Art is an integral part of human society. Art can be found in both nature and the designs of man-made things like cars, buildings, and clothing. Although art and beauty are appreciated by almost everyone, it is an unfortunate fact that there are many talented artists in the world who are little appreciated despite their incredible abilities. Noting the lack of outlets for up-and-coming, underground, or outside artists to showcase their work, I decided to start an “Artist Spotlight” series where I will interview various artists in order to gain a deeper insight into what inspires their creativity and what they plan to do with their careers. Alden Viguilla is just such an artist.
Alden is a freelance artist originally from the Philippines and currently based in New Jersey and NYC. Alden studied animation in art school but eventually fell in love with printmaking. His work is currently focused on silkscreen projects such as prints and zines. He spend my days daydreaming of heroes, villains, and the cutesy.
I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Alden about his experiences working as an artist:
Q: What influenced you to become an illustrator?
When I was a kid I always loved anything with superheroes or imaginary worlds from comics, video games, cartoons, and toys. Just the idea of escaping to another world and seeing colorful characters do extraordinary battles and feats, is just so great. I always knew when I grow up I would try to find a job that would allow me to draw my favorite characters and create my own.
Q: In terms of subject matter, what are your cartoons about and what inspired the ideas for them?
A lot of my work is really inspired by superheroes and cartoons. Recently, I’ve been doing a lot of tokusatsu (old school Japanese live action superheroes) characters as inspiration for my silkscreen projects. I also get inspired by various types of media and art that allows me to use and look at color or line art differently.
Q: As far as working in illustration, what has been your most rewarding experience so far?
Being able to exercise my imagination and pursue my passion. Right now, a lot of my work is focused on silk screening. It is a medium that only allows you to print one color at a time, but you can overlap colors to create new ones. This limitation helps guide me in planning out my colors strategically so I get the most out of the work. Seeing the progress as one color overlap another to eventually complete the image is just so great. It’s a lot of work and a little tough to explain to people that haven’t done it before, but it’s always rewarding to be doing what you love.
Q: How has MoCCA helped your career?
The more that I get to showcase my works in art festivals and comic conventions however big or small, the better. The first time I did it a few years ago, nobody knew who I was. But the more I do it every year, the more people slightly/kind of recognize my work from the year before. I’ve only really done MoCCA and other NY-based shows like Grand Comics Festival (in June) and Comic Arts Brooklyn (in November). Every year I table with Alexandra Beguez (http://www.alexandrabeguez.com/) and, now, Mauro Balcazar (http://mrmauro.com/) as part of our Three Armed Squid collective. Last Fall, I went to APE (Alternative Press Expo) in San Francisco and had a blast. My work has never been so well-received with that audience. Social media is also great, but being able to talk to someone in person and do the spiel about my work is much better. I can see them get excited as much as I do with the process of creating zines and prints. Usually, it’s my fellow artists that appreciates my work the most. They understand the most why I do what I do because we’re in the same boat.
Q: What would be your “dream project” if you could work on anything?
I would like to design my own characters on a video game or toys or show. I am always sketching around and writing notes for concepts. Hopefully one day, they’ll come to fruition. I also do freelance illustration work that are also great because their limitations and guidelines allow me to think and draw differently and adapt my work.
Q: Are there any up and coming projects that you would like to mention?
Recently, I completed a collection of tokusatsu (old school Japanese live action superheroes) characters as silkscreen mini prints, like Kamen Rider, Ultraman, Super Robots, etc… Also American superheroes like the Avengers, X-Men, and Batman. Please check out my Storenvy site! Next month, I’ll be exhibiting at CAKE (Chicago Alternative Comics Expo) in Chicago, on June 6-7. I’ll be showcasing all my latest and best silkscreen projects. I’m also planning on branching out my silk screening to T-Shirts and Totes, do a few more digital illustration projects, and travel to more shows for the next few months. Our Three Armed Squid anthology will also be completing its run soon and something new will, hopefully, come after it.
Q: Where do you hope to be, career wise, in ten years?
I hope to get more recognition for my silkscreen projects and illustrations. I feel like my work and style is always evolving, every day I learn something new that I can implement on my work. I mean 10 years ago my work didn’t look as great as it is now. So hopefully, in 10 years I’ll be a master at my own brand!
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To learn more about Alden visit: