F&T: Name something you love, and why?
A big part of my daily life involves morning runs 3/4 times a week. It's a process that helps me think over the ideas and challenges I have for that day, or week. I usually reward myself by making a tasty green juice, which is something I love to drink everyday and draw.
I love narwhals too as they are fascinating, elusive creatures- you will see them featuring in my work a fair bit. I've even managed to sneak a couple into commercial commissions over the years.
F&T: One staple thing in your workspace?
F&T: What themes do you pursue?
I try to reflect my own everyday life and experiences in my work. Whether it's 'adventure' from my experiences on my travels each year, or 'playful' as I draw my imagination in my sketchbooks.
F&T: Any memorable responses you have had to your work?
I used to sneak unicorn's into my commercial work to make it that little bit more personal, whether it was behind a tree or in the back seat of a car. One time, I got a call from a client in Dubai (4 hours ahead) who video skyped me at 5.30am, the day after receiving my artwork. You can imagine my sudden panic in my sleepy state when it woke me up, especially as the call was from the art director of the magazine. After franctically finding a shirt to quickly throw on, and sorting out my bed hair (haha!), I found out he had just called to say that he loved the map I had created for the magazine- including the sneaky unicorn that was driving a car in the car park... He told me that he had to call in the moment he made the excellent discovery.
F&T: A real-life situation that has inspired you?
I was born deaf, and didn't learn to read and write till a later age when I got my hearing back aged 9 1/2. So for me, drawing was always a from of communication and an escape from the troubles that came with it. I lived in Mexico, in a small village where my mother is from during that time and it is why my work is Mexican-inspired a lot of the time.
F&T: Favourite motivational phrase?
"In the end, only three things matter: how much you loved, how gently you lived, and how gracefully you let go of things not meant for you."
F&T: Last thing you doodled?
A dinosaur wearing a small boys missing sock, from a picture book I'm writing with my nephew.
F&T: Where do you see illustration going, in the future?
I'm looking to head into editorial and cookbooks in the new year. I always thought, as a kid, that I would paint 30m high colossal murals across the world for a living. So far in my career, I have painted a 9m high mural and seen my work blown up on a 10m x 30m billboard advert in Dubai.
F&T: Any tips for newbies on how to develop their own style?
Just draw and draw as much as you can. But make sure the lines you mark are important and significant.
F&T: Whose work do you admire, past or present?
Ever since I was young, my favourite artists are Jenny Saville and David Choe for their bold and expressive markings. I also love the work of Christian Robinson, so playful and full of fun!
All images belong to Robert Sae-Heng.