Meet Pablo Pasadas: A Freelance Illustrator and Graphic Designer

Pablo Pasadas is a freelance illustrator and graphic designer currently living in Barcelona known for his elaborate collage artworks!

If you want to be creative, just look around you. Everything is material for intellectual and visual nourishment. A book cover, a discussion with a friend, a new dish to taste…”

(c)Pablo-Pasadas-1
Artwork by Pablo Pasadas

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Can you please tell us a bit about your background? Please add at least one random interesting fact about you.

Hello all!

I’m a Frenchman of Spanish origin, currently living in Barcelona (what a chance!?). Previously I lived in Paris where I worked in an agency. I now work as a freelance illustrator and graphic designer.

I have two illustrators’ agents who represent me: Colagene Paris/Montreal and Pocko in London.

An anecdote about my collages. Once, when I was on a trip, I forgot my tablet, so I worked on my collages on a computer’s trackpad! Very old school, haha.

Also, I’m an addicted lover of cats, although I don’t have any. So from time to time, I look after my friends’ cats. 😸

What inspired you to make art?

I have always drawn since I was a child but I was not predisposed to study art. In fact, once I graduated from high school, I didn’t know which profession I wanted to pursue.

During the summer, the French army called me to do my service. I had no desire to go through this experience. The only possibility to postpone the army was to continue my studies. I looked at a list of schools that were still open in September to take the entrance exam. I came across the fine arts. I didn’t have much to present but I was accepted. I could have ended up as a landscape designer or translator for example. The beginning was difficult because I didn’t know anything about art, unlike my classmates. But I hung in there.

I think my influences are as much conscious (books, travel, music, artists, relationships…) as unconscious. In my youth, I experimented a lot!

Did you study at art school(s) or are you self-taught?

I studied for 3 years at the art school but I got kicked out just before I graduated.

I had a hard time fitting into the system. I wanted to learn the academic basics of drawing but it wasn’t done in that school anymore. It was very conceptual art, robotics in partnership with MIT. But I don’t regret it at all because it opened me up to art in general and to the way of perceiving things.

Finally, I went to a very academic school of drawing for 4 years (Ecole Emile Cohl in Lyon). They demanded a lot from us in terms of work (painting, sculpture, animation, comics…) This allowed me to have the technical basis and especially to “sharpen my eye”. And to make great contacts. For instance, I did all my studies with the multi-talented Woodkid (the singer).

(c)Pablo-Pasadas-3
Artwork by Pablo Pasadas

How did you develop your own art style?

At that time I listened to a lot of music like DJ Shadow or Prefuse 73. I liked their way of creating a new song from a sample. It was a time when I was reading a lot of William S. Burroughs who experimented with a writing technique called Cut up. An original text is cut up into random fragments and then these are rearranged to produce a new text. I thought I would like to do the same thing with the illustration. 

If you want to be creative, just look around you. Everything is material for intellectual and visual nourishment. A book cover, a discussion with a friend, a new dish to taste…

How did you start making a living as an artist? What was your first paid art job?

As soon as I left school I got to work. I got a freelance commission thanks to a friend who was a waiter in a Parisian club, the Divan du Monde. The staff wanted to organize 12 electro tzigane parties a year (this style of music had just come out) and they were looking for a graphic illustrator to make 12 flyers. 

This commission allowed me to find a second calling more around the visual creation of CD albums.

What do you live from as an artist now? What are your main income streams and what is the approximate % split of each?

Now I have a fixed engagement as a freelance designer.  I’m conceptualizing the UI and visuals of new Selecta-type snack machines for a company that markets them. This involves a lot of different brands. It’s the food side that allows me to pay the bills 🙂 Plus some logo and brand identity designs for other clients.

And then with my illustration agents, I work more for magazine covers, festival posters… and big brands…

In terms of income, I’d say it’s around 65% (design) / 35% (illustration). But I intend to prioritize illustration work more and more.

What are you currently working?

I have just finished a cover for a new magazine on ecology and an illustration for an internal article; two posters for different music festivals (in Spain and France). And now I’m starting a poster about education for Canada.

What do you think are the most important characteristics of an artist?

Be curious about everything and look at everything that is not directly related to your art …

(c)Pablo-Pasadas-2
Artwork by Pablo Pasadas

What are the art tools and other products and services you can’t live without?

The famous “holy trinity” (Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign) although there are other similar tools. The important thing I think is to have a blank sheet of paper or a notebook to start the conceptualization of any project.

What are your favorite art and other books (fiction, non-fiction)?

For art books, I am thinking of the painters Francis Bacon, Egon Schiele, Alberto Breccia Master of Black and White, Dave Mc Kean’s Arkham asylum (mix of collage, painting, font), Mignola’s Hellboy, Misprinted art as Eduardo Recife for collage, Bill Sienkiewicz on Elektra comics, Jamie Hewlett for Tank Girl and Gorillaz, Neil Gaiman’s 1984 and Brave New World…

What advice would you give yourself as a beginner artist? Or alternatively please include your favorite quote and the author.

“An intuition is creativity trying to tell you something.” Frank Capra

Get in touch with Pablo

Thank you, Pablo, for joining us today!

All artworks by Pablo Pasadas, used with permission.

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