10 Questions With Gregori Saavedra

Fri 17 Aug 2012

Ever wanted to find out more about our artists? What inspires them? What they listen to when creating their works of art? The super foods they eat or which decade they'd travel back in time to?

Well, we did! Which is why we posed 10 questions to our roster of talented illustrators and designers to find out more about what makes them tick!

This week we've interviewed Spanish illustrator, Gregori Saavedra:

1. Who are your idols?
I must say that I’ve been always very lucky with my idols. When I started my career in advertising twenty years ago, my idol was Jose Maria Batalla, the best creative director in Spain at that time. Once he visited our university and did a speech about how to get a job as junior creative. I followed his instructions and know what? He was the one who gave me my first job as junior copywriter. Amazing, isn’t it? My dreams came true. I was working with my GOD. Everything I know about advertising is thanks to him. It happened again with my favourite designer, Stefan Sagmeister; with Matthias Zentner, my favourite director; Lorenzo Petrantoni, my admired illustrator and beloved friend; with Mike Mills, who opened my mind and encouraged me to take the multidisciplinary path; with Max-o-Matic, a finest illustrator and also my life saver; with the great artist Mario Hugo, my personal guru, anything I doubt about I ask him; with the my adored sculptor Kris Kuksi; etc, etc, etc. I had the opportunity to meet them all and have a nice friendship. And also look now. I always loved the work by Matt Johnstone, Steve Bonner, and Thea Brine and, oh my god, Mr Adam Haynes and… We share the same agent!!! Am I privileged or not?

london 2012

2. What’s your favourite snack whilst working?
Sincerely, I do not take any snacks. My studio is placed at home, too near to the fridge. I might become Meatloaf. As I do love cooking, every day I take my time to prepare some nice lunch and keep on working the rest of the day. Maybe, my evening glass of red wine could be considered my “snack” of the day, a kind of private prize after managing the work, the kids, the house... I deserve it. Be sure.

3. What’s your favourite music to work to?
I am so eclectic. I listen almost to anything. But let’s see, this was my playlist today: Charlotte Gainsburg, Gorillaz, Alex Winston, Andrew Shapiro, Memoryhouse, Soko, Xiu-Xiu, Olafur Arnalds, Perfume genious, Cool Runnings, Ben Howard, St Etienne, James Ferraro, Wolves in the throne room, Florence And The Machine… I little bit of everything.

vw calendar

4. What’s the highlight of your career so far?
Uff, I am afraid I still do not have any. Maybe, just maybe, having the courage to quit from my career as advertising creative director ten years ago might be a kind of highlight. That changed my life completely. Without that decision I would never try other disciplines like illustration. I would never move to UK. I would be never represented by such a respected and lovely agency as Jelly. And the most important one, I would be never answering this wonderful questionnaire. That’s a nice one!

5. What was the most stressful job and how did you resolve the problem?
Definitely it was a campaign for BMW. First time somebody asked me to create some full colour stuff. It was the agency SCPF based in Barcelona and lead by the great David Caballero. I told him: don’t get me wrong but I think you should call somebody else; this is not for me my dear. But he did not listen to me. And sincerely, I am grateful for that. It was a stressful job indeed, but it was also one of the most interesting projects I’ve ever been involved in. The result were three extremely complex images: some eagles made of hundred high voltage pylons, an African elephant constructed by countless pieces of trees and two red deer made of telephone post and posts and posts. Exhausting.

zero coke

6. What’s the best technical discovery for you?
Well, I will admit it, but do not tell this to anybody, please. I spent five years creating my digital illustrations just using the track pad of my laptop. Stupid, isn’t it? By that time I was travelling a lot and I created the most of my artworks in small hotel desks, waiting rooms, airplanes… Then I discovered the pen tablet and my life changed dramatically. Woooooowwww!!! I felt like the last human being discovering the fire. But better late than never.

7. Who is your dream client?
I do not know if it is a good client or not, but I’ve always wanted to collaborate with Carhartt. Just to thank them for caring about small people like me and manufacture the XXS size. I love you guys!!!!!

8. Describe your work in 3 words.

mini stickers

9. What’s your favourite decade and why?
If I have to choose one I would take the 60s. When I was born. It was a revolutionary decade. Creativity was all around. A time for change, or at least, the possibility of a change. A time for breaking rules, or at least, for doing the try. Anything was possible. A clash between freedom and limits. I would like to believe it was an exciting moment for creative minds. But I guess it was a time for deception as well.

10. 3 strange facts about you.
Alright, fact number one: I can work with the biggest chaos in front of me. I mean over the paper shit where I am working in, in the screen of my computer or in a shooting set… But I can do nothing if everything behind me is not tidy up. Call me maniac. Fact number two: Nowadays I am used to get invited to my favourite bands live performances from the backstage. But when I was a youngster I just went to life concerts because it meant to be part of the groupie. I did not enjoy anyone of them. Actually I did not see anyone. I was too small, too short, and the stage was too high for me. A blind experience. Fact number three: I am illustrator because I always enjoyed drawing, but because I was rejected by the air force pilot academy as well. It’s true. When I was 16 years old I tried to enrol myself into the Spanish air forces as a pilot. I travelled from Barcelona to Madrid (500 miles away). Nice try. But I failed. Too small. Once again. Strange fact? No. Real fact.