One-on-one with Juan Francisco Bautista

Today Boneshaker Press has the pleasure to introduce you to Juan Francisco Bautista, an illustrator, concept artist and visual developer living in Barcelona in Spain. Checkout Juan on instagram!

What’s your background?

I’m an artist that didn’t know it was possible to make a living out of this profession – So I when I went to University, I graduated from English Studies. I loved reading and making up stories (sometimes drawing them too!) but even after finishing, I felt something was missing…

What got you interested in the arts to begin with?

I loved watching Saturday morning cartoons and kept tabs on everything from videogames to comics to follow them up.

Vin, from The Mistborn Series

When did you decide to dedicate yourself to art?

When I was 23 I took a small 6-month course on illustration. I decided to give it a go because I had just recently started working and missed the “school environment”. I immediately fell in love with the craft! From there I jumped to a more structured course on traditional illustration, that spanned 3 years.

Do you remember your first piece of art you were really proud of? The one that made you say yes I am an artist!

I remember coming back from my third year of illustration with a bunchload of finished drawings and paintings. I remember vividly only one that stood out. It was a portrait I had drawn for my father.

Do you collect anything?

Artbooks, artbooks, more artbooks!

The Legend of the Tragantia

Do you enjoy collaboration work? What qualities do you look for in collaborators?

I love collaborations because it keeps me motivated and challenged. Also, I notice there is a great deal of creativity in having ideas bounce from each other.

Noah Levy, a character from a campaign of the tabletop rpg game Anima

Do you ever feel like giving up and doing something else? If so, why and how have you overcome that feeling?

Yes, many times. I believe it’s integral to everyone to be able to reconsider, and accept it as natural. It’s frustrating to be doing something you’re passionate about and yet, sometimes, you don’t enjoy it fully. Sometimes we need a change of pace, atmosphere or background. I’ve taken a break, gone on a trip, played a videogame.

What themes/ideas do you pursue?

I love coming-of-age stories. Always have inspired my own life, my art and ideas. I believe everyone can grow and learn from past mistakes.

The Tragantía’s Past and Transformation

What is your dream project? If there were no time/money restrictions what would you create?

A reimagining of The Neverending Story film, closely following the full book’s two parts.

What advice would you have given yourself ten years ago?

Don’t worry about result, or expectation, or training. Do what you like best, use the classes to your advantage, and if something doesn’t work, discard it. There isn’t “one true” way to learn.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?

You’re not your art.

Hel, the goddess of the Norse underworld

Professionally, what’s your goal?

To tell, express, distribute good ideas and inspiring stories.

What was your first step towards being a professional?

Signing for a course that I really knew would shake my beliefs and push me to my limits in story telling. That was Painting Drama, at the Oatley Academy.

What is the most vital/indispensable tool in your studio?

My digital pen!

Would you eat the moon if it were made of spare ribs?

As much as I like ribs, I’d rather have a Moon that everyone can share and bask in for eons to come, than have a moment of selfish pleasure. 🙂

You can find Juan’s work on the The Legend of the Tragantia in the second volume of Encounters with the Imaginary currently running on kickstarter !

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