TeeHunter X Raki Martinez – Interview

It’s Friday, it’s interview time on TeeHunter with a new and amazing t-shirt designer from Spain (Andale, Andale!) – Enjoy.

Tell us a little about yourself
First of all, hi everyone!!  It’s an honor to do this interview.
My name, at least, by which everybody knows me is Raki Martinez, I am from Spain, I live in the south, specifically in the capital of Andalucía, Seville, a nice, warm climate that will I invite everyone to visit at least once in life.

Raki Martinez T-Shirt Designer

When and how did you first start getting into design? 
Well, since I was a child, my passion was always drawing, I could spend hours and hours drawing my favorite characters, such as Goku, Robin Hood, many of the iconic Disney characters, this was mostly in my time more early. Later I began to become a passionate of video games, I was given my first console, a Playstation and with it came characters like Crash Bandicoot, Spyro the dragon, Gex, Lara Croft, and the list is much longer, so my drawings began to turn around this industry that is now so booming.  Also include comics, especially American, with super heroes of Marvel, who came into my life a little later.
When I began to study high school, choose the artistic branch and when finished, I graduated in Fine Arts, specializing inengraving and design.

What does it take to be a good designer? Do you recommend going to school to learn art and graphic design?
I must start by saying that to be an artist you don’t need a title to prove it, what actually think about it is having one of these titles don’t become you into one necessarily, however, if this is what you really like and move your world, it may be helpful to perform studies focused on perfecting your techniques, show you things that until now we were unknown, you do thus expand your knowledge and ambitions, there will be your mind to other possibilities and generally can reinforce your bases and bring new aspects to bring the world what you mean by your works.
I can assure you that when I started my degree in Fine Arts, not everything they taught me seemed useful, eventually began to appreciate all the technique and theory that my teachers were giving, I improved in many ways and this greatly appreciate and that eventually I was able to refine my style and day after day and with effort, that after all this is the most important, effort and persistence, see how I’m getting better, but is never creates enough, there is always require more and more.

How long did it take to start getting noticed and actually selling your artwork?
When I finished my degree, I feel confused and lost, I had no idea how to find work or to send my works to the public.  I did some work for small businesses, “indie” game developers who were beginning their wanderings.
Later, some friends told me about the pages of daily sales of shirts, so I wanted to try luck and made my first designs, I am a very negative person so I was not have much hope that my designs arrived to the public of those pages because, as some already know, designs that go on sale are elected by popular vote.
Now, and for quite some time, my goal is to have a good portfolio of illustrations, nothing to do with the t-shirt design, to send to some companies, to be an artist in the world of videogames.

cabecera raki martinez

If you were to pick a favorite design you have created, which one would it be and why?
Well, actually it is a difficult decision, I have little time in this and I do not have many designs in my wallet but I think my favorite design is “Alien Evolution”, I think partly because I’m a big fan of this saga and overall I’m pretty happy with the result (this is not something normally happen) ;P

Tell us about your creative process, from the beginning of a typical piece to its completion.
I usually start with traditional sketches with a pencil or a pen if possible (I love conventional pens) and paper, after deleting three billion times, I spend my sketch to digital format and start working with programs like Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, or if I want some more speed with the layout, use Paint Tool SAI (this also love *¬*).  I return to deleting three billion times the lineart to get something I like moderately, then I start giving color and later do halftones, and that I think isthe hardest work within designs that are created for traditional serigraphy.
Once completed the design, I am watching for half an hour, or one or two hours, watching failures or things to improve, return to tweak, I again observe, I again find improvable things and so the cycle continues for some time while I get something can like me and this together with my tiredness lets me upload it to different platforms and shops. (I am a real headache  formyself).

Tell us something interesting happening lately in your life
I really do not know what part might be interesting, focusing on what I consider “my achievements” finish all my studies is one of them, because for some time of my second year in my degree I considered leaving school to dedicate completely to labor market and pursue some dreams, I decided to continue and now I do not regret at all.
I’m still not fully realized or proud of my work history, but I’ve got some merits that I thought I would get much later, now for example, I’m doing designs for t-shirts for SMITE videogame, along with a company that officially licensed products, slowly, I’ll achieving my goals.

Moving on, this year fulfilled one of my dreams, I traveled to Japan with my partner, we were in Tokyo for two weeks and I had a great time, into very many arcades, the Pokémon Center, the J-World, Akihabara, was a memorable trip, would love torepeat (I ended up sick of white rice).
I would like my next destination is New York or Los Angeles, one Comic-Con or E3 and would over the moon.

Do you have any good advice for emerging artists?
Of course, never abandon your dreams, your goals, there will always be people who can not appreciate what you do, but you have to be strong, fit well the criticisms, rejections, and try to improve yourself day after day, always overcome. We always take some disappointments, but if you love to create, draw, paint, design, and this is what you really want to do, do it, without more, DO IT!!

Raki Martinez is active on TeePublic here: https://www.teepublic.com/user/raki (aff, non-aff)

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Hi, I'm Sergiu. I run TeeHunter. I make sure our team of t-shirt addicts have everything they need to bring you the best t-shirts out there.

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