Artist Mario Sánchez Nevado is a renowned and award winning Illustrator and Art Director who pushes digital art to new boundaries. Dictating its future with his atmospheric and emotionally resonating works he creates bold narriviates of the imagination.
Based in Madrid, Spain, Nevado develops artwork and packaging for forward thinking companies, bands, and brands around the world from his studio Aégis Illustration.
His distinctive surreal signature on aesthetics and his caustic approach on storytelling has garnered him a worldwide recognition. He has joined forces with clients of the size of Adobe, Goodby Silverstein & Partners, and Harlequin or Hachette. He is also one of the managers of the international artistic collective Hysterical Minds.
He has written several on-line workshops for PSD Tuts about digital imaging production and has been a speaker in some major events about digital art in London, Madrid, the Creative Pro Show in Rome, and the Behance Portfolio Review in the Create Now gig held by Adobe.
His collection of work has travelled worldwide, from Spain to the U.S. to La Habana (Cuba) in exhibitions like Creatives Rising, showcased at the MoMA and Guggenheim museums in New York.
His artistic work has been recognized by the Master Award on the digital art annual Exposé for two consecutive years, and recently, he was featured in Adobe Photoshop's 25th Anniversary TV spot that was premiered on the 2015 Oscar Academy Awards and won a Pencil D&AD Award, Three Cannes Festival Lions and an Emmy nomination.
With a solid style, his conceptual art work carries an emotional impact, creating tales that hold universal ideas and feelings that are easily relatable. His use of color is key to creating atmospheres that are simultaneously catchy yet ambiguous. Meanwhile a critique to society and politics is usually found between the lines, as well as the roles we develop as emotional human beings in an historical era dominated by superficiality.
His striking collection is deeply woven with bold narratives that allow the viewer to create their own vision of what they are seeing. Part magical storyteller and part sober messenger of society's ills, Mario's work begs for a deeper consideration of the world around us.
StudioVox recently had the privilege of talking with Nevado about his incredible work and creative process.
How did your journey with art begin?
MN: Our journeys with art and creativity never begin, we are born with them: We just stop being creative individuals as we approach adulthood. I guess that’s why they say that artists are adult kids!
You're a manager of the International Artistic Collective, Hysterical Minds. Can you tell me more about it?
MN: Hysterical Minds is an on-line Spanish-speaking art collective, aiming to promote a wide range of artists from all medias from all over the world. We create thematic exhibitions showing individual visions of the same concept.
I was contacted by the collective manager some years ago to work as Art Director for them. My mission was to arrange collective on-line exhibitions with the artists, creating the basics for each thematic release and supervising each artwork development with the artists to get the best possible results. Later on I became one of the managers and I started to arrange physical exhibits, books releases and general maintenance.
What do you love about digital art and illustration?
MN: Well, it’s my way of life. There’s not a single thing about it I don’t adore! These are my tools to communicate what I feel about the world surrounding me, and I need to use them every single day of my life.
Where do you find your inspiration and who are your influences?
MN: I have two main sources for ideas for my work: Everyday life, where I’m inspired to develop concepts and ideas about how humans interact with their surroundings from a contextual and emotional point of view. And Nature, because I love surrealism and fantasy and everything is already contained there. We just don’t pay enough attention to discover the magic that’s already in nature!
How did your studio Aégis Illustration come about?
Since I was a child, I always wanted to be a music video director. After some time making videoclips, I decided that was too much work for me alone and I jumped to my second passion: Album covers.
Since my style was very close to the aesthetics of some metal genres, I started to be asked by some metal bands to create their cover artworks, and from there, slowly, I was able to establish myself as a freelance illustrator for almost a decade, being able to fund Aégis a few years ago where I keep working for all sorts of bands and musicians, as well as publishing houses around the world.
What does your creative process look like?
MN: Since every piece is different than the previous one, I never know how to reply to this question. Each idea has a different spirit and demands a different treatment and process. Most of the time I just play around with my digital tools until it starts to take shape, then I start modelling the final ideas and contexts for the image until I reach a point were I am satisfied. It’s never something organized, I believe creativity is chaos. Some other times, especially with client work, I start sketching on ol’ good paper to represent ideas and then I move forward to digital from there. Each piece is a different experience, and I firmly think we as artists and creatives have to challenge ourselves to avoid repetition in things we do everyday.
What advice do you have for the aspiring artist?
MN: I think they shouldn’t forget about the core basics of creativity. They have to investigate more about compositive rules, color theory and art history. I see a lot of new pieces by new creatives who have kick ass skills, technically speaking, but lack on the basics. A lot of young creatives are driven by the technology changes and developments and they’re really good at them, but sometimes tend to forget what this is really all about. A better tool will not make you a better creative!
Any future projects/series in mind?
MN: My schedule is always full with the studio. Right now I’m preparing some nice lectures and workshops for Adobe in Spain for the following months, and also, as usual, I’m flooded with client work! But as soon as I have some free time for myself, I’d love to keep investigating video animation and 3D, because I started a little side project for my illustrations where I animate them and I'd like to see where that can take me.
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