Inspiring Artist of the week “Gabriel Pacheco”

“I don’t illustrate, I remember.” Gabriel Pacheco.

This week’s inspirational artist is Gabriel Pacheco, a Mexican painter and illustrator. Gabriel was born in 1973 in Mexico. After receiving scriptwriting training at the International Fine Arts Academy (Mexico), he studied drawing and human form at ENAP Scuola (Italy). He gave various illustration and design workshops in Mexico, Italy and Spain. He began illustrating his first published picture book when his sister asked him to create a children’s book. Later Pacheco created a wonderful portfolio of children’s books, poetry books and fantastic literature illustrations and begins to develop his career in this direction. The artist sets his direction during that period and becomes the creator of impressive artworks that capture the audience at a single glance.

Gabriel Pacheco - Carriage in Forrest, Illustration
Gabriel Pacheco - Man and Woman, İllüstrasyon
Gabriel Pacheco, Ladies at the Enterance, İllüstrasyon

Gabriel Pacheco today is known as the “surreal visionary painter”. The books of the artist whose creations are universally known have been published in many countries such as Mexico, Brazil, America Italy, Spain, Russia, Korea and Japan. He has been nominated 3 times for the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award, one of the most prestigious international awards, and has won numerous awards.

The artist’s illustrations take us into the mystical and foggy world of subtle pleasures, full of strange creatures. Although influences of Hieronymus Bosch and Marc Chagall’s art can be seen in his work, the worlds he creates are unique.

While the characters, composed of romantic and deep spirits, come to life in environments designed with a surreal approach; images associated with dreams were frequently used. As you examine Gabriel’s illustrations, what you will notice right away is not just the extraordinary representations of the characters and environments; at the same time, the sensitivity and extraordinary combinations of the technique, color and textures used. Many of his drawings are cleverly constructed with grayscale textures and vibrant colors. The use of vibrant red and blue at the right moments attract attention as pure energy, and strengthen the meaning by focusing on the character or certain emotions that the artist wants to convey. This way, the artist is able to deepen the mood he wants to create, his illustrations come alive suddenly; and by contrasting with the gray scales, he succeeds in leaving the audience alone with powerful visual representations of more complex emotions and feelings. While impressing his audience with his creations, Pacheco takes them on a personal journey of his own world.

While creating his drawings, the artist frequently uses his own memories as a reference and prefers to proceed in a more intuitive way throughout the production period of his books. Gabriel says the following about the process of creating his book “El Libro de la Selva” (The Jugle Book);

“The assignment was difficult. A complicated challenge. And, well, you put Mowgli or Jungle Book in Google …   And search results overflowing with colorful images of the film adaptation of Disney. But that was precisely what attracted me to illustrate a book with a great visual weight.

Gabriel Pacheco - Mogli Ormanda, Orman Çocuğu Mogli

Then the challenges began, one after the other.  The text was so well made, had such workmanship, it is difficult to rework the characters because the text had already solved. Worked great deal of time with this great conflict because the images I took out were superficial. They were not a reflection of the majesty of the text.

Gabriel Pacheco - Mavi Panter Ormanda, Orman Çocuğu Mogli
Gabriel Pacheco - Maymunlar Ormanda, Orman Çocuğu Mogli

After a lot of rereading, I came up with the solution: I realized that I had not noticed the magnificence of the jungle Almost all goes unnoticed, but it is incredible that a child grows into it in the book, the weight of the jungle is.. amazing, so I decided to follow that path and work on the majesty of the jungle and the book evolved. I know it sounds simple, but it took three months of suffering to come to that conclusion.  It was like drawing a Peter Pan.”

Gabriel Pacheco - Musicians, Illustration
Gabriel Pacheco, Beauty and the Beast, Illustration
Gabriel Pacheco - Lady and the Horse, Illustration

As a highly sophisticated illustrator, Gabriel Pacheco also has a blog from earlier where he conveys all the philosophical and literary depth of his vision of life and illustration to his followers;

Pictures from Shhhbooks Picture Book Library
Gabriel Pacheco’s Blog
Fairy Tale News Blog