Madrid-based artist and illustrator José Quintanar AKA José Ja Ja Ja has a stripped-back, simple drawing style that focuses on the impression and outlines of objects and figures rather than the intricate details. In his new book, Fartlek his sparse drawings are unleashed over 400 pages and the artist captures various everyday items and belongings like cars, bikes, basketballs and the landscapes of La Mancha, as well as blob-like characters.
The title of the book refers to a training method for distance runners of the same name, in which pace and terrain is continually varied during training. Just as a fartlek runner adapts their rate and beats to the varying context of the ground, José lets his unconscious take over and we’re taken on a fun, haphazard jaunt through his mind. Published by Ruja Books and Fulgencio Pimentel, there’s a mix of panelled illustrations, small vignettes and random collections of objects collated together. José’s deliberate, black linework clutters the pages, and he challenges his style by experimenting with different drawing methods page after page.
As well as this monograph of drawings, José has also created illustrations for The New York Times and Esquire as well as national publications in Spain.
About the Author
Rebecca became staff writer at It’s Nice That in March 2016 before leaving the company at the end of 2017. Before joining the company full time she worked with us on a freelance basis many times, as well as stints at Macmillan Publishers, D&AD, Dazed and frieze.