Jul 3, 2014
snowwhitesheart asked: Hi Goni! I am an illustration major at MICA and I stumbled across the book Glitches and had to find out who created such a beautiful illustration! When I found your work I became so inspired, I am doing an illustrator research project on you, your work is amazing! I myself am just now getting into digital illustration and am loving it! Any tips as a wonderful digital illustrator?

Thanks for the kind words!

My best tip for digital would be to never let it overwhelm you. Photoshop and Painter are massive pieces of software. You can get from point A to point B through many different routes and, other than speed, there’s really no way to prove one method over the other. Learn the tools that satisfy what you really need and forget about the rest. In the end, digital is just another medium, and the medium never makes the artist. Your ideas and your personal point of view are far more important. The medium is just there as a means to communicate them.

Jul 3, 2014
twatflap asked: Hey! I know you must get this a lot but your work is amazing. Your use of colour is beautiful. It's a shame you're not as well known as you should be. Sure, people can draw and paint and other stuff but you have a piece fit for every situation and decor. I just sketch so I'm nowhere near as skilled or talented as you and I don't use colour but I know when something's special. Aha this wasn't really a question but more of a keep up your work as I want to see more of you and your work!

Wow, you’re very kind. Thank you so, so much!

Keep drawing away, and take a crack at color someday. It’s pretty fun!

Jul 3, 2014
rioburton asked: Thanks for sharing! Wylie Beckert!!! *DROOL* amazing work!

She is freaking amazing, right?!

Jul 2, 2014
drawstheclouds asked: Hi Goni! I've been following your artwork for a couple years now and you are such a huge inspiration to me! I love discovering new artists and wanted to ask you if you have any artists that you follow that you'd recommend other people to check out?

Wow! Thanks! That’s super flattering :)

I mostly follow my friends and friends of them. They’re just so damn good they make me jealous. The list is gigantic and I’m sure I’m gonna forget a whole bunch, but, top of my head:

Sarah Watts, Edward Kinsella, Scott Brundage, Ricardo Lopez Ortiz, Ericka Lugo, Victo Ngai, Kyle Stecker, Yohei Horishita, Kali Ciesemier, Sam Bosma, Nicolas Delort, Richie Pope, Scott Bakal, Wesley Allsbrook, Michael Byers, Sam Wolfe Connelly, Tran Nguyen, Wylie Beckert, & Leslie Herman.

I’m sure I’ve forgotten a ton, but there are soooooo many good artists! Oh well.

Jul 2, 2014
I did a little process gif for my Queen of Hearts card :)

I did a little process gif for my Queen of Hearts card :)

Jun 10, 2014
alvarocubero-illustration asked: Hola Goñi. Me encanta tu trabajo, tu estilo y las temáticas que trabajas me inspiran un montón y he pensado que quizá podrías responderme a un par de dudas. Como ilustrador me gusta trabajar estilos, técnicas, y temáticas diferentes. ¿crees que es bueno hacer varias cosas, o es mejor centrarse en una sola? y si crees que es mejor hacer varias diferentes ¿las pondrías todas juntas en un portfolio online como Behance o aquí en Tumblr por ejemplo, o conviene tenerlo separado? Gracias y un saludo!

Hola! Muchas gracias por el complido!

Bueno, voy una por una:

1- ¿Crees que es bueno hacer varias cosas, o es mejor centrarse en una sola?

Lamentablemente no hay una respuesta absoluta a esta pregunta. Esto depende de como quieras proyectarte como artista. SI trabajas solo una temática, el público te conocerá por ella. Esto acelerará el que clientes potenciales te encuentren, pero puede estigmatizarte y es posible que no te llamen para otros trabajos. Si trabajos muchas temáticas diferentes, se invierten esos aspectos. Yo prefiero trabajar temáticas cercanas con un tono parecido en todas. Así le doy mi propio punto de vista a cualquier temática.

2- ¿Las pondrías todas juntas en un portfolio online como Behance o aquí en Tumblr o conviene tenerlo separado?

Esto depende del estilo visual. No es necesario separar diferentes temas ejecutados con un estilo visual parecido. Si el estilo visual es diferente, es mejor separar por eso de organización. Si vas a tener portafolios diferentes, es bueno tener al menos 8 - 10 piezas en cada portafolio para que tus clientes vean consistencia en cada cuerpo de trabajo.

Espero que ésto ayude. No temas en enviarme un email si necesitas información un poco más específica.

Un saludo!

Jun 10, 2014
cannedviennasausage asked: I just stumbled upon your incredible art on my dashboard, and I legit grinned when I read you attended SCAD. I graduated from the UPR-RP last year and am now at SCAD Savannah studying for my MFA in Animation, and I dunno, it felt good to come across another artist from back home.

Whaaa??!! Send me an email! I’d love to see your work! :D

Jun 10, 2014
benevolentwanderer asked: I'm sure you get this a lot, but your art is really awesome! I especially like the type of color palette you tend to use - it matches the general styling of your pieces very well. Do you have any advice on keeping pieces without prominent dark tones understandable?

Firstly, thank you! It means a lot.

That’s a really good question. A few years ago, my good friend Mike Lowery pointed out my overpowering usage of mid tones. It helped a lot, I knew there was something off with my work but I just couldn’t quite nail down what it was.

After some tampering here and there, this is what I started applying to my work:

1- Set your darkest and your lightest in your palette before you start painting. Your darkest may not be black, your lightest may not be white. This means that you have to figure out how not to go above or below each of those.

2- Different elements of your illustration may have their own palettes with their own darkest or lightest tones. For example, when I’m painting skin, my darkest tends to be a purplish gray while my lightest is 100% white. For fabric, my darkest can be black depending on the color, but my lightest is never white.

3- High contrast (lots of lights and darks) will draw the eye. Use it to emphasize areas that carry the story of the illustration. This means that if you want a face to stand out, make sure it has some of those darkest & lightest tones of its palette.

4- Since each element has their own darkest and lightest tones, you must use these separate color palettes wisely to follow #3. You don’t want a background element to overpower your characters expression if the latter is more important.

I will not number my last one cuz it’s more about personal taste. I very rarely use black, but that’s cuz I like my pieces to look extra colorful and black while wallow some of the color up.

Hope this answers your question :)

Jun 3, 2014
Cover Art for James Patrick’s The Monsters of Jimmy Crumb

Cover Art for James Patrick’s The Monsters of Jimmy Crumb

May 23, 2014

Please indulge this one, self-indulgent, mildly therapeutic rant. I can’t say I hate complaining. That’d be a lie. But I try hard to repel a whiny image. Ultimately, maybe one or two upcoming artists could extract some use out of these few words.

It seems the apple never really fell far from the tree. My father is a renowned workaholic. His reasons are evident to those close to him, but they’re private. This is my way of saying that, although I will not describe them, they render this one vice of his beyond justifiable.

My work habits came directly from him. Once hired, I devote myself to every project. It takes a truly nightmarish job to kill my excitement. I’ve come across those so rarely, I can still count them with one hand after being an illustrator for almost a decade. For the last few months, I’ve been juggling incredibly exciting, overlapping projects. They make me giddy. I love my job and the thrilling sensation each finalization provides. That same thrilling sensation is one of the many agents that feed an addiction to work. At best, it’s an 8 hour workday. These days it fluctuates between 10-14. I don’t sleep much. I take one day weekends. This is not enough. I’ve had to ask for extensions. Although not too many times, it’s enough enough to fuel my embarrassment. I fear that my art directors think I’m procrastinating. And now I get this very strong guilty feeling whenever I’m not working.

If these were the only culprits, it’d be easier to regulate my work hours. But, alas, student loans. I want them paid off and out of my life. It’s driven me to take on more work than I probably can realistically handle. But the more I earn, the more they take (income-based adjustments). Between my partner and I, the monthly number is quite high, but not as high as some of my (single) friends. It breaks my heart. How the hell do they do it?!

In the end, my partner and I are paying irrational amounts. We both have an anxiety to rid ourselves of debt. We both came from poverty. His was a more traditional form of it, mine was… strange… and, again, private. Either way, we’re tired of it. We work to make it all go away. To a certain extent, it works. We pay all our bills, we don’t default, we handle family crises that surge all too often. On top of that, I consider us both successful in our respective fields. And if you consider our ages, it just makes us look plain privileged. He holds a very high position in a fortune 500 company and I make quite more than the average american just by drawing and painting. But the truth is that no amount of frugal living and/or raise can make it go away. So, at this point, I can’t help but wonder. What did we do wrong?

We were two of many who had no resources for our education. We took on student loans because our respective scholarships weren’t enough. I understand that it was our decision. And I can’t say I regret it. That would imply that I can somehow think of another way I could’ve done things. I cannot. And somehow, I feel that’s the problem. The fact that it seems like there’s no other options, or even worse, maybe there’s really none at all.

My point is, I meet too many students taking on these loans without thought. And too many educational institutions feed upon this irresponsibility. I hate to break it to them when it comes up, but I was never the norm. I’ve been unusually blessed. It messes up with a most Puerto Rican, nagging, undeserving sensation. But the truth is that, thanks to scholarships, I didn’t have to take out many loans. I was freelancing before I graduated. The market embraced my work. I am so very thankful for all of that. But I can’t prove to every student I meet that theirs will be a similar story.

Guys, please, think about it. Find options, mentorships, internships, anything. There aren’t many, I know. But I feel that nobody really lets you know how perpetual the consequences of student loans are. The best case scenario is my story of an overworked mofo. The worst, I don’t want to imagine.

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