Interview with Jose Miguel Mendez

Recently we had the great pleasure of catching up with the talented illustrator and graphic designer Jose Miguel Mendez, to talk about life in the UK, future aspirations and his most recent projects.

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Originally a "creative person from Spain", Jose is now based in London where he predominantly works freelance across a range of disciplines such as illustration, typography, lettering, painting and his most recent endeavour, animation.   

Having recently graduated from the London College of Communication in 2012, Jose has already built up a sturdy portfolio of work with clients including Wesc, as well as features in sources such as Creative Review, Building a Wolf and Absolut Network.

To say that he is talented is an understatement at best. You only have to watch his first ever stop-motion animation entitled 'Play With Type' to realise this. His latest effort, a short film called 'Weird Dreams' further demonstrates his knack for animation. Take a look and you'll see what we mean.  

Weird Dreams

"I FIND DRUNK PEOPLE ACTING REALLY FUNNY AND MANY TIMES THEY GIVE ME A SORT OF INSPIRATION."

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Do The Right Thing

The Darjeeling Limited

Mamella Players

"IN LONDON THERE IS A HIGH CONDENSED CORE OF CREATIVITY. YOU CAN MEET INTERESTING ARTISTS JUST WALKING IN THE STREETS OR HAVING A PINT IN THE PUB."

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WHEN DID YOU KNOW YOU WANTED TO BE AN ARTIST? 

After I graduated in Graphic Design, I worked in a studio as a graphic designer and I realised I had more fun drawing illustrations rather than laying out booklets or websites.

WHAT ARE THE THINGS THAT INSPIRE OR INFLUENCE YOUR WORK?

I find drunk people acting really funny and many times they give me a sort of inspiration. I love talking with people you can meet in the streets of London, they have really peculiar backgrounds and stories to tell! Catching particular things with my camera is another big passion I have together with movies, zines, skateboarding and of course a nice glass of tinto de verano!

HAVE YOU FOUND THAT THOSE INFLUENCES HAVE CHANGED OVER TIME?

Possibly yes but the tinto de verano remain being one of those.

WHO IS AN ARTIST YOU WOULD LOVE TO COLLABORATE WITH (DEAD OR ALIVE) AND WHY?

Jean Michel Basquiat could be a cool dude to collaborate with, I started doing some graffiti when I was a teenager so, in a way, we share the same roots.

COMING FROM SPAIN, HOW DO YOU NOW FIND LIVING IN LONDON? 

Living in London is just amazing, Dalston in particular is so inspiring. When the summer comes you can have really nice walks along the Regent Canal, and also is pretty easy to face a wide bunch of strange characters. 

IS THERE ANYTHING YOU MISS FROM BACK HOME?

One thing I cannot change is the weather, I must admit I miss sunny days and I would be happy to have them back. Concerning to me, watching football has always been a reason to chill out with my mates and drink some cañas with tapas, although as a habit I continue feeding also here in England!

HAVE YOU FOUND ANY NOTICEABLE DIFFERENCES IN THE ART SCENE?

The art scene is so much different. In Spain I know a lot of talented guys but maybe it is missing an effective network to put them all together. In London instead there is a high condensed core of creativity, especially in East London; therefore you can meet interesting artists just walking in street or having a pint in a pub.

WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE TYPE OF MUSIC?

Mmmm this is a tough question, normally I listen to a lot of music when I am drawing so I can tell my favourite kind is the one that escapes me from reality.

WHAT WAS THE LAST GOOD MOVIE YOU SAW?

Django Unchained.

WHAT DO YOU HOPE TO ACHIEVE IN THE NEXT 10 YEARS?

I would like to improve my illustrations and dig more into the animation field. In ten years I would love to see my works travelling around the world and maybe start my own studio. Next for me is what comes after now!! Nowadays I am trying to make my art a full time job, and I am getting closer day by day!

AND FINALLY, DALI OR WARHOL?

If I would spend a midnight in Paris I will definitely go for an absenth with Dali.