Artist Nicolás Castell was born in Buenos Aires but moved to the southern Spanish city of Granada as a young boy where he grew up and began developing his creative identity. Castell is an accomplished illustrator with a striking style; drawing fantastical landscapes with bold colors that allow the observer an insight into a snapshot of what appears to be a much larger story. His latest project entitled The Journey: An Epic Towards Infinity is a 24-episode webtoon that tells the story of a woman traveling the multiverse on a mission to complete three challenges, a journey which she expects will garner her freedom. This enchanting story is currently being published weekly on Webtoon Factory and can be found here.
Nicolás Castell 出生于阿根廷的布宜诺斯艾利斯，在他小时候举家搬迁到了西班牙一个南部城市—格拉纳达，在那里长大并开始了自己的艺术创作生涯。 Castell 是一位才华横溢的插画家，他有自己独特的绘画风格，他善于使用大胆的色彩去描绘梦幻般的风景，从而让观者从中发现更多有意义的故事。他的最新作品名为“The Journey’ —-是一部 讲诉通往无限史诗的网络漫画，这个漫画讲述了一位女性穿越多元宇宙执行任务以完成三个挑战的故事，她希望在这段旅程中能重获自由。这部迷人的漫画目前在 Webtoon Factory 上每周连载。
" My mother is an illustrator too, since I was a kid of less than a year she introduced me to paint"
We posed some questions to Nicolás about his creative journey and life as an artist in Granada, and he was generous enough to take some time to answer us. Catch the whole interview below.
When did you initially develop an interest in illustration? And how did you begin to cultivate your skillset?
My mother is an illustrator too, since I was a kid of less than a year she introduced me to paint, drawing and encouraged me to express myself through the paper. I decided at 13 to become a professional artist when I read Akira (Katsuhiro Otomo, 1982). Since then, I wanted to become better and put more effort into evolving my style, studying Fine Arts also helped.
我妈妈也是一名插画家，我还不到一岁的时候她就开始教我画画，并鼓励我通过纸画画来表达自己。当我读到《Akira》（Katsuhiro Otomo，1982）时，当我在13岁第一次读到《Akira》（Katsuhiro Otomo，1982）时，我就决定我以后一定要成为一名专业的艺术家。然后我就开始了努力学习，我想更努力地创造一个自己的绘画风格。多观看一些名画也可以提升自己的绘画技巧。
Are there any characteristics you could point to that have lent themselves to being a successful artist?
Consistency is the main characteristic in any career, but especially in arts. It can be hard sometimes because we work mainly with our emotions, too much hope in the outcome can lead to frustration. I believe consistency is also connected to being focused on the craft as a destination itself, loving what you do just because you love to do it, not because of the outcome.
Granada is a beautiful Spanish city; do you think living there has influenced your sensibilities as an illustrator?
Definitely, beauty and aesthetics are part of our inspiration, like bread for our imagination. It’s also a city filled with great illustrators like Sergio García Sánchez, Jose Luis Munuera, Jorge Jiménez, Juanjo Guarnido, Javier Fernández, Belén Ortega, etc. But it was also the home to many great artists in the past as well, like Mariano Fortuny, Lopez Mezquita, José Guerrero, in the literature Washington Irving, Federico García Lorca, etc.
毫无疑问，美和美学是我们灵感的一部分，住在这个美丽的城市会让我的灵感更加充沛。格拉纳达有很多优秀的插画家，如 Sergio García Sánchez、Jose Luis Munuera、Jorge Jiménez、Juanjo Guarnido、Javier Fernández、Belén Ortega 等。同时它也是许多伟大艺术家的故乡，如 Mariano Fortuny , Lopez Mezquita, José Guerrero, 还有文学家 Washington Irving, Federico García Lorca 等。
Cao Chong Weighs an Elephant by Nicolás Castell
How do you balance commercial aspects of the art world whilst also finding time to pursue personal projects?
In a conference by Victo Ngai she said something like: “There are not boring projects, but boring solutions”. I always try to put all the personality that I can into the project. As well, my personal ideas, like the comic The Journey, I had the chance to publish it with Dupuis, so I managed to create a professional project from a personal story, that’s the ideal scenario.
在 Victo Ngai 的一次会议上，她说：“没有无聊的项目，只有无聊的解决方案”。我试图将我所能发挥的所有想象力都投入作品创作中。同样，我的个人想法，比如漫画《The Journey》，我会与 Dupuis 一起发布，所以我设法从个人作品中创建了一个另一个专业项目，这是最理想的状态。
Some of your work has an East Asian flavor, could you speak a little bit about your influences as an illustrator?
I have a great admiration for Japanese culture, work from this part of the world, in general, has caught my attention since I was a teenager. When I grew up a bit more, I discovered the Ukiyo E masters like Hiroshige, Hokusai… and I loved it. Japanese cinema has also been important to me lin particularly the work of Miyazaki, Otomo, Kurosawa…
What advice would you give to younger artists trying to develop their own personal style?
To always follow topics that they enjoy and be creative in this area. Experiment with techniques but don’t be too distracted by new ones all the time, it’s better to focus on one technique that can be controlled and try to polish it and expand upon the possibilities through repeating the same process in different scenes.
As well as being an accomplished artist, you also have experience as a teacher. How did you find this experience?
It’s beautiful to work with students, one can see the gratitude in their eyes when you help them in something where they had a blockage. Unfortunately, I had to stop my work as a teacher in 2018 since I had too many commissions to attend to and it became impossible to work in both roles.
当老师的感觉很美妙，当你帮助学生们解决一些困难时，你会看到他们眼中对你的尊敬和感激。但我不得不在 2018 年停止我的教师工作，因为我有太多的作品要处理，我不能同时胜任这两个角色。
Which Artistic project are you most proud to have been a part of?
The Journey! It’s my latest work, a webtoon of 24 episodes. The story is all mine along with the pictures too. It tells the story of a woman who travels the multiverse through three challenges. The Journey is being published on a weekly basis in the Webtoon Factory App.
“The Journey”! 这是我的最新作品，一个 24 集的网络连载漫画。故事和插画都是我的作品。它讲述了一个女人穿越多元宇宙，通过三个挑战的故事。”The Journey” 会每周在 Webtoon Factory 应用程序中连载。
Which illustrators are you a fan of at the moment?
All the ones I mentioned before, also Kim Jung Gi, Josan Deathburger, Jon Juarez, Bilquis, Delojoart…
所有我之前提到的，还有Kim Jung Gi, Josan Deathburger, Jon Juarez, Bilquis, Delojoart…
Castell’s portfolio of work can be found here through his website, be sure to have a look at his new online comic as well – The Journey: An Epic Towards Infinity which comes highly recommend for those of us who enjoy all kinds of visual storytelling.
Castell 的作品集都可以在他的网站上找到，推荐大家一定要看看他最新的连载漫画–《The Journey》，如果你喜欢看漫画，那么这部漫画给你带来的视觉冲击绝对是史诗级别的！