friends, who gave me one of their bikes to go around town and that waited for me every single night to share a drink and some good laughs, no matter how late I showed up at their flat. Even though the week was full of things to do, and sometimes I felt totally overwhelmed, I kind of got the hint that I should slow down my life a couple of notches, taking care of my family, my friends and my spirit first.

Here's some random pics. I'll add proper credits to all of them tonight.

PS: Sorry I missed you Linzie. I hope your trip went as you expected.
I'm off to Berlin to Pictoplasma! They will be launching The Character Encyclopaedia and I have a few of my designs in there. I will post some pictures upon my return. I'm not taking my laptop with me or I would be drawgering all day :)  Auf Wiedersehen!
Korean animation

I love how hectic and visually yummy this animated short is.
The Traveling Comic
The traveling comic book left my studio yesterday for what I think will be a month long gig. If you signed in, keep an eye open for the mailman.
If the project is interesting enough for you guys, I have the next book picked up already, but I'll wait until we are done with the current book.

Here's a sneak pick:
Isaac The Pirate I
by Christophe Blain
Best Album at the Angoûleme festival 2002

Thanks for the interest!
Mo' monkeys
This was monkey week. Tons of monkey illustration and yesterday I got this really cool hula monkey from Flaherty! Thanks D!
The truth is, I think it was meant for my daughter because she took it from my hands as soon as we opened the box. She made a bed for her new ape friend right next to hers, had breakfast with the monkey and demanded the monkey will go with her to school. Let the teachers deal with that monkey business. Thanks again, pal. The surfer dude is also really cool.

For this piece, I wasn't asked to change colors or do minor tweaks, but to "translate" the original illustration I did a few weeks ago. The scene doesn't look too french to me, but maybe it is for Canada? Go figure. I spent the day redrawing tight type... boy, I need to paint with a messy brush pretty badly!



Mac users, hold "option comand" and type "+" to enlarge the video image.
Sorry, that trick doesn't work on laptops.
The Inconvenient Truth
Like many of you, I've been deeply disturbed by the new detainee legislation. Under Bush's plan, such legislation would liberalize the definition of what torture is and the CIA will reserve the right to use the toughest tactics. What a sick example this nation is showing.
BUT, since I've said that every single post from me would be about or related to art, I will leave you with these images I thought would never see American Ground. My fellow Colombian artist, Fernando Botero, who is known for his charming and rounded characters, did a series of paintings last year about Abu Ghraib. Many museums in Europe have shown them but so far not even one American museum has made an offer to bring them.
However, there's a gallery in New York that will, and if you are around here this month, you should not miss this chance.

Horrors do not only get told by news. Artists have the choice to do so or to be oblivious to the events that form our history. At least when horrors get translated into art we can see that art itself will never swallow injustice and that is there for us to learn from our mistakes. I'm glad Botero, who could perfectly ignore this situation and keep living comfortably, is outraged and active about this very important issue.
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