WEEK 0:INTERVIEW TO JUAN FIORAMONTI

1.- How did you start reading comics and how long have you been reading them?
From a very young age. Just when I learned to read my mother started buying me Patoruzú, Paturucito, Isidoro and Isidorito of Quinteros, while I was getting older I discovered comics, particularly super-heroes, until reach adolescence where I discovered Tony D’argtanan, Skorpio and Cimoc magazine.

2.- When did you know you wanted to be an illustrator?
I draw since I was a year and a half. It is something I do since I have memory. What Imade me decide to be an illustrator and especially go into comics was Skorpio. When I saw the pictures of Horacio Lalia and Enrique Alcatena I said to myself: “You are going to spend the rest of your life doing this.” It was when I discovered what I wanted to do, what I wanted to draw.

3.- Tell us about your artistic skills and what are your influences?
Like any kid I started copying, mainly a comic of Jodorowski with Gal called The Passion of Diosamante that was published in the Cimoc, and from the magazine Skorpio, I stole something to everyone who went through that magazine.
My training is self-taught. Took some classes and participated in workshops but all I know about drawing I take it out from the comics and books. First studying textures, patterns, effects, and as how some authors solved some particular issues and tried to emulate them while doing it my way, that and books. Countless amounts of anatomy books, techniques, architecture … whatever I could found about it (and could afford), from encyclopedias to loose pages and comments in magazines. I read, I studied and I sat for hours practicing and trying to incorporate it.
As for my biggest influences are: Berni Wrigthson (especially his Frankenstein), Horacio Lalia, Enrrique Alcatena, Horacio Altuna, Leonardo Manco and Ernesto Garcia Seijas, and unrelated to the comics but are always present are Pirannesi and Escher. Others who put their hands more indirectly into my work are: Francois Beougeon, Milo Manara, George Perez, Alex Maleev, Masamune Shirow and Tim Bradstreet.

4.- What’s the thing that you like the most and the least of your work as an illustrator?
What I like the most is that it’s not a job, it’s a passion, a Lifestyle. It forces you to grow and document yourself, studying to solve particular issues to what you are doing and the smell of graphite, ink, even the paper. Being a slave to the board and the endless possibilities of freedom it gives into its confines. And getting paid for doing something I love.
Things I don’t like are the backaches, the market unlikely difficulty to publish and what they usually poorly paid jobs. (This is something I love to do, but I have to eat too). And above all, it is not recognized as a profession. There is no real value for the craft except for those involved in it and a few exceptions. It’s frustrating to hear things like “Comics are for kids”, or “it’s just a cartoon” and I do not rate it “is very expensive,” and that those who actually do can’t afforded. It’s very sad.

5.- Why did you decide to join Twist Comics?
The presentation you sent me through mail. I thought you were an honest guy with a passion to pursue and doing things right from the start. Something certainly ambitious but done with sweat, blood, and using your head forward, not walking blindly. That and the opportunity to do what I like.

6.- What was the most appealing thing in the story you have drawn?
The decadent maelstrom in which the character is falling and the possibility of developing a particular aesthetic. There are some parallels with my personal life issues that are occurring at the time of drawing the comic so in a way there is a slight identification with the protagonist.

7.- Could you explain a little about your decisions creating the main character?
If I remember correctly the description he was an arrogant Rock Star in a cyberpunk society, so it came to my head Dero Goi (OOHMP singer!) and the Sex Pistols´bassist (No idea why) so I made a fusion including personal touches and a slight change in the process, such as tattoos. It just occurred to me as I finished drawing on the third page when I saw the character without the clothes. It wasn´t specified in the script that he should have tattoos, I decided to design them.

8_ Why do you draw son many details in every panel?
Hmmm. I’m an obsessive compulsive who never developed capacity of synthesis. If I “see it”, I imagine it I have to put it on paper. Fear of white.

9_– How long did you spend making each page? How have you made them and how has been the feedback between you and scriptwriter?

Well … I drawed it in a time quite chaotic, so I can hardly calculate the exact time. Say they have an average of three to five days.
In terms of process, I sketch it out completely making small notations to consider certain details that had to be present, and giving me an idea of how compose pages, the shape of the panels, how many, what would be see in it, etc. And from there go to the final realization. Draw but not following a too specific continuity, jumping pages and panels that looked complicated to me for one reason or another, leaving whites and following with something else and then come back. I’m quite chaotic when working. And the communication … Heh. I slaughter the boy with endless mails that kept him awake until three in the morning.

On the communication side I have only praise and hails. I made many changes to the script always trying to stay as true as possible, there are things happening that would not come out, I couldn’t do it, or because of the ultra-detailed style I had some things just could not be appreciated, and on that side Fernando was always more than generous and sympathetic. The biggest change was the pages that were added, shifting the Panels, but keeping the original description. I am grateful to be working with someone who is a fan besides talented and who knows a lot of the subject, and use it to understand and to appreciate suggestions as give them too. I think communication, within which was (and is) very large also is fluid, the only inconvenience that side were a couple of issues of terminology, he is Spanish and I am Argentine, and although we use the same language, the use we give to the words is different in some occasions, when there was something not understood or gave any misinterpretation or confusion, we just ask about it. Other than that, nothing, pure fluidity.
9B_ The second panel. The first of the second page. I like it for the point of view and the dynamic that has, in addition to the environment, the atmosphere. I think it’s the best achieved and also was the first to be drawn, the one that started everything. I think it’s has more strength and energy.
10.-If therewere a virtual reality system like the one described in the story of Icarus´s herat, through whose eyes you look like your world?

Uh! Well, my view of the world is in itself quite twisted … I think maybe I would like to be enter in some psychotic dictator mind just to try to better understand the rationalization they use to justify their atrocities, if not: David Lynch´s mind.

11.- What are your next projects?

None. I am fully dedicated to Twist Comics. When I start to branch out, to be on several things at once, terribly low quality comes out and I end up not liking anything. I’d rather focus and devote myself to one thing at a time.
I spend a stage where I was working on five things at once, very different from each other and I became more crazy, since then, I quit that pattern and try to focus fully on each thing I made.

12.- What is your most prided work?

One I did a few years ago, in which I take a whole month working between 6-12 hours a day. A piece of 42 cm x 63 cm quite bizarrely. In my blog is posted under the name Ecos or Echoes.

13_ 13.-I guess you’re still learning even when you teach drawing to your students?
When I was teaching was when I most learned. I do not believe in teaching per se, yes in learning. Teachers, professors are actually Presenters. We present a method, technique, it is in each to develop and / or use it. As in mathematics there are many ways to get the same result, it´s the same in drawing, there are many ways to solve something, everyone has to find the one that works for himself. I kept learning because I keep practicing and I know when the formulas do not help me solve something, I seek new one and if I do not find one then invent one. When you teach that aspect is fantasti, because you study something then present it, but each student absorbs it differently and develops differently and you discover and learn about it, as long as you are willing. Unfortunately, many “teachers” teach and impose a formula that they know and that only works in a little percentage of the students.

One has to know how to adapt to that effect and therefore study and practice much. Not everyone learns in the same way. One must know how to present a theme in various ways; if not you limit the student and you can even harm him, “Close it” frustrate and that’s not right. In addition, the student must be willing to learn, if not, it’s become a constant conflict between the presenter and the student that sealed both.
Years ago I suffered from a “burnout”, since then I could not return to teaching.

14_ – If tomorrow started the apocalypses and you
knew it, what would you like to do today?
I’m more of graphic novels, that begin and end, that series that continues (in large companies in particular) usually are tied with 50 numbers and personally I resent having to read forty things different to follow what is happening in one. I like Daredevil, Wasteland and Batwoman. There are several others that I follow more for the illustrators than by the writers, but I get some surprise here and there and enjoy the occasional series, but those stories are mostly isolated, basically only those three .
15_
Drink a coffee, enjoy a cigarette and accompany my puppies.
16_What would you like to be told when you arrive to heaven or hell’s gates
I’m an atheist. I guess something like: “There is no place for guys like you around here” or “we’re full, try again later.”
17_What’s the best advice you can give?
I’m not one to give advice. I’m far from being a role model.
18.-What good things do you expect to happen in the next few months?
The warning labels of danger and letting stupidity “fix” itself.