In Conversation – Daniel Guerrero Fernández
The San José, Costa Rica-based illustrator and artist is inspired by Raf Simons sneakers, Nintendo DS, and a desire to be more productive.
September 17, 2014 | The Coffee Table Book | Fall 2014
What’s your process like? Are you more of a free-form artist, or do you start with a specific concept in mind?
I usually sketch out ideas I think are good enough to be used, then later go back and, if I still like them, turn them into actual drawings; sometimes they never get used for anything though. More often than not I’ll start out with a concept in mind.
Your art is very retro-inspired, which makes sense considering you told Fun Times your style was influenced largely by your childhood—particularly the anime and cartoons of the 1990s and early 2000s. Is the nostalgic feel of your work intentional, or does it come naturally through your creative process?
I’d say it’s intentional.
If you could hang out with any cartoon or anime character in real life, which would you choose?
Lupin the Third.
Have you considered making your own animations?
Yes I have, but it’s hard for me to come up with good stories. I need to practice my writing.
Your work also has very soothing, dream-like quality. Have any of your pieces been inspired by dreams?
No, my drawings aren’t really inspired by dreams. My last dream was about picking food up from the floor and eating it.
The world you’ve created in your work—especially in the pieces featuring those colorful, smiling blobs—is incredibly cheerful. Are you generally a cheerful person?
I’m not that cheerful. I think I’m funny though.
Was there any particular inspiration for those blobs? Despite being these gelatinous masses you manage give each of them a distinct personality.
They’re inspired by the Dragon Quest slimes and the facial expressions of some emoji and smiley icons.
Being from San José, do you think Costa Rica has influenced your work?
I’m not sure if I’m influenced by the country I live in, I rarely leave the house. I do think I’m influenced by my friends, and well…they’re Costa Rican.
You seem to have an interest in fashion. Is that an avenue you’re willing to explore more in the future?
Yes, I’d like to. Lately I’ve been very into sneakers designed by Raf Simons.
Speaking of fashion, you drew a couple comics for Vice about sneakers. How’d you hook up with them?
Someone from Vice asked me to start drawing comics for them. Those were actually my very first comics ever. That’s why the stories were kinda short and didn’t make much sense.
What’s the weirdest compliment anyone has ever given you?
I can’t think of a really weird one, but people have complimented my sneakers more than a few times. Also, a girl complimented my eyebrows on Instagram once; I thought that was funny.
What do you think your fans appreciate most about your work?
I’m not sure. I think maybe those daggers and swords I used to draw a lot. People love to get them tattooed.
What do you like most about your work?
I like when I draw really clean and neat lines.
Artistically, what do you see yourself doing in five years? What plans do you have for your personal life?
Being more productive and living with my boyfriend.
If someone were interested in hiring you for either commercial or editorial work, where would be the best place to reach you?
Http://danielguerrerofernandez.com/ or firstname.lastname@example.org/.
Mariusz Zubrowski is still suffering from his quarter-life crisis. He has also watched every episode of Law & Order in consecutive order.