Pablo Amargo’s illustrations are immediately recognisable for their simplicity, refined linework and humour. From posters and prints to book covers and editorials, he’s built an enviable portfolio full of wonderful drawings that have earned him 35 awards for illustration.
Born in the northwest of Spain, Pablo began drawing from a very young age. “I did it just for pleasure. Coupled with my enthusiasm for illustrated books, I soon decided I wanted to devote myself to it,” he tells It’s Nice That. As time went on and influences seeped in, Pablo also became particularly influenced by the first pictorial avant-gardes of the 20th century, whose emergence brought about an art world transition: “Until they appeared the painting was narrative; after that, painting stopped telling stories, it became poetic.”
More recently, Pablo has been working on a series of 22 illustrations for The New York Times. Depicting various readers of newspapers, the artist has injected his trademark humour and ingenuity into each one. Playing with form and perspective, he depicts readers whose arms become tables, their pages become skylines and their legs step through the paper they’re holding. Speaking on the project, Pablo says: “The only thing I was asked to do was to draw a newspaper, so I decided to push this further and pay homage to the newspaper readers themselves. The illustrations were published on the third page in each issue of The New York Times, which is a privileged place.”
These creations have humble beginnings in Pablo’s notebooks, sketched using pencils and erasers. The experimental stage lasts until he is satisfied with some of the drawings, and then he will move onto using ink, before finally immortalising his favourite designs on the computer. There is charm both in the simplicity of his process and in the final result – an element of his work that Pablo values highly: “I think there is beauty in the sobriety of the forms, in the very neat compositions and the elegance of the line,” he says. “I try to make every one of my illustrations have humour and beauty.”
About the Author
Daniel joined It’s Nice That as an editorial assistant in February 2019 and continues to work with us on a freelance basis. He graduated from Kingston University with a degree in Journalism in 2015. He is also co-founder and editor of SWIM, an annual art and photography publication.