José Antonio’s Illustrations are Sophisticatedly Simple

“I do stuff,” reads José Antonio’s concise bio, which incidentally fits nicely with his minimalistic style of illustration. A graphic designer and illustrator based in Madrid, he’s known for his playful illustration style, based on primary colors (sticking almost exclusively to red, green and blue, with a touch of yellow, orange, and white), and simple shapes. His work includes silk-screen prints, ceramics, risographs, digital prints, and paper cuts.

Much like his illustrations, he describes his creative process as “quite simple” (but, of course, it is the simplest kind of art which usually requires the most attention to detail). “I’m an emotional and intuitive person,” relayed Antonio in an interview with Mâché. “I don’t choose a specific theme to create about, and I don’t plan on transmitting any message with my drawings; I just want to draw nice things.”

According to him, he usually visualizes what he wants to create before going ahead and creating it. “Shapes and colors are normally a starting point,” he notes. “From there on, I develop the image I pretend to compose. I play with these two elements, and like to vary supports, materials and techniques. It helps me to not get bored and keep learning, which makes it interesting.”

His work includes portraits of icons such as Amy Winehouse, Frida Kahlo, and David Bowie. “Drawing is like going to therapy,” admits Antonio, “it makes you think, observe and analyze. The result of this exercise is your drawing. After this you draw something new and repeat this same exercise, so drawing helps you grow and move on forward.”