Víctor Jaubert – A Canarian illustrator

Art and culture

„The style’s been with me since I was a kid,
I’m obsessed with that time“

Víctor Jaubert is a Canarian illustrator with a very own style, based on his memories from the 60s, 70s and 80s – in addition to those from his own childhood. El viajero del Faro interviewed him for Maka.

How would you explain to someone who doesn’t know you and has never seen your work who Victor Jaubert is?

Victor Jaubert is a Canarian illustrator who has a rather traditional way of working and uses the typical techniques that you use as a child in school. Using watercolour, tempera, paper or collages, he creates his very own style from his memories of the 60s, 70s and 80s and his own childhood. I think the mixture of these visual effects led to his current way of drawing, to which he has devoted himself purely and exclusively since 2002.

Do you remember the first time you thought you wanted to dedicate yourself to art? How did it feel?

There is no concrete thought or exact moment I remember, but I know that everyone around me took it for granted. Perhaps the only exception was my parents, who didn’t see a great future in it and wished for a little more stability for their son, such as in a work like that of a professor of fine arts. In contrast to my grandparents or my uncles, for example, who always pushed a piece of paper towards me so that I could draw. I have never said that I wanted to devote myself to art, but it is true that this path has always been clear to me. Especially when I left school. I think that was the moment when I really felt that I was fully committed to what excited me.

Your style is very personal and distinctive. Can you tell us more about it? Where does the characteristic style of your illustrations come from?

The style undoubtedly stems from my childhood. I am obsessed with this time, I like it and I have very good memories of it. Those afternoons when I sat in front of the TV and watched cartoons, the characters of which I later copied and redrew, until later I could memorize almost everything I had watched on TV. Also the classical cinema, which my father liked so much and whose films he saw again and again. I think that these colors, this kind of clothing, the make-up of the ladies, all this was memorized in my mind and mixed into what would later be my special way of drawing. I love it when people who are older than 40 years and see an exhibition of me tell me that my work reminds them of their childhood. And the series they saw as children. That’s what I want to achieve with my drawings. I want to remember the time that made me so happy.

Illustration by Víctor Jaubert for Maka

What is your working process like when you start a new project?

As strange as it sounds, I like to spend whole afternoons looking at material from my childhood. Some people start looking at Velázquez’s books as inspiration and I start looking at things from my school days. Language books, mathematics books, collages, tasks that were assigned to me and that I still have. These presentations, these clothes, the photos, the films…I let myself be inspired by all this and then get to work.

Your artwork consists of a variety of publications, some exhibitions, posters. In which area of art do you feel most comfortable and why?

Where I feel most comfortable is undoubtedly in the exhibitions I have made. Because only there I have the complete freedom to create my own stories. I believe, that every illustration I make for exhibitions is like a story. You give it a title and you create a world that you have in your head and that you can’t grasp at any other time. Here I feel really free to put everything I carry inside of me on paper.

Your work “Comparsera entre los mares” (Extra between oceans) is one of the 10 finalists for the election of the official poster of Carnival 2019. What would it mean for you to win this prize?

What I would be happy about is, that the poster will be seen. People who don’t know you can see your work. It’s like a window to reach more people.

Your “travel personalities”, as I like to call them, have always called my attention and I really liked them. How did you come up with this idea? Do you take these photos yourself while you travel? We would be happy if you could tell us more about it.

They are drawings that I make mainly for the social networks. It started with this simple idea and now many people ask me to paint them pictures especially for their travels. They then want to take it with them, take photos of them and send them back to me for sharing. It’s a way to communicate my way of doing things on such platforms. Since I usually visit many schools and many children have Instagram, I thought it might be fun to show them my world through these spontaneous photos.

I think about painting for 24 hours

When I’m sitting in the cinema, sometimes I don’t notice anything from the film. Instead, I think about some project that I have in mind.

If, as an adult, you could talk to the child, whose imagination had been flying since early years thanks to cartoons – What would you like to tell him or how would you encourage the dreams you had then?

This child had it really easy, because he always did what he really liked and so he always drew. I wouldn’t have to tell him much to make him spread his wings. Maybe it would be better to talk to the teenager, who had far more doubts. To encourage him to take more risks and seize opportunities that might be lost, while he was looking for security.

Since we are already talking about the security that all artists long for and that is so hard to obtain: How do you face this fear that haunts all those, who devote themselves to their true passion?

It is complicated to live from art. You have to dedicate yourself to it day and night. Without a break. In my opinion, you have to guide your work in different directions. Learning to diversify. I think about painting for 24 hours. When I’m sitting in the cinema, sometimes I don’t notice anything from the film. Instead, I think about some project that I have in mind.

Finally, do you have any advice for those people who are just starting out, who want to devote themselves to art and who want to live fully from it?

Above all, it needs consistency. And the use of the social networks, that are so incredibly important these days. Much more difficult is the beginning; to find one’s own style, to be recognized. But you can do it with consistency and commitment. Today we have the advantage, that we can travel everywhere from home and are always on the move. This helps a lot to spread our work all over the world.



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