Interview with Juan Jiménez
We interviewed Juan Jiménez, a talented Spanish digital illustrator
Juan, can you give our readers a short introduction about yourself?
My name’s Juan Jiménez, born in Madrid 32 years ago. Currently I work as a freelance digital illustrator for TV advertisements, movies, animation series and different multimedia fields. I also teach drawing at ESDIP (Professional Design Superior School) in Madrid.
What is the reason of choosing digital painting as a career? Did you start it just as a hobby or did you see the potential for your career?
I always enjoyed painting since my father is an oil painter. I didn’t know the digital techniques until I began my animation studies at ESDIP. When I began working with painting software, I realized it had to be my future (hate brushes!).
Have you had any Art related schooling?
Yes, I was 22 years old when I entered ESDIP, the school I work at now. I studied a 3-year master in animation.
Juan, what software do you use at every stage of your work?
I usually like to start with a pencil sketch and only use software for the color stage. I’ve tried with Photoshop, Painter, Illustrator… all of them feel great.
Where do you get the ideas for these amazing artworks?
Sometimes the idea comes out from the last movie I watched, the book I’m reading, a song… But actually most of the times there’s no idea at all -it all begins with a random sketch that little by little turns out a picture in my mind.
When you are working on personal projects what type of work do you like to do?
My personal “projects” are commonly nothing more than illustrations I make just for art’s sake. I also enjoy designing games and someday I would like to work on my own comic book, but by now I can’t find enough time for such an adventure.
Please tell us anything about your work “Vibonaccio”, from where you get inspiration and ideas to create this artwork? Please tell us in detail about the process of its creation.
Well, that artwork arose from an old sketch of a girl’s face I had made long ago. One day I just felt like painting, so I found the sketch in a drawer, scanned it, and started to work. A few days before I had been watching some paintings by Dalí, which definitely led the image to that surrealistic ambience. All the elements (fishbowl, vase, butterflies…) just came up on the way. I have to say that’s one of my favorite artworks, although now I’m not happy with the whole of it.
What stage was the most difficult for you?
It’s hard for me to remember now… I guess the hand with the handkerchief was not easy.
How long did you work on it?
About 8 hours I guess.
How many renders does it take you to achieve that final perfect image you are happy with?
I’m a perfectionist. I like to change the position and color of every element several times until I find the right composition.
Have you any tricks and your own “know-how” in painting, if it’s not secret tell us about them?
Actually not so many. I work with no more than two or three different default brushes. In the end I do try out several color adjustments to achieve the “perfect” atmosphere.
What do you feel are your most productive working hours? How do you manage to avoid procrastination and hit deadlines effectively?
I just love getting up in the morning and start painting while I’m having my breakfast. The morning hours are the most productive to me. A good planning often helps you hit the deadlines.
How do you manage to combine your personal life and work? Is it easy for you to find the time for your family, friends?
Fortunately I don’t have problems with that. My job gives me time for both my friends and my numberless hobbies.
And what are your favourite computer games?
Car racing and Shooters are quite enjoyable. However I don’t spend much time playing videogames. Only from time to time I borrow one and waste the whole week until I’m done with it..
What advice can you give to artists looking for work or having a desire to make a career in this field?
I guess “Don’t hurry and don’t waste your time” is a valuable tip for almost everything. It applies to my life quite well.
Thank you so much, Juan, for your time and we wish you success in your work and new ideas!
I’m very pleased to collaborate. Thank you for your interest!
Visit Juan’s web site