Minimalism and high sensibility is what Fernando Cobelo‘s works are made of.
Born in Venezuela, currently living in Turin, Italy he works as freelance illustrator and collects collaborations with many brands such as Lonely Planet, Moleskine, Paratissima and so on.
Today Feel Desain takes a step into Fernando’s world. Here’s our 8 questions…enjoy!
Hello Fernando, you first studied architecture, but now your job is totally different. What made you become an illustrator?
I was that kind of guy who used to spend his time drawing anything. I remember that as a kid I really like to reproduce cartoon characters. I grew up in Venezuela, and I could not always find stick-figures I liked, so I started drawing on my own in order to play with them. Perhaps everything started there.
The problem is that the only “creative career” possible in Venezuela is architecture, so I ended up studying it at university. I don’t regret it because studying architecture prepared me for many of the creative jobs that I have done in my life, especially for illustration.
As an adult when I started to draw, it felt very natural. I understood that going back to the basics of what I used to like was good for me. Now I am very proud to say that illustration is my profession. I am happy and eager to learn more and more.
Your style has changed since you were just The Ordinary Young Man. Looking back, is there anything you would change?
The style of each artist evolves with practice, and my case is no different. I would not change anything because I was happy with what I was producing. Of course, looking back I no longer recognize myself in some of my drawings, but I had to go through that process to get where I am today. Evolving is not only inevitable, it is absolutely essential for growing up. For me it’s important not to lose that simplicity and emotional sensitivity typical of my illustrations.
Is there a particular place where you like to create your own illustrations?
A comfortable place might be enough, but nothing like my desk. As soon as you sit down, you have to become productive just like when you go to bed and you know that you must immediately fall asleep.
If you had the possibility to choose with whom to work with (brand or other artist), what name would you do?
Luckly I already worked with many big brands in recent years, but not all of them offered me some really interesting works. I love when you are asked to do illustrations with a real content, which requires research, work and sweat. Lately I start to feel very attracted to editorial illustrations: I’d really like to work with La Repubblica or The New York Times.
You are from Venezuela, but you have been living in Italy for 8 years by now. You managed to get yourself known internationally too. In your opinion are there any cities/countries where it s easier to find a job in your field?
Absolutely yes. In some countries like Venezuela it is difficult to get to know you, simply because the illustration is not considered a real profession. In Europe things are different, and even today in Italy I feel that illustration is getting more and more important. Then there is an important theme: social media plays an essential role. They are the reason why we manage to get our work to the most distant places, and this is an advantage not to be taken for granted.
What’s on your desk?
In no order of importance: my diary, my notebook, my Mac, my dreams, my cell phone, my pen and pencils, my tiredness, my iPad, my stress, my coffee cup and my curiosity.
How much attention do you give to the feedback of others on your work?
It’s pretty much important. Especially by illustrators and creative colleagues. I always try to surround myself with people who can give me constructive criticism, people from whom I can learn something. It is probably the best way to evolve.
What piece of advice would you give to a person who wants to arrive exactly where you are now?
To try hard, seriously and with strategy, with intelligence and fun. To get inspired, copy and practice, to go to exhibitions and talk with other artists. Don’t ever stop, but especially, be curious!