Diego Mena (UK/SP)

Diego Mena (UK/SP)

Thanx to Diego, I can make 2 things in the same time: having the list of spanish artists interviewed growing, and, in the meantime, having the UK one growing also. How can I explain such a miracle ? Just because, together with his own talent talent, Diego's art is fed with both cultures. He is maybe THE living evidence that Rock Posters is no frontier story.

Hello, of course as every Crewk interview, first question: what are we
listening to when we come to visit you?

I've listening a lot to Crazy Spirit, an amazing punk band from Brooklyn, and a few of the amazing Mississippi Records compilations.

Can you tell us more about yourself, who are you, where are you from,
what do you do?
I'm from Madrid, Spain, but I've been living in London for the last 10 years. I am a freelance screen printer, designer, poster artist, illustrator, etc.
I worked in the music industry for years so a lot of my work is music related. The rest is mainly cycling stuff.

When did you start drawing?
Same everyone else I guess, as a kid, but my 'artistic' instinct didn't really develop until I was in my early 20's, and traditional drawing has never really been a technique I use so much.

Did you follow any course or did you improve by drawing in the margins
of your schoolbooks?
I did do a BA in Graphic Design/Illustration. I needed that to get confidence.

Today are you living from your art, or do you do something else for a living ?
I don't have a day job, but I do freelance design/illustration and I screen print for other people. For me this is all part of my 'art' so, although I'm poor, I can't complain ;)

Are you collaborating with magazines/fanzines, regularly?
Not really. I find london is a funny place for collaborations. As a teenager in Spain I used to do a zine and collaborated in others.

Where does your influence come from? Is there any artists/graphists
you particularly like, what are your influences?
Too many to mention but I also find inspiration in films and music and literature. I find they are better formats for ideas, whereas visual art is more about influence in form, at least for me.

What are the principal steps in your work ?
Every poster I do works differently. Sometimes I come up with something straight away and sometimes I spend days lost in shitty ideas. It's becoming easier as I refine my style more.

Do you do everything by hand or on computer?
It's a mix. It all starts by hand and is refined on the computer, which I find really helpful for colours. I admire the how people like Jay Ryan or Justin Santora do everything by hand
but I also get a lot out of using the computer, especially in the final steps of the process.

How long does it take you to do a poster?
One day,one month weeks, it all depends. I'd say a week to two weeks from first ideas and sketches to finished prints.

You have a very distinctive style, are you doing only what you feel
like or if tomorrow somebody asks you an oil painting with horses
running out of water with a sunset backdrop, is it a problem or are
you up for it ?
I think I would find it hard to work in a style alien to me. Not so much of a problem in Graphic Design but I think people always approach you because they like your style, so it's an unlikely event.

For which band have you already worked for?
Some of my favourites are Lightning Bolt, Old Time Relijun, Oxes, Group Doueh, Omar Souleyman, Roscoe Mitchell. I'm really lucky as all the bands I've worked with are bands I love.

For which band would you love to work?
Fugazi if they still played. Or if I could go back to the 90's: June of 44, Hoover, the Make Up, the Monorchid...

Do you choose the artists yourself?
Sometimes. I have a working relationship with a few promoters so if I see they are putting on a band I love I'll ask them if I can do the poster.

What is the most difficult part in designing a poster ?
For me, getting to the point where it's good enough for the band I'm doing it for. If I really love a band it takes me a lot longer.

Do you think you are part of a "Graphic Scene", if so who else ?
I guess I'm part of both the British and Spanish gigposter scene.

A bit of self-promotion, take advantage of it, it's free, where can we
see your work , on the web or in real life?

We're having a big gig poster exhibition in London in May (ukposterart.com/event/ink-paper/) and there's Screenadelica in Liverpool in May too (screenadelica.com) and hopefully I'll have some posters for sale at Flatstock in Barcelona.

The best praise you received lately?
My friend and fellow poster artist Luke Drozd told me he saw one of my posters on a wedding gift list. Loved that.

What can we wish you for the future?
Well I hope to do more and more posters and for this amazing art form to be recognised in its own right.

Merci et a bientôt!

Thanks for answering my questions and see you soon on the website !!

2 commentaires:

Anonyme a dit…

J'aime beaucoup les affiches de Diego. C'est un grand artiste et je lui souhaite beaucoup de succes!

Manu a dit…

Amazing !! =)