Mario Sánchez Nevado is an illustrator and art director based in Madrid. He is a diverse artist with outstanding skills in digital illustration, photo manipulation, and digital painting. This interview will showcase Mario’s talent, passion, and the inspiration behind his works.
Your works show your passion in arts. All of them are catchy and beautiful. Does your passion in arts help you get a job or is it just your way of life? Why or why not?
Yes, my passion for arts is what pays the bills, actually. I work full-time on my own freelancing studio, Aégis Illustration. It’s focused on the creation of CD cover artworks and packagings for music bands, as well as book covers and editorial illustration. Since I started my artistic career I always knew that this is what I wanted to become… So I did it! When I’m out of the studio, I keep working in other projects, such as my personal illustrations, composing music or giving a hand with performance acts. So that’s why I say it’s a way of life: I’m never out of it!
Most of your works are in dark atmosphere and I’d love to say you presented them very well. So, what’s with this dark atmosphere that catches your attention and interest in creating them?
Well, this one’s a hard one to answer. When you are young and you start creating your own images, there’s something in your mind that pushes you to go in one direction or another, and this applies to most artists I believe. I’m not sure if that’s something you choose, but what you have become because your life happenings, so you go for it. In the years you get to develop that artistic language, then is when you actually choose to keep it pure or to transform it to get new directions, which is what I did.
I think that should be it. Creating dark art doesn’t mean that one has to be a tortured artist – In my case, it’s quite the opposite: I see the world as something beautiful and full of magic thanks to nature, but I see the human race as the darkness that it’s engulfing it into decay, so I try to scream that with my images and tell the world my vision on this matter.
Your photo manipulation skill is jaw-dropping. When did you start doing photo manipulation and who influences you in doing such?
It was around ten years ago. I was in the middle of my Fine Arts degree, and I can tell you I was bored as hell of making the same things over and over again: I was tired of having a charcoal or a piece of clay in my hands. At that time I was a freelance web designer, so I quite knew how to use some digital imaging tools. One day I just had to mix both knowledge to see what would happen, and my first photo manipulation was created. From that day, I focused myself more and more into it until present day.
I think that what pushed me into this, was my admiration for CD cover artworks, especially the photo manipulated ones by Travis Smith, as he was the designer of most of my favorite bands at that time. I wanted to be there and know how would it feel… And here we are.
How do you put balance to digital and traditional methods when making your artworks?
I guess it’s just a matter of having a good eye for aesthetics. There’s not a magic method or rule to do so. You can mix an empty beer bottle and a bulb and make it look beautiful if you have that “sixth sense”. You can start a piece in either medium and decide what’s missing from the other one and then, switch to it, even several times, until you know you’ve got that balance on which you can hardly tell what came first.