Marco Escobedo Interview
Tell us a little about yourself:
I was born in a city called Yanque in Arequipa, Peru. I lived there for a short period of time, and then I traveled to the capital city of Peru, Lima, where I live currently. Since I was young I wished to study painting, but later, I became interested in Graphic Design and I decided to continue studying this career.
I understood that, using tools from graphic design software, it would be possible to develop art. I just had to wait for the perfection of these tools and, now, this is true.
After that, I researched and started to experiment a lot with Photoshop and Illustrator. In the case of Photoshop, it allowed to me make my work of photographic manipulation and digital art, which is what I do currently.
In my leisure time I watch movies. I love going to the movies. I also practice football and I spend time checking magazines, design, art and technology articles on the internet. I also like to research paranormal topics.
When did you first begin to make art?
Art is something I practiced since I was just a child through drawing. At that time, the development of technology with digital tools and design software was very new. I tried to bring traditional art to the computer. I think it’s a new way to create art and a new language of expression.
My work is oriented to digital art. Most of my work takes the surrealist theme as reference. I try to get the viewers ask themselves about the work they are looking at.
I use a lot of saturated colors, but it’s not a rule for my compositions. I try, in some way, to highlight the aesthetics of beauty and explore the dreamlike sense based on imagination. In my work it’s possible to see images with almost human faces, in a state of metamorphosis, and loaded with beautiful oneiric scenarios.
To learn Photoshop you need a little patience…
When did you first start using Photoshop and how did you learn?
I discovered the program Photoshop while I was studying design. It was an older version. Later, at home and in on an old computer I installed the program and then I started to experiment. It has been some years and the improvement has been incredible.
To learn Photoshop you need a little patience, however, if you like very much working with images and being creative this will come. You can stay hours and hours sitting at the computer enjoying the program.
What inspires you?
I have always have been open-minded like to things that are hard to believe (life on other planets, the existence of other dimensions, dreams, etc.).
The theme of surrealism is something that always caught my attention because it goes beyond our understanding, the study of the mind, life, dreams. Many of these things are worrying. There are still many questions and issues that humans can’t understand.
I try to represent everything that I imagine in my mind through my work. But I’ve also tried to make people stand up and think about important issues such as the destruction of the planet, social issues or our own doubts about existence and future. These ideas come out as visual messages which give you my view about the event or story.
Who are some of your favorite artists?
I remember very well the work of a Peruvian artist called Boris Vallejo. I think that in some way, I have tried to do my job in his style. His great imagination and technique in illustration attract me.
I have also taken note of the work of other artists in painting as Salvador Dali, Rene Magritte, Van Gogh, etc.
Currently there are many digital artists like Shadow Chen, Jason Engle, Tiago Hoisel , Justin Maller , Alberto Seveso, Marek Okon , Nik Ainley , and many others who are coming out and exposing their works on the Internet and galleries.
I then mentally compose a picture, imagine the right colors, how the objects must interact…
What is your typical process when creating a piece of art?
Everything starts from the observation of several photos. Then I start to mentally connect all these images to create another reality. In many cases, I achieve a kind of strange or surreal image.
From there, I can create different scenarios and characters who suffer metamorphosis. I then mentally compose a picture, imagine the right colors, how the objects must interact to create a strange and at the same time, beautiful atmosphere.
Where do you get your source materials from?
I use some free pictures and in other cases I help myself with my camera.
My first camera was a little old and not very professional. Then I gradually saved money to buy a better camera. I currently own a Nikon D7000. I think it is a good camera and now, it helps me a lot for my work and compositions.
Also, a month ago I bought a Cintiq Wacom tablet that allows me to make illustrations and retouch photos with more precision. I think technology is important to accelerate the development of our work.
I have no favorite tricks. I try to learn effects and tricks from what I observe.
What is your favorite Photoshop trick/method at the moment?
I have no favorite tricks. I try to learn effects and tricks from what I observe. I think every design is the union of several tricks or learning the program.
What is your favorite Photoshop tool or plugin at the moment?
Currently there are many plugins that help in the design and photo retouching. I use many plugins from Topaz Labs. I think they are great tool for clipping and creating effects in photos.
Another very known and used plug-in is the Nick Collection which I use to enhance photos and create interesting effects.
What work of your own are you most proud of?
I like several pieces, but Disintegration (the woman with the destroyed glass) is the best known and appreciated on the Internet.
It was one of the first jobs I did, the original photo is by the photographer Annie Leibovitz. At first, I did not know who was in the picture and I just wanted to have fun creating some effect.
The effect was very striking and people like very much. The picture is not so big, but I have affection for this work and it remains as a pleasant memory in my portfolio.
What are you currently working on?
I am currently doing some digital pieces thinking about to participate in any design event. I participated in Lima Design Week 2015. Hopefully, I expect to exhibit my work at this event or another this year.
I also think I will finish my studies to get a master’s degree to be a teacher.
What would you tell someone who is starting out making Photoshop art?
For learning, always look through design, photos and art websites. Also, you can look for materials on the Internet, search for any topic that interests you, and learn a little about photo manipulation.
It’s good to learn by observing the work of other artists. I think one can increase knowledge and release creativity this way too.
In addition, it is also important to create a personal website to show your work. It is important to get people interested in your work and skills.
Finally I can say that creativity and imagination are important and inherent human capacities. These qualities are not exclusive gifts of the artist or genius, but are present in each of us waiting to be developed and enhanced.