Yime’s Observant Character Designs and Dynamic Style

For Yime de Santiago, the materials he uses are less important than having fun and creating something from engaging ideas.

He is happy to make images in any way he can, but puts his interest in quirky human traits at the top of the list.

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Yime has played around with many techniques, from early painting classes that he found didn’t resonate with him, to carefully navigating the graffiti-covered streets. And his flexibility with different styles still comes through, Yime himself saying that he’d rather not necessarily be set in one way of working.

But throughout, his creativity and cheeky character designs always stand out. He tells us more about this tone he likes to create, and where he looks for that kind of inspiration.

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I am a Spanish illustrator based in London. Since I was a child, I have enjoyed drawing everywhere and on every surface available.

When I was 3, my parents encouraged me to receive painting lessons. I quit after 2 years because I didn’t find it creative.

During my teenage years, I got into graffiti and had lots of issues related to that, so I had to keep it legal in some kind of way. That made me streetwise and helped me to meet a lot of new people with similar ideas to mine.

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After studying arts for four years in Madrid, I moved to Valencia to focus on illustration.

It was there where I mostly developed my current style, which I describe as full of sarcasm and real life issues, focusing on people’s behaviours;always trying to create a smile on whoever looks at my illustrations.

In every image I do, I try to take special care of colour and composition, tracing all the shapes in the most simple way I find so everything is clear at first sight.

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In graphic speech, internet, old posters and amateurism are, honestly, my main focus of inspiration when I have to give that extra touch to an illustration.

Normally, I use the computer to draw all my finals, but in the process I go from pencil roughs to gouache, markers, collage or paper cuts.

I like to think about myself as a very eclectic person, whose process is not attached to any particular technique.

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Actually, I always carry some small sketchbooks where I can draw my thoughts or jot down ideas; as not all of the process comes with drawing. I find it really interesting to describe situations with words and, after few days, try to draw that description to see what it becomes.

I love smoking, drinking caffeine and getting drunk and, actually, I think it’s from there where I find more inspiration: people interacting with other people and the results of that ‘natural’ interaction, always trying to keep the funny in everything I say, do or think.

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© Yime de Santiago, 2015

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