Jalcalara (Juan Alcalá) grew up in the 90’s amongst Wally books, Beatles’ songs or spending the afternoon drawing before studying architecture. Actually, he combines his knowledge of architecture with his work as an illustrator, collaborating with companies such as Alfa Romeo or Red Cross. Jalcalara’s creations are generated at a crossroads of elements, anywhere from architecture, everyday life and popular culture; European comic books from the second half of the 20th century, his vinyl collection or Wes Anderson films.
Describe your creative lab in a few words
A tiny white desk in front of a big and lighty window, surrounded by a lot of books, especially comics. Music is almost always playing, mostly jazz.
In two sentences, how would you describe your work technique?
"Ligne Claire" is always present in my mind. As an architect by training, I always try to play with architecture and perspectives.
What is the project of which you are most proud of?
I'm very proud of any client or commissioned project that put their trust on me, but in a personal way, I'm especially proud about my work with Alfa Romeo. Trying to make something creative and different every year and every race is something that keeps me awake. F1 is good training for that because where the same solutions are repeated over and over again, getting out of there is something that gives surprising results, but it takes a risk. I really believe that illustration or any creative work is a long distance race. The most exciting things are always yet to come.
What are your favourite colors to create?
Illustration, unlike architecture, has taught me not to have prejudices with colors, and this is something really wonderful. Within the red color there are hundreds of reds, and this is amazing. I love working with many colors. Sometimes I play with complementary colors. For example, sometimes I wear one sock with one color and another with the complementary.
Why did you become an artist?
I realized that it is the best way to enhance my creativity. There is a certain inner peace when you draw, and it helps you to understand the world or your reality. I think there are few activities that focus all your attention as much as drawing.
In four words, how would you describe your style of illustration?
I think maybe clean, colorful, funny or trendy.
What is the project of your dreams?
A cover of New Yorker Mag would be a very special dream come true, but there are also some brands that I would really love to work with: Benetton, Ralph Lauren, Fred Perry, Nike or Apple for example.
What does a typical day in the life of Jalcalara?
First thing in the morning is to organize work and mail. Then I always work until mid-afternoon and usually go for a run or exercise after that. The few hours of the day that I have left are spent with my wife, family or friends, watching movies, listening to music (specially vinyls) or reading. And don't forget this: it’s important to make five meals every day!
What inspires you?
I like to walk around the city listening to some music. Go to the museums or bookstores. Learn from my favourite artists like Martin Handford, Joost Swarte, Chris Ware or Jamie Hewlett. Movies by Wes Anderson are always a good choice and Jazz music is really inspired. A beer with a friend may give you a lot of inspiration too!
What is your favourite blog or website?
New Yorker, Pitchfork or Designboom.
Welcome to Juan Alcalá aka Jalcalara from Valencia, Spain, a colorful artist who is thrilled with pure creation. It only took us a call with him to feel his love of creation and we had an immediate desire to count him in our team of artists. Jalcalara grew up in the 90s among Wally’s books, the songs of the Beatles and spending the afternoon drawing before studying architecture. In fact, he combines his knowledge of architecture with his work as an illustrator, collaborating with companies such as Alfa Romeo or the Red Cross. Jalcalara’s creations are generated at a crossroads of elements, ranging from architecture, everyday life and POP culture; European comics from the second half of the 20th century, his vinyl collection or Wes Anderson’s films