Colombia | Ilustración | Fulvio Obregón

Illustration, an innate talent

Between Hollywood artists, digital drawing and visual art, we come across the appealing work of this Colombian artist. His work which is fully entering into the world of illustration has matured through different stages.

Talking about graphic design refers to aesthetics and visual communication. Every piece of art linked to the world of graphic design, should allow the viewer to understand the message at first sight; the cues used have to reach all audiences. Designers’ influences differ. In the middle of the 21st century, many of them link their work to movements from the visual arts, that is to say, painting, sculpture, photography, printmaking, among others.

In Colombia, the creations of Fulvio Obregon, who is better known as Fulaleo, are really attracting a lot of attention. Although he would deny it, he possesses a very distinctive calling card in the world of illustration. He follows pop culture, and is a fan of everything related to Hollywood; its movies, series, fashion, artists, among other things. It is a universe that brands him and sets him apart from the rest of the designers in his country.

His work can be divided into three periods: the experimentation period, the growing period, and finding his own personal style. After graduating as a graphic designer in 2012, paint brushes guided his colors and formed his characters. These times were very difficult since applying his studies became a very difficult task. In addition to this, he was making sarcastic caricatures for the magazine El Clavo. On the other hand, sometime later, he began doing digital paintings and found something that brought him closer to what he was looking for: according to him, he did album designs (for urban musicians) and photography for presentation books. This was only the beginning, around the end of 2013 he felt a strong calling and admiration towards art. He studied and researched the great illustrators from his country and abroad, found illustrators in his city and attended different illustration workshops to get better.

In 2014, he was getting closer to his interests. He used new techniques and only painted with brushes without sketching out his designs, which is a considerable challenge for an artist fresh out of school. The pieces from the Magnetos series weren’t seen as great pieces, but they served as a transition for what he now creates. The Cara Delevingne piece was, at this time, the first mature illustration in all his artistic career and it opened up the intellectual doors to a style that he was already capturing and convinced him that he was born to be an illustrator. In the drawing, the depicted figure is dominating, since the neutral background makes it stand out and have its own life. Through anatomical perfection, the English model and actress bears symbols that present us with her likes and mindset. Through this, Fulaleo captures the psychology of his characters.

After this, his style matured and we can say that our creator can be admitted into the fascinating world of illustration. His backgrounds are still neutral, since what he is actually interested in is emphasizing the lead figure so that it stands out on its own and establishes a direct dialogue with the viewer. Last year, his models were taken from different media. Just to name a few that were included in his creative process, we can list Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, Bill Gates, J Balvin, Michael Jackson, Mick Jagger, among others.

Since the moment he started, Fulaleo has gained a lot of experience. The solution he found to depict his new characters is different, new, and spectacular. He doesn’t display the person just as they are in his illustrations, rather he pairs them with their past; with pieces that speak of before and after. In a very intelligent way, he expresses the passage of time, memory, achievements, and victories with only beautiful aesthetic images.

Through this, we see a young Robert De Niro next to the figure that we all know today. However, the young character wears a t-shirt bearing the image of the shark De Niro gave life to and voiced in the film Shark Tale. These are visual clues that the artist uses to communicate and take his creative abilities to the max. In another piece, both the Michael Jackson who was part of the Jackson Five and the one who embodied the King of Pop appear in the foreground.

They are unique caricatures, where the artist gained experience as he came up with and drew them. His technique has improved with each piece; the lines almost draw themselves and the colors fall into place. Another illustration that really grabs your attention is the one he did of Microsoft mogul, Bill Gates. Here, a young Bill Gates wears a red t-shirt with the Windows symbol on it and in his hands there is an American bill with “I transform my ideas into money” written on it, which is a phrase that summarizes all his ideas and principles.

His fabulous work grows every day. His pieces have a close-knit relationship with society and possess an impressive degree of newness. Furthermore, they are deeply embedded with his aesthetic, formal, and conceptual qualities. His pieces are new ways of coming to terms with and showing reality. The depictions of the present with the past not only become historical references, but also living memories, which he pays tribute to at every turn.

His rigorous selection process tells us of the seriousness that Fulaleo works with. Contemporaneity forms part of his everyday life. His surroundings provide him with the elements he needs for his diverse solutions, which are adventurous in terms of their creation and also in terms of the construction of his messages. A new graphic design that is fascinating and rational has created an artist in Colombia; the lines, backgrounds, colors, expressions, and poses make Fulvio Obregon, or Fulaleo, an innate talent in illustration art.

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