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Interview With Victor Velez-Mexico/By Irancartoon
0 Comments | 2 Likes| Interview | Victor Velez | Mexico | Irancartoon

Your biography in 3 lines 

I started as a cartoonist after seeing my father's sketches. Initially, I wanted to be a painter, but slowly I began to realize the power that a cartoon had. That's when I decided to be a cartoonist, at age 16.

 What was your first satirical cartoon?

A critique of the two main political parties in my country, the PRI and the PAN. It was a cartoon depicting them as puppets of each other.

 When did you start working professionally?

At age 16, I started to publish my work in the national newspaper "El Universal." My work was published Monday through Friday in the international section.

 What was your first published artwork?

A critique of the two main political parties in my country, the PRI and the PAN. It was a cartoon depicting them as puppets of each other.

 What was your first prize?

I won second place in The World Press Cartoon.


 What was your last prize?

San Antonio de los Baños, Cuba

 How do you find new ideas?

I attempt to feed off of the things I experience, the things I read, and songs. Others' work also helps me develop my ideas.

 What do you think about Inevitable Similarities?

The fact that we work with the same elements, it's inevitable that our work might seem plagiarized, even when they are not. A lot has to do with the fact that they are elements from our daily lives. There are people that do plagiarize completely and one is able to clearly notice the plagiarized work or whether it was a mere coincidence from an idea that two people had at the same time. It's happened to me, where I've had an idea, and the next day, work is published reflecting ideas similar to mine. However, this does not mean that I am plagiarizing their work, it simply means that we coincided on that same idea.


 What do you think about plagiarism?

Plagiarism is something that every professional artist should avoid at all cost. It is unethical and unprofessional. Seeing a piece of work and making it exactly the same, then signing it off as your own is plagiarism. I completely disapprove of such behavior. Looking for an idea is very complicated. It is not fair when another person comes along and steals your idea without putting any work into it.

I firmly believe in the process of looking for an idea and the progress and evolution of your creative process because a drawing is composed of two parts, the idea and the drawing itself. There is a certain style on both sides. You have a style in producing an idea and how it is communicated and a style in drawing it as well.

 Who do you think is the best Iranian Cartoonist?

I can't answer that question, because in order to do so, I would have to familiarize myself with the work of all Iranian cartoonists. I am only familiar with a few. However, I am a fan of Irancartoon.

 Who is the best Cartoonist in your country?

The cartoonists that I have liked the most and that have influenced me are Emmanuel Velez and my father who introduced me to cartooning. Rogelio Naranjo, Elio Flores, Rius, and Boligan are also worth mentioning.

 Who do you think is the best foreign cartoonist?

I think that Ralph Steadman impacted me ever since I was exposed to his work. However, I can’t say that he is the best with certainty because there are many that are very good in their own element.

 What's the best cartoon that you've ever seen? Can you send it to us?

This question is also very difficult to answer because I can say Quino, Roland Topor, Ralph Steadman , Boligan, or Elio Flores. However, I can see others’ work and really like it as well.

 How much time do you spend on creating a piece of art?

I really don’t have a set amount of time that I spend on pieces. It all depends on the piece. For example, when working with acrylic, I can’t say, I will spend three hours on this piece, because it might take me longer depending on what it demands. In reality, there are a lot of techniques that I use. Sometimes I use the computer and I can spend three hours on that specific piece, there are other times where I work with watercolors and such work might take me three days. The amount of time varies on the materials and the type of piece that I am creating.

 What are the tools and techniques for creating artwork?

Watercolor, ink, photoshop, oils, acrylics, pens, brushes, colors, wood ... A lot depends heavily on the idea. Generally for an editorial cartoon I use photoshop and ink, in my personal work I use more traditional techniques.

 Which software do you use?

Photoshop and Pinter 

 What would you recommend to your colleagues?

If drawing is your hobby, do everything possible to make it your life.

 What do you think about the cartoon situation in the world?

I think that there is a huge crisis because the printed market has the tendency to disappear and the media believes that they no longer need illustrations. Before, there was printed paper, yet, nowadays there are other mediums, like the virtual world that may use illustrations and caricatures. The market would need to reorganize to be able to once again use printed caricatures and illustrations.

 Did you ever have any problems with your cartoons?

Yes, at times when you express your point of view, there is always someone that will disagree with you. Caricatures are meant to create a level of discomfort along with being irreverent which also brings upon consequences.

What was your best cartoon?

I really don’t have a favorite cartoon because I like many for different reasons. Some for their humor, others for the art, and others for both.

 Have you ever created an immediate Cartoon?

Of course. There are caricatures that I have developed, make notes and sketches. There are ideas that immediately come to mind and go straight from my brain to the paper and then to get published. There have also been other times, where it has taken months for a caricature to come to fruition.

 Have you ever been a judge in any Cartoon Contest?

Yes. Bienal de Humor de San Antonio de los Baños

 What do you think about Caricatures?

The cartoon is one of the most powerful mediums that exists to communicate ideas because they are half reporters and half art. You are able to convert it into a massive powerful medium by combining the two. That’s when you have to use it responsibly. When you use humor, the only responsibility that exists is to have fun because if you don’t have fun, you aren’t doing your job well.

 Have you ever cooperated with another artist?

No I have not.

 What do you think about the Irancartoon website?

It is the best place about graphic humor and one of the sites I reference.

 If you were born again what would you choose as your career?

This same one. I wouldn’t change it for any other.

 What do you think is the line between Cartoon and Caricature?

I think that they go hand in hand. Although, there are caricatures that create humor. There are also humorists that create caricatures. I try to stay in both.

 What and when was your last exhibition?

April of this year in San Antonio de los Baños, Cuba. I had a solo exhibition on humor and portraits.

Do you think an artist can make enough money creating cartoons and caricatures?

It is possible if you focus on commercial cartooning because independent cartooning or caricature requires a good sponsor.


 Who's your favorite artist that is not in the cartoon world?

I think that it’s almost impossible to enclose art in one person. I appreciate some things from certain artists and others from others. Among my favorite artists are Caravaggio, Gottfried Helnwein, Arturo Rivera, Cauduro…

 What was the last book you read?

Aura by Carlos Fuentes

 Do you think humor can be learned?

Yes. Humor is something natural and the craft can teach you to perfect it, but it is something natural, innate.


 What do you think about Black Humor?

It is our daily fuel. We live with it and live for it. There’s a saying that goes “The week starts off bad for those that hang themselves on Monday.”

 Who is the best artist in Black Humor?

I really like the work of Roland Topor and Ralph Steadman.

 What was your last performed Caricature?

A man tattooing another, but the tattoo comes to life in the form of a dragon.

This interview will be used in both English and Persian websites and also in Iran Cartoon Magazine.


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