Artist Interview with David De Las Heras

01 July 2022

1.    How would you describe your style in 3 words?

Painterly, delicate, and colourful.

2. What has been your favourite project to date and why?

My favourite project to date is the album cover I made for a Spanish group called El Petit de Cal Eril , it's one of my favourite music bands for years, and one day I received a call from the leader of the group asking If I was interested doing the cover for their next album, they were looking a very specific style for the cover and my painterly style fit perfectly for what they were looking for!  I was so excited, after the call I almost cried of happiness! 

3.   What role does craft play in your work?

Everything, or almost everything in my work is made with a traditional technique. I use oil painting for my illustrations. I think it would be very difficult for me if someday I had to change this and start painting on the computer. I love working traditionally, especially the smell of trementina in the mornings!

4. What is your current workspace like?

It's a small but charming space in a studio with other artists, I come with Max (my dog) every morning walking across Barcelona, from Poblesec to Gracia where I have the studio. It's really nice walking to the studio because this gives me time to think about what project I will be working on. I find a lot of my creative ideas come during  these walks. 

5. What is the best and worst thing about being a freelance illustrator and why?

The best thing is creativity, for me, the moment when one idea appears in my mind is one of the best things I can experience. The worst thing is that most of the time you have to work during the weekends!

7. Where do you find inspiration for your work? 

I find inspiration for my work in a lot of things, from most of the classic painters like Velazquez, Goya, and also more contemporary ones, like Magritte or David Hockney.  Also I find a lot of inspiration comes from cinema. When I was younger,  I always wanted to be a film director, but I'm horrible at that, so I learned to be a good viewer, and bring ideas and compositions from a movie to an illustration. 


8. How did you develop your signature style? How does it differ to when you first started out?

I studied Fine Arts at the University of Basque Country specialising in figurative painting! At one moment, I decided to work like an illustrator and I thought it would be wonderful to bring all the knowledge I learned about traditional painting into the world of illustration. When I first started out in illustration,  most of the illustrators around worked digitally so when I arrived with my painterly approach, I think my traditional style benefited me hugely as it helped to set me apart from a lot of contemporary illustrators! 

9. Looking forward to 2022, what and who would be your dream project or client?

I think is a cliche but like most of the colleagues I know, the dream project for me it's a cover for The New Yorker. 

10. What do you wish you’d known when just starting out that you know now?

To  be less precious and stressed with the final results of the projects that comes because if you are honest and authentic with the work you do and your approach, there will always be other chances to do it better.   

11. Having worked on various projects from advertising to editorial to packaging - which has been your favourite avenue and why?

My favourite avenue has been editorial because its these projects that have been the most cultural and enriching thematically. Through these, I have developed creatively whilst learning more about the world in which we live in.

12. What message do you hope people take away from your work?

I hope people see the beauty in the world around us. For people to try and live in a way that doesn't cause harm to our planet. And be nice to the dogs (and to the cats) of course!

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