Berto Martínez – “I´m very interested in the function of illustration in the media”

September, 2016
Reading Time
4.5 mins
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Image © The Interviewee

Creative Chair talks to Berto Martínez about his breath-taking illustrations.

This week we caught up to Berto Martínez, an acclaimed illustrator from Barcelona whose skill for capturing detail can sometimes cause people to mistake his work for photographs.

Editorial Cinema

Could you tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do?

I´m Berto Martínez, an illustrator from Barcelona. I work for different magazines and NPO´ s like The Optimum, The Washington Post, GQ, Amnesty International, etc…. I´m very interested in the function of illustration in the media. I am a collector of illustrations, my favourite artistic expression.

“Yes, I work very hard with the details, but I try to increasingly simplify.”

Gérard Depardieu

Many of your paintings have a very realistic level of detail. Do people ever mistake them for photographs that have had some sort of filter applied to them?

Yes, I work very hard with the details, but I try to increasingly simplify. When someone says that I work with graphic tools or Photoshop filters I send the original on paper. I always try to describe the process with pictures on my Behance page.


On average, how long does each project take?

It depends. I work a lot of hours. I can do a simple portrait in one day, but a complex project takes several weeks, from the research, sketching to the final artwork and digital process, scanning, retouching, etc…

The 40th 366 Award goes to Berto Martínez for his outstanding creative work.

Berto Martínez

Who or what are some of your greatest inspirations?

I have one million of references. Illustrators like Coby Whitmore, Norman Rockwell, Al Parker, Bernie Fuchs, and Bob Peak. Photographers like Robert Capa, Cartier-Bresson, William Claxton, Phillip Halsman, etc…. And all the old masters of the art history, I love Flemish painting.

Finally, if you died and got reincarnated as a song, what would that song be?

I would like to be “Dark was the Night, Cold Was the Ground” by Blind Willie Johnson. I love Blues and Rock, and I always work by night. I have heard this song a thousand of times.

Dark Was the Night, Cold Was the Ground"
Dark Was the Night, Cold Was the Ground (1927)
Blind Willie Johnson
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What began as a fun question to end an interview, has now become a wonderfully eclectic collaborative playlist by 161 people (and counting).
Berto Martínez
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