Meet Our Tradition Illustrator: Andres M Felfle
It has been a tradition at CreativeMornings to work with an artist in our community to create an illustration for the monthly theme.
A monthly theme inspires new conversations and ideas that we otherwise wouldn’t think about. At our events, speakers are invited to share a story around the theme and what it means to them. After a month, we are excited to see the kinds of talks and inspiration that are born out of the theme.
The global theme for December is Tradition.
Given that these monthly illustrations are at events all around the world, it’s only right that we get to know the illustrator.
Meet Andrés Manjarres Felfle
Andrés M Felfle is a freelance illustrator and teacher of graphic design for two universities in Barranquilla, Colombia. When he isn’t teaching, he prioritizes his personal work like fanzines, stickers, print, and product illustrations. Everything changed for him in 2014 when he moved to Barcelona to study illustration.
How did you get into illustration work?
Drawing has always been a part of my life. You could probably find drawings and sketches in all my school notebooks even of 1st grade. I could draw every day it’s like eating or breathing, it is relaxing and helps me focus. I even love these restaurants where they give you crayons to draw on a paper table-cover. During my pre-grad I realized it could be more than a hobby, that drawing could be what I would do professionally.
At what point in your life did you realize that illustration was your calling?
As I said, drawing has always been a huge part of my life, but there are two turning points in illustration as my calling. The first one is a whole year in Barcelona, studying, living and breathing art in different forms, it’s a city where art is deeply embedded in and where I could see how many illustrations were valued.
The second turning point was on a trip to Bogota where I was wandering around, went into a bookstore and saw the “Por dentro/Inside” by my favorite illustrator and a big inspiration, Powerpaola. This book made me realize that additionally to being a profession or a hobby, it could also be a way to express feelings, opinions, and thoughts.
How has your work evolved over time and what were some influences that caused it?
These two experiences I just mentioned made me understand that illustration is not only a good technique or making something beautiful but the concept and the ideas behind it. That has been the largest change throughout the years as an illustrator my work has become much more conceptual because I believe that what you are trying to say and communicate is what matters.
I have always been attracted to surrealist artists like Salvador Dali, and other European artists like Van Gogh and Jesus Cisneros, also the New Yorker Jean Michael Basquiat but I have a lot of influence from Latin American like Powerpaola, Maria Luque, Jazmin Varela, Alejandro Magallanes.
What’s an old tradition in your life and what meaning does it give you?
I come from a family with strong Lebanese roots which means that family ties and food are a huge part of my life. For me, tradition is a Sunday lunch with everybody laughing and shouting, sitting around the table eating the same Lebanese food which I grew up eating, cooked by my mom and aunt.
What kind of personal tradition do you have? What inspired it?
My personal tradition is drawing every day, it’s stepping away from the noise a finding the perfect spot and the exact idea or image I want to portray.
What’s something in your industry that deserves more attention?
When answering this question I have to refer to the context of the industry where I live and work in which is Barranquilla, Colombia.
Especially in Barranquilla the industry is slowly growing but a few years ago illustration was not valued, but the illustration is starting to be understood as more than a drawing you can do in 5 minutes. In my industry, I believe that space like the one CreativeMornings provides definitely deserve more attention. Spaces, events, fairs where illustrators can show their work and share experiences and ideas.
Tell us something about yourself that we can’t find on Google.
I have a big obsession with shoes, especially sneakers. I hate the hot weather and the humidity, even if I live in Barranquilla. I like playing the guitar and even though my voice is horrible, I love singing too.
Discover Andre’s work on his Instagram.