Iván Rodríguez is a graphic designer from Santander, the capital city of Cantabria in the north of Spain. Through his works he is always looking for something new, something that gives to the reality a different shape. The secret is to be always creative, continue to mix different elements and never stop.
How was born the idea of creating such original works?
Well, I’m happy that my works looks original to you, even if I think that the most original thing is the combination of techniques and styles that already existed. As for myself, I have always been interested in photomontage: adding different layers and reinterpreting images to give them another meaning. I began with photography and over the years I discovered a lot of amazing collage and photomontage artists and from that moment I began to enjoy this way of expression.
“I like when subconsciousness steps out from my mind, even if I was not looking for it, and manifests itself through my works”
What is your background? Have you always had a particular interest for art? Since in your works I see a lot of surrealistic elements.
The fact is that art has not always been my passion. Nobody back at home or around me seemed to be interested in art, even if I was attractred to everything that concerned art. I began to “explore” deeper this field when I started to study photography, in that moment I got in touch with art, with my first editing software and with photomontage which is what now interests me the most. After these studies, I studied also graphic design and thanks to it I expanded my knowledges and discovered new tools. However, I didn’t get a real artistic formation, for this reason I consider myself an autodidact. An autodidact and a worker, too.
On the other hand, I have always been attracted to surrealistic movement, even if
sometimes it seems something a little outdated, I do believe it is still contemporary. Life itself is surrealistic.
Where does the inspiration to create your works come from?
It comes from everything! Many times the “basis” is feelings: I find inspiration in my
emotions, I like when subconsciousness steps out from my mind, even if I was not looking for it, and manifests itself through my works. The inspiration can also come from reading, music, cinema, meditation, nature… sometimes a simple statement in a book can give me an idea.
Do you follow any particular criterion when you choose the colors to use in your works? I see that the color green is in the majority of your works. Is it something like your “trademark” or is it a shade that simply goes along with everything ?
Yes! It is a light blue tending to the green that I like really much. I will tell you the truth, I’m trying to differ the range of colors not to be jammed and get bored using always the same colors. The main reason why I use this light blue color is because many times sky appears in my works and I like to give it this kind of shade and as you said, this color fits really good, even if I don’t want it to become a “trademark”.
“Life itself is surrealistic”
You also have an online store where you sell customized T-shirts. Where did the idea of the online shop come from?
This was born as a personal project. I mean, it is something that expands my work, something that I use to gather my work and not to be too dispersive. To
personalities like mine, discipline is something that comes natural, so why not to make available my works to those who like them? The prints are really beautiful hanging on the walls and T-shirts are really cool… So, buy some!
You mix such different elements between them, many times objects that belong to different “worlds”. How do you create this kind of combinations?
Yes for sure, that’s right! It’s all about combining, mixing, altering, re-arranging and
transforming the reality in something else. I begin from a good storage of images and from that point some ideas arise, come into my mind. Sometimes I have an idea more or less defined and I develop it, some other times I simply take a sheet of paper and I think about the “direction” I want my new work to take.
Is there one particular work of yours that you like the most and why?
I don’t really have a favorite one, even if I have some pieces of work that are special for me because I consider them to be an improvement in my technique and I am really proud of them, for example “Quantum beach”, “Snake” ,“Especial disaster” or “Life on ice”.
Do you think that the modern graphic design could possibly be compared with the surrealistic movement?
What I mean as graphic design is not precisely surrealism, it is something beautiful, it is more something that concerns communication,that uses some messages that are catchy, attractive, out of the box, clear, clever. In the graphic design an artist can use many styles: the surrealistic one, the minimalistic one or the pointillism, and despite this, graphic design doesn’t belong to any particular movement.
“It’s all about combining, mixing, altering, re-arranging and transforming the reality into something else”
What are the instruments you use to create your works? The classic sheets of paper and colored pencils or something more technological such as a graphic tablet?
My principal instruments are images, photographs and fabrics. My tools of the trade are cameras, mobile phone, scanner, current and old magazines, which I buy in the yard sales, and the editing and photomontage softwares. I also do manual collages with paper, scissors and glue but I use this kind of process much less than the digital collage which is my application.
Follow Iván and his work on instagram.