"Don't be afraid to share your work. Make a portfolio online, and start adding your drawings, paintings, and sketchbooks on there. Just keep drawing, keep practicing, fill up sketchbooks, and draw from life."
My conversation with Jorge Tirado (aka geturass2mars) was really just another day in the life of a reporter; that is, plagued by technical difficulties and a faulty recording device marred an otherwise perfectly lovely exchange. Thankfully Jorge suffered through my mishaps with patience and good humor. With a style that varies between simplistic and hand drawn to zany with punches of color, Jorge has one unifying theme in nearly all of his works. Animals. Jorge dished out about the meaning behind all the birds in his artwork as well as the most important hashtag you’ll learn all day: #dogdoodles.
Amber Lena: Tell me a little bit about the evolution of your style. You seem to combine the quirky and cute even with a little of the grotesque.
Jorge Tirado: I think the first drawing I ever did as a kid was of Garfield the cat. From there I started making my own cartoony looking animals. As I got older, I started getting into horror movies, and reading Punisher comics. I was either drawing really minimal looking cartoon animals or zombie dudes with blood and guts (tons of detail type stuff). I think at one point, my drawing styles kind of blended together. There’s something funny to me about having a scruffy looking dog standing on his hind legs, dragging a bloody broad sword behind him with a blank Farside-esque expression on his face. Silly and weird stuff.
Amber: What would you say are your main sources of inspiration? Do you draw from other media? Music, TV, film? Binge eat fast food before bed at night then see what you dream up?
Jorge: I draw inspiration from the things I surround myself with and what I’m into. Movies, video games, comic books, my vinyl toy collection, my friends, and music for sure. But to be honest, it could change the next day, I could go outside tomorrow and see a cool looking bird in a tree or walk by a busted up looking alley and find something to draw from that.
"I've always liked idea of symbiotic relationships in nature and thought how rad would be to actually have a spirit animal or companion like a giant owl or large dog."
Jorge: There’s totally some spiritual connotations to the drawings I do involving a character and an animal. I’ve always liked idea of symbiotic relationships in nature and thought how rad would be to actually have a spirit animal or companion like a giant owl or large dog. My “Take Me Somewhere Nice” drawing was actually inspired by the Mogwai song of the same name. That bands music is like drawing fuel for me.
Amber: You do seem to have an affinity for animals in all your work, whether hand drawn or otherwise. A lot of your work features birds in particular. Tell me more about this.
Jorge: #dogdoodles. That’s what I like to call them. I tend to draw those when I’m on the phone, half paying attention, half scrawling on a piece of paper, or during company meetings. But yeah, I’m a huge animal lover, dogs especially. I do draw a lot of birds though. I like freedom they have, the intricate feather patterns, the different types of birds there are. The giant birds in my drawings symbolize a journey that is taking place or about to take place. What far away land do they come from? What sights have they seen?
Amber: When was the moment that you knew you wanted to turn your passion into your profession? Have you always known, or did it just work that way?
Jorge: I’ve always known I wanted to work in some type of creative field growing up, even if I didn’t know what that profession really was. As a Web and Graphic Designer by trade, drawing is something that I’ve always kept with me as a tool, whether it was for comping up a layout or sketching out ideas. I’m constantly drawing things up.
Amber: What first motivated you to post your art online? Do you have any words of inspiration for others who may feel afraid to take the leap?
Jorge: Just doing it and sharing it with anybody who would like to see. Don’t be afraid to share your work. Make a portfolio online, and start adding your drawings, paintings, and sketchbooks on there. Just keep drawing, keep practicing, fill up sketchbooks, and draw from life.