Diego L. Rodríguez is an Illustrator, Graphic Designer and Photographer who is based in Spain, working out of Los Angeles / CA and Mexico D.F. in his early career he now freelances full time. He has worked with huge clients such as HBO, Archibald Ingall Stretton, Warner Music Group, Sony Music and Dish Network.
Who were your early creative inspirations? What made you want to follow the path of the creative industries as a career?
I guess Japanese animation and comic books motivated me to draw when I was a child, to create something inﬂuenced by my favorite characters. My favorite show was Dragon Ball, by Akira Toriyama, every weekend my family bought a newspaper that came with a suplement for kids, containing different comic genres, from Tintin, to Spiderman, to Spanish comic authors.
Later came my true passion for music videos and cinema. I wanted to be a movie director, make music videos, ads…so I was following having a career into the audiovisual ﬁeld. I started working a couple of summers on a local TV station with 16…so it was very clear what I wanted to do at that time.
The path for my future started there, but digital graphics changed my creative perspective. I found something really special which excited me and I hope to dedicate myself to this ﬁeld for a long time.
How would you describe your style of working?
Unworried at ﬁrst, detailed once I start to like the graphic and having fun in the making. Always experimenting new techniques and trying to showcase something unique, even if turned out to be a disaster, thatʼs the way I realize something is working or not.
What advice would you offer to young creatives hoping to follow a similar career path to yourself?
I think is very important to be productive, working daily on something you enjoy, it helps to build up your portfolio. Exploring different cultures and learning a variety of new skills, has been really important to me allowing me to be more complete in mind and with my work.
Which designers and studios inspire your work today?
A lot of everything, there is plenty of great work out there, but I donʼt look for anything in particular. It can be a song, a book or an old traditional artist I just discovered. Today is one thing, but probably in three months it’s going to be the opposite.
What is a typical project you undertake at the moment? Which has been your favourite project to work on to date?
Album artwork projects or brands looking a particular illustration for clothing. I like to be involved with music artists, Itʼs great because they are very open people and there is a back and forth process of ideas and concepts that makes the project very creative and enjoyable.
I had a lot of fun doing the HBO project; a lot of ideas, motivation and crazy pressure, so I did create triple the amount of artwork requested. The Neo Tempus cover artwork was very special to me. Neo passed me the full album to listen to it, give my impression and merge my ideas with their own.
What is your current workstation like? Do you have a preference of where you prefer to work?
A common desk table, Macbook Pro 15”, Wacom Intuos 3, wireless keyboard and an ergonomic chair. Over the table always a couple of books, a moleskine, several pencils and pens, and a cup with coffee or tea. I prefer to work with in a place with at least one window, never in front, behind or at one side. Having natural parks or areas near to the studio is very important, so I can take a walk and clear my mind.
What tools enhance your workstation? Do you enjoy working on a tablet versus pc or laptop?
Having some good stereo monitors is very important in my workstation, never too loud, just keeping the neighbors screams and noises out of my head.
Having a graphic tablet changed everything to me. It helped me to illustrating more often and start a freehand drawing style. I donʼt enjoy too much the pen tool, I prefer to do the strokes by myself and without the tablet is unnatural.
Where do you see your career path following in the next 5-10years?
Having a studio at some beach, enjoy the energy of the nature around, working for my own clothing line illustrations with other people, make more work getting my hands dirty. Create a coffe brand, help other people with the funds, stay active in mind whilst also learning more new skills.
What do you do to relax away from design work?
When I feel I have to clear my mind I always go for a walk to the park, listening to ambient music or shoegaze, breathing clean air and very often carrying a sketchbook to take notes and thoughts. Lately Iʼm producing music, learning Japanese, drawing almost every day, gym, reading some parapsychology books, and I try to disconnect from everything laying down on the ﬂoor and thinking what I want to create or experimenting with.
“Forget being the best of anything. That’s the fruit of the action,
and you do the work -they say- for the doing, not the fruit. You can never really know how it’s gonna turn
out in the world but you know if you enjoy doing it.” -the master David Lynch