Photo Credit: Eivind Hansen
Ego Rodriguez is an Illustrator and concept artist. His current work is focused on digital media. He holds an affection for watercolours, acrylics, inks and mixed media.
He is an autodidact, and his technique and style were chiselled from creative surrounding and a kinship towards artistic expression.
His show Macho was featured twice in London 2012 and 2014, also in pride events worldwide. However, Ego enjoys concentrating his efforts on editorial and smaller formats, and his work has been showcased in magazines with significant circulation, including The Advocate, Gay Times, QX, Attitude and Jarry.
Ego Rodriguez works have been described as: “Tom of Finland meets Warhol” owing to bold usage of bright colours and energetic strokes with homoerotic themes. He Plays with negative space and dramatic lighting. The audience is left to fill gaps and create their own story.
Ego is a Spanish born, London living artist and has lived and worked in London for over 20 years. When not doodling he can be found reading some encyclopaedia of pointless information.
We talked to Ego Rodriguez all about how he took his first steps into the world of illustration, what has inspired the development of his unique style, and what he has planned for the future.
More importantly - we found out what his favourite 80s Jam is, what his specialist Mastermind subject would be and whether or not he likes Hot Pilates.
We are so excited that you have chosen to collaborate with us! We would love to hear more about you as a person, please tell us a little bit more about yourself!
I’d been drawing since I was a baby. I grew up within an artistic environment. You can find elaborated artwork from an early age.
I had my own worlds, my own languages and my own characters.
During this period is when I soaked in the strongest influences for my current work.
When did you know that you wanted to pursue illustration as more than a hobby and at what point did it become a full-time occupation for you?
I’d been drawing since I was a toddler, so for me drawing it has always been more of a mindscape than a preconceived mission or a goal. When you do something all the time, so often, you aim to always improve.
Over the last 6 years or so is when I started to look into it more seriously as a job rather than just a hobby. A couple of years ago I became redundant from my office job and it was then that I decided to take the plunge.
What are some of your main goals as an artist and illustrator?
Any creatives main goal is just being able to feed themselves, from there everything else becomes relevant depending of the occasion.
You have a very distinct and unique style – can you tell us a bit more about how this came to be?
Figurative and linear.
Over the years I kept removing lines, details and noise but at the same time I like to keep the dirt of the stroke. I like to clear as many elements as I can to see how far I can go whilst retaining the meaning of the whole.
What inspires you as an artist? How do you come up with new ideas for your work?
Some people try to represent something with copious elements. Others want to get the audience to try to understand the artist. I like to build a story and let you find your own plot. Sometimes I want to draw things that are pretty, simple as that.
When I have some idea I begin to construct mentally how to create it into a visual experience.
Illustration for me is a language and not just an action.
What have been some of your favourite projects that you have worked on so far?
I always enjoy projects where I get to craft everything without reference or models. That’s why I enjoy my takes of myths and fairy tales for example I love fantasy. I loved working in creative drafts like the LGTBQ+ Athletes for The Advocate.
Can you tell us a bit about what you’re working on right now? What can we look forward to seeing from you in the future?
I’m always working on different things. There’s a continuous flow of new material coming up which you can see if you follow me on social media.
Do you have any advice for new illustrators and artists?
Don’t try hard to be what you are not. It’s not about impressing the rest but learn from what you do.
What do you most enjoy doing outside of illustration? Can we find you doing Hot Pilates somewhere on a Tuesday afternoon?
I don’t do pilates, I am afraid. The very few hours I’m not drawing, I might be reading or trying to have a social life.
Do you have a favourite 80s Jam? Ours is ‘Dancing in the Dark’ by Bruce Springsteen.
I grew up in the 80s and I’m a musicophile so it’s a hard one. If I had to pick it would be Madonna’s 'Holiday' - that song never fails to put me in a good mood.
As the king of encyclopaedic knowledge, what would be your specialist subject on the TV show Mastermind?
That’s something I don’t do.. watching TV. I love useless information and bizarre knowledge. Amongst my favourites are mythology and anthropology.
Anything else you’d like to share?
It is important to support independent creatives and respect their craft.
Too often people are asked to do things for free.