Barcelona born Gregori Saavedra is represented by Jelly London. We will be posting the artwork he has created for us this week, so stay tuned!
TheFableists – So how did you get your start in illustration?
Gregori – Ten years ago I decided to go on this great adventure because I had spent 10 years as a creative director in advertising, as a copywriter. And then suddenly I had a baby – not me, my wife, of course! I decided to change my mind and I quit from that. I decided to try some other disciplines such as illustration, design, graphic design and that is how it started.
TheFableists – Which ad agency were you last in?
Gregori – The last one was Euro RSCG in Barcelona, before BDB and before that J Walter Thompson which was in Barcelona, Madrid and Munich.
TheFableists – Do you miss it?
Gregori – Not at all -it was crazy! I used to spend so much time talking. Talking but not doing anything. I remember the sensation of not using my hands for anything. That was up to my team, and I hated that, because my team was working on the stuff I would like to put my hand on but there was no time. There was just time to sell stupid things to our clients. People think that’s an exciting world but it is not.
TheFableists – What inspires your day to day work? Does it have a look/feel?
Gregori – I started doing something really weird, and that was to create folders filled with images that might inspire me, and every month my mission was to create something with the stuff I had collected. This method made me convert the stupid things that surround me into something that is relevant. This is key to my work, which is a mix of useless things that you turn into something interesting. Also, it is like a private diary because if I look at every album I have done, I know exactly which month I created it in.
TheFableists – So, do you draw every day?
Gregori – Yeah, but I guess every illustrator [does] because it is the only way to keep the ideas and work together. I have two daughters also, and I have to share my life with them. At the same time they inspire me with a lot of things. When I take them to do an activity I am there so whatever they live is the same as I live. In a child’s world there is so much to take in.
TheFableists – What about these pieces you’ve done for The Fableists? What were the inspirations behind these?
Gregori – First of all, the text that I got from you! (the brief the Fableists sent him) But the main point is that I really agree with your philosophy. This made it quite easy to draw the illustrations because it is exactly the world I would like to live in.
Matt – What do you think about what we are doing? Do you think there should be more of it?
Gregori – I really love it. The point is, more people should live this way because we are being really greedy. We are eating whatever is around, not thinking that there has to be enough for more people. I think it is lovely and great, and lots of people should follow this.
TheFableists – Do you have a dream client? You are directing now, doing a mixture of still and moving graphics. What work do you aspire to? Is there a specific brand?
Gregori – Somebody intelligent at the other side, who will look behind that image and work. My usual stuff is quite complex, full of plenty of images and details, but at the end there is just one idea. The other stuff is just trying to distract you from that. But I am quite stupid and I need to word a lot on what I do, and I need to feel exhausted every time I finish something.
There is a lot of punishing in my work, at least [there was] at the beginning of my illustration career. I used to draw myself tied and tortured. Why would I do this? I guess it is because I feel so happy doing what I like to do, and this [does not seem] fair. There are a lot of people who cannot do what they would like to do.
TheFableists -There are so many different platforms for your work now available in advertising: art, moving art, online, TV…
Gregori – Yeah, but in the end, what I think I learned from advertising is that you have to communicate something. In illustration there is a lot of decoration but not so much communication. That is an obsession for me. I cannot just decorate something.
For example, your project is great and I have a chance to communicate my personality. You are my platform in this case and that’s great because thanks to you I can say what I have in my mind.
TheFableists – We hope to discover artists through our t-shirts. Do you think that can work?
Gregori – I think so because art is an instinct. Your product and philosophy is an instinctive reaction to what is happening and the way it is happening. So, if the artists need a place to communicate this message, you are perfect. In the last one I created, I made your t-shirt as a flag, because it is not just a t-shirt, it is what we use to say we are here, we are like this. You want the people to follow you.