Paintings… how beautiful they are, if they were painted by a man who loves his profession. Recently we took an exclusive interview with Roberto Parada, a proffesional artist who was born in 1969 and raised in northern New Jersey in a town called North Arlingto. We interviewed Roberto about his life and creativity and we are happy to share this story with you.
AP: Roberto, could you please tell us about your first illustrations. What did they look like?
RP: I did my first assignment in October of 1991 for the National Review, a low budget but well know conservative magazine. I was 21 at that time and getting a meeting with any art director is unheard for a newly graduated art student. But they meant with me on a recommendation from an old professor of mine. He liked what he saw… enough to give me a small black and white spot for $100. The image was of a sheik playing the violin (Nero like) as these oil fields burnt. Clearly this was the current event of the time in Iraq. It was all done with acrylic wash and colored pencil. There was a style but it wasn’t exactly me yet. My influences hadn’t taken hold.
AP: Do you have any formal education in your sphere or were you self-taught?
RP: I went to study at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York. I was still a young man who was trying to find a way of working when I graduated. I was pretty raw in my ability to visualize well any ideas of substance. There were a lot of painters that I loved at the time… Degas, Rembrandt and Andrew Wyeth. I still love them, but I hadn’t become an oil painter until I left school and got fed up with water based mediums. I was fortunate enough to have a conversation with a great illustrator, Tim O’Brien, who worked in oils and helped convince me to make the switch to oil in my profession. It took many years of practice to get to where I am today but I always look to the masters for guidance and brilliance in technique and light.
AP: What genre are your illustrations?
RP: I prefer work that involves people but I’m open to any genre if a good opportunity arrives. I just enjoy making images.
AP: How would you describe your art-works?
RP: I would describe my work as a “pop art illustration influenced by european masters of painting”.
AP: What kind of equipment and techniques do you use to create your pictures?
RP: I still work old fashion. I paint in oil with walnut oil medium. I don’t use paint thinners to clean with – I use mineral oil, which is safe to use in any closed environment. I don’t work with any colors that have health warning labels attached i.e. Cadmium colors. I stretch my own canvases with tacks… very old fashion. I work on an crank easel and use a hand held wood palette while I paint… very old fashion. I also paint on oiled primed linen. However, when my paintings are completed I photograph them digitally and send that to my client while the painting remains in my studio to dry.
AP: Would you consider yourself as an expert in this sphere?
RP: “Expert” may not be the right term for me to use. I would prefer to say a Serious Professional. I always felt serious about what I do even if the material is humorous or superfluous.
AP: Is there someone who supports you in your creativity?
RP: My mother was always the most supportive person in my art career. She’s the first person to introduce my to the world of paintings in museums. Today my Wife is my backbone with my art.
AP: Would you like to wish something to your readers and AstrumPeople?
RP: I hope I can inspire someone to fulfill there hopes an wishes.
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