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Interview: Isaac Jadraque

Isaac Jadraque

Character Designer & Digital Artist

CDQ10 artist and character designer Isaac Jadraque talks about drawing inspiration, character design tips and great advice for budding artists…

Isaac's Behance

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Tell us a little bit about yourself: Who are you, what do you do, and where are you located?

Isaac

My name is Isaac. I was born in Madrid, where I live and work. Ever since I was a child I have been passionate about drawing and sculpture.  Fifteen years ago I started working as a professional digital illustrator while finishing my studies, and in the last ten years I have combined it with UX/UI design. More recently I've been more focused on character design and visual development, but right now; on being a new father!

male character profile sketches

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How do you get into the “creative zone?” Do you prefer a particular place or time of day?

Isaac

I have no preference for any particular time of day; what I do need is my space. I have a small studio where I go to work every day. It's a very quiet place, where I have my art books, some figures and everything that inspires me. When I’m there I feel very comfortable and concentrated.

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Where do you draw inspiration from, and can you explain why?

Isaac

The truth is that in this day and age it is very difficult not to be inspired. Social networks are an inexhaustible source of inspiration, sometimes even too much. As a character designer, all you have to do is go out into the street and observe people to find different morphologies, gestures and attitudes that you can incorporate into your designs and make them more interesting.

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What software do you use, either for work or personal projects?

Isaac

I've been using Photoshop since I started digital illustration fifteen years ago and it's still my favorite piece of software. I know all the keyboard shortcuts and this makes it very productive. A couple of years ago I discovered Procreate and I like it very much to do sketches at home while I'm relaxing on the sofa with the iPad. Both are very powerful and have a lot of really cool brushes.

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How important is the recognition of your peers?

Isaac

The most important thing is to be proud of your own work. We all like to be recognized for our work. The problem is when recognition becomes an end unto itself. In general, I don't like collectives where people seek recognition. Art has a lot of subjectivity and variety of styles that do not have to please everyone.

We all like to be recognized for our work. The problem is when recognition becomes an end unto itself.

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In your opinion, what are the essential elements of good character design?

Isaac

In my opinion, shapes and rhythm are the most important things in good character design. The rest of the details can contribute a lot to the style or attitude of the character, but a good silhouette is what is most engraved in our memory and makes the characters more recognizable and unique.

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What advice would you give someone just starting out as an artist?

Isaac

I would say that in this profession, despite what people believe there is more work than talent. If you want to work and live on this you must be willing to work and strive if you want to reach something else. In general, people prefer to work with efficient people than with artists of enormous talent but who do not meet deadlines.

space monkey in wheelchair illustration
dog girl and man viewing landscape
hippie male with a smile emoji illustration
lost adventurers in woods
hansel and Gretel illustration
female character design sheet

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