Interview with Alvaro Tapia Hidalgo

Alvaro Tapia Hidalgo is a graphic designer and filmmaker from Chile, now living and working in Granada, Spain. He has been selling is wonderful pictures on ARTFLAKES for quite some time now – please take a look at his shop as well as his portfolio to see more of his capturing work.

We were fascinated by his colourful portraits of people and animals instantly and asked him, whether he would mind answering some questions for our blog. Here are his answers!

Why and when did you start making art?
I am not aware of being making art. I am, though, aware of being making personal and creative pieces of work, to which some people attribute artistic value.
I have formal training in graphic design and filmmaking, which are both areas that require a phase of creative work. I started working in graphic design in 1992 and in filmmaking in 2002.

Now regarding the illustrations, I could say that I started making illustrations in 2007.
Why? Well, the need to create, I suppose, of going through the process from an idea to a finished piece of work, being it a piece of design, of audiovisual material or an illustration. In my case, each discipline has pushed the next one to a next level and they also complement each other. From design to animation, from animation to film, and from film to illustration, which is what I am devoting to most of my time.

What kind of art do you make?
I am mainly focused on illustration with mixed media, Traditional techniques and digital processing.

Where do you draw your inspiration from?
I get my inspiration from many varied sources. I believe that any stimuli, situation or context generates an input that influences creative work.
My illustration work is mainly fed by film icons, especially from alternative, low-budget films, characters from classic horror films, and villains or outsiders, whose dramatic or static expression is of horror and dread. I also like to create new interpretations of portraits of artists in disciplines in which I am interested (painters, writers, musicians, film directors, etc.)

I also like medical or scientific imagery from the 40’s or 50’s, as well as science fiction and retrofuturistic imagery. Another source of inspiration is urban culture, especially urban characters and fashion, different styles and trends in how people wear clothes.
I have been recently working on a series based on images from fashion magazines in the 50’s and 60’s.

What does your usual workday look like?
On a regular day I have breakfast, work, cook, eat lunch, take a 30-minutes break, work, take a walk for an hour, and continue working.
This routine goes from about 9.30am to 3 am, depending on chores or other commitments.

How do you spend a perfect sunday?
I would sleep till late, have breakfast in bed, eat out, go to a museum, exhibition, or concert, or go out just for a walk, have a cold beer at sunset in a terraced bar, watch a film and go back to sleep. That would make a perfect Sunday!

What is your favourite taste of chocolate?
I am not a big fan of chocolate really. Perhaps I would like chocolate with almonds.

Show me your favourite artwork (from your own collection or another artist)
, it was one of the first illustrations I made once I arrived at Manchester, UK. It is a very simple illustration but it conveys a great visual impact. Insane. From a really great artist, it would be any work by Francis Bacon.

Whom should we interview next?
Ruben Ireland, if you haven’t interviewed him yet. I love his style, I think he is very elegant in how he handles texture and shades, as well as his handling of shape and space and the atmosphere his characters create.

If you could have coffee with a famous artist – dead or alive – whom would you choose?
Marcel Duchamp

What is your philosophy of life?
Uf! …I don’t know… My wife says I am a nihilist, but I don’t know!

Thanks, Alvaro!