A Mark Zuckerberg cartoon is the cover of the latest issue of Bloomberg Businessweek magazine. A realistic portrait of Facebook‘s creator that precedes an interesting article reflecting on the relationship between power and digital media. Our Drawing teacher Jaume Cullell is the creator of the illustration. And we have taken the opportunity to talk about this professional project, his first collaboration with a prestigious international economic publication.
How did Bloomberg’s proposal arise?
In a totally unexpected and surprising way. One morning I opened my mail and there was an email from Bloomberg. They needed an illustrator to make a realistic-style cartoon of Facebook creator Mark Zuckerberg. And, searching through internet, they had found my work and liked it. They asked me if I was interested in the project and, of course, I agreed. Although I have done editorial work on other occasions, this was the first time I have worked with such a prestigious magazine. And it has made me especially excited.
How has the portrait’s creation process been?
Once the order was accepted and the budget agreed (a difficult stage but one that, over time, one learns to develop), the client sent me a project briefing. In it, he explained to me what they needed. After making sure that I understood the entire briefing and had no doubts, I started to work.
One of the keys to the project was to honor the classic character from MAD Magazine, Alfred E. Newman. That characteristic freckled boy. So, first of all, I had to look for visual references. Being a cartoon, I also had to look for images of Mark Zuckerberg to study his most characteristic features. Then I started sketching, exploring and experimenting with different options, until I came up with one that seemed most suitable for the project. Keep in mind that each project requires a different type of visual solution. After sending my proposal -a color sketch-, the client asked me for some changes and I already had his agreement to develop the final image. I painted it in Adobe Photoshop, using my Cintiq.
How much time have you given to do the work?
The timing for this project, as for many editorial projects, was crazy. I had two days to finish it. Since I’ve been a professional illustrator for a long time and dealing with such tight deliveries, I do well under pressure. So I adapted to the conditions quickly.
This is not your first experience in illustration for a media.How do you value it?
It is not the first, but it is the most important to date. As an illustrator I have done magazine covers on other occasions (for a time I was the cover of Dinamita Magazine, a magazine for Latino audiences in Texas, USA), illustrations for books (Salvat’s Mythology for Children collection, the cover of the book How to Become Zombie). Bloomberg is the most powerful client I have ever worked for. In addition, the US market is complicated, and having managed to get there is a success.
Have you ever considered to dedicate yourself to illustration for media?
What I like is telling stories with my drawings, whatever the medium. I am passionate about communicating and transmitting through what I paint or draw. That is why I have never closed any doors in that sense. I started my professional career in Animation, in the field of pre-production. Then I made storyboards for advertising and, later, I worked designing characters for television series and feature films for different production companies. After a few years the opportunity to do illustrations for an advertising studio appeared. And, little by little, that field was attracting me more. Since then I have done everything. I have illustrated board games (Hard Day’s Knights), product packaging (Weikis), and I have even worked designing characters and attractions for theme parks. For me each new project is exciting, and I try to live it with the greatest intensity. I think that’s the mindset that anyone who wants to pursue this should have.
A part of waiting for the start of the new school year, what other projects are you currently working on?
I’m working on a couple of things right now. Unfortunately I am very superstitious about these things and I never say anything about the projects I am working on until they are finished. And of course, preparing with all the illusion the new course that already begins. Eager to meet the new batch of L’Idem students to begin to convey the passion and enthusiasm for drawing.
Would yoy like to professionalize in Animation?
L’Idem is an international school for new Animation talents. For more than 24 years we have been training the best professionals in the sector. If you want to specialize in an industry with endless job opportunities, do not hesitate to contact our Admissions Department. We will inform you about the academic proposal that we propose for the 2021-2022 academic year in the area of Animation. In addition, we will solve all the doubts you have about the admission process of our center.