I decided to interview Mexican illustrator Alberto Cerriteño to find out more about his quirky, playful and texture-rich style that feature all kinds of intriguing surreal scenes and characters.
Alberto holds a bachelor’s degree in Graphic Design, yet is self taught in illustration. ‘I define my illustration style as a form of graphic design.
The process behind my illustration is to make a kind of collage, where I mix up several elements to render a new composition. So my experience in graphic design for more than 15 years was good training in the use of my graphic tools, colour management and composition balance to create my illustrations‘.
Alberto will begin his work by sketching out his ideas. The use of a pencil and paper early on is essential. The drawings are then run through Adobe Illustrator to create vectors based on the sketches.
‘Here I play with colors to reach a preliminary idea. Usually I work with limited color palettes so one good tip is to activate my color swatches as global. In this way I can play with the overall tones faster and will make the change in general when the drawing is colored. Once I like the shapes, I export each figure to Photoshop and I have to create a colored texture very close to the key color sample from Illustrator.
I have a big stock of textures I’ve been collecting for years, some of them from stock sites and the majority are photos taken by me or scans based in originals I painted. In Photoshop I reassemble the same composition using the vector shapes as mask layers so I will create sort of a patchwork to apply the colored textures. Later I flatten everything and play a bit more with color correction and saturation until I reach the overall look I am happy with’.
In terms of promoting his work, the Internet is Alberto’s main tool. ‘I try to have presence in any media that will take me to more people, you never know who is seeing your work out there.
I use my own website, my blog, Flickr, Behance, Facebook, Myspace and Twitter amongst others. I also like to collaborate on projects related to what I do, such as collectives, exhibitions, collaborative zines and so on. They don’t pay you but is good exposure.’
Alberto is working on a music video for a young band based in Seattle, as well as doing some artwork for an animated clip of a major TV channel in Mexico. He’s also preparing to give three lectures in Argentina, Colombia and Chile in August.
Some of Alberto’s work can be bought at his shop, here.
All the best, Alberto!
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