Grafik Paragraph is me! A newsletter and blog delivering snapshots of excellent creative work, in addition to interviews and resources.
Derek is a Cuban-America Illustrator and artist based in Brooklyn, New York. He works across print and digital and has completed works for clients like the New York Times, The Washington Post and Medium.
What's your back story Derek, how did you become an Illustrator?
Growing up as an only child, I spent a lot of time alone reading, drawing, and watching television and movies. I would staple pieces of paper and rewrite and illustrate stories I saw on shows like Reading Rainbow because I thought I could do it better. Later on, I wanted to work in animation as a concept artist, and would see that lots of my favorite artists studied Illustration at schools in California and New York.
You're originally from Miami, when did you make the move to the big apple?
What made you switch study paths from animation to Illustration?
What would you say are some of the biggest influences on your work?
You've described your work as creating dream-like representations of a variety of subjects. How did this 'dreamy' aesthetic and inspiration come about?
You’ve done work for news outlets like The New York Times, The Washington Post and Vice. What's it like working for those companies? I'm envisioning it as having super quick turnarounds…
How have you found working from home? I recall that you used to have your own studio?
How do you think the pandemic has impacted Illustrators in your industry as a whole?
What are some of those things that you feel need fixing in the way art schools teach Illustration Programs?
Where do you see the future of Illustration heading?
So your definitely more of a fan of specializing as opposed to becoming a generalist?
Do you have any new favorite or signature tools of your trade? I know Pro Create has recently had Illustrators flocking to the software, for example.
Miami or Brooklyn, which ones better?
Any exciting projects coming up?
Any favorite artists you think we should check out?
Plans for summer?
New website dropping soon? (Serena mentioned)