Illustrator Antonio Ladrillo maintains a humble profile. "I live in Barcelona," he says, "and I spend most of my time creating creatures, designing banners and flyers for night clubs, printing t-shirts and painting big black spots on pictures. I have made graffiti, painting, design and illustration."
The deceptively simple summary doesn't address the pervasive sense of cheer he creates with his primary color characters. When you visit his website, you're greeted by two happy "big black spots creatures" and the message "Today is a good day :)", and pieces like the "Robin Hood" pamphlet will certainly incite a smile. Building on his sunny repertoire, Ladrillo's new publication "¡Oh! ¡Un zig-zag!" introduces a new, limited-edition series of jovial illustrations and enthusiastic expressions. We caught up with Ladrillo this week to find out more about him and the new project.
Did you study illustration in school, or is it something you developed on your own?
I studied for some years in design school. In those days I used to be a little bit unruly and instead of finishing school I decided to start up my own studio and keep on my way.
How did you get started as a working artist?
I've always spent my time drawing. All the jobs I remember have been related to shapes and color, so I think I've been lucky to be able to do what I like the most. There have been good and bad moments, but when you are doing what you really like everything is easier.
Tell me about "¡Oh! ¡Un zig-zag!"
"¡Oh! ¡Un zig-zag!" has been going around and around in my head for some time. To talk about shape and color in a simple and direct way is something that is always present in my work, but I've never represented it in this way. So when Jorge Primo invited me to participate in his project "Paga Extra", I saw the opportunity to do it. Once I started to work on it, the execution didn't take more than a week. I usually work in a very intensive manner and I like that things develop spontaneously.
Can you translate the pages for our English readers?
Oh! A zig-zag!
A square has four sides
And a triangle has three
We are lines
And we like to follow one another
We are curves!
One, two, three, four and five
We love corners
We are always parallel
We are tangled up
What are you working on now?
Nowadays I'm working with some Belgian people on a project that will come to light very soon. Also, I have a couple of exhibitions projected for 2012. And I'm working on a new publication in the same line as "¡Oh! ¡Un zig-zag!", something with quite a simple approach but with visual grip.
"¡Oh! ¡Un zig-zag!" is available through Ladrillo's online shop for €5.