Chilean born artist, Italo Alberto Ahumada is an architect by profession and has studied both drawing and painting. In 2004, he began to collaborate on independent comic strip publications and gradually moved into graphic and plastic arts. Currently, Italo has many diverse projects in publishing, advertising illustration, painting and sculpture.
Arrow: Italo, thank you so much for taking some time forStraight from Arrow. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
IA: I am 32 years old, Chilean and I have always drawn and painted. For the last seven years, I have been dedicated to doing artistic work for the publishing industry. I also sculpt and study architecture.
Arrow: A man of many talents! Where are you from?
IA: I have lived in Santiago, Chile since I was 5 years old, if I had to live in another place it would be some region of southern Chile.
Arrow: Let’s talk a little bit about romance. What country do you consider the most romantic?
IA: There are places that are charming, exotic places with historical wealth, architecture and geography. I suppose that many people consider those places as romantic.
But nowhere can take the place of something that was not inside in the first place. Some places and persons bring to the surface feelings that were always there. Let’s say, for example, that seeing the stars at night gives you peace and quietude, but it is not the sky or the stars that have given you this peace. It is more like, for an instant, it turned into a mirror of the peace that you carry inside and you are allowed to feel it. In the correct emotional state and with the correct company any place with intimacy is very romantic.
Arrow: That’s beautiful! What motivated you to start drawing?
IA: I like art. Drawing, painting, sculpture, art gives me aesthetic pleasure. I believe it’s healthy to have creative forms of expression that are within reach of the whole world.
Arrow: Can you describe your artistic approach?
IA: I do many sketches and many rough drafts, and I use modeling clay to make the faces. If the positions or attitudes are too complicated, I will take many notes before they are inked. I also use paintbrushes to give an enormous wealth in the outline.
Arrow: Quite a process. Do you create every day?
IA: Every day…Illustration and sculpture are my full time job, though certainly in these works there is a creative part and a technical part. Sometimes, the creative solutions are a little clogged, and then one can recapture the mechanical labors of the job and return to it later with a fresh eye.
Arrow: So you use a two fold process. What genres and subgenres have you illustrated for?
IA: Besides romances for Myromancestory.com, I have started doing horror illustrations. I am currently doing a black series and making an adaptation of a detective story. I have also done adult comics. My style of drawing is more classic and realistic and fits the natural form of theses genres.
Arrow: You really know yourself as an artist. How did you get into electronic publishing?
IA: I sent many tests, but not to just any site. I searched for those where my style was a good fit.
Arrow: Do you have any advice for new artists looking to get published?
IA: The first challenge is interior, dare to do it. Know your skills and obtain what you are lacking with constant practice. Like all illustrators I made many submissions, often without receiving an answer…others rejected, others accepted, but the bottom line is persistence.
As for advice, I am going to use a phrase from a book that I just read: “…the first talent that an artist has to cultivate is his perseverance. Don’t worry; everything you need is in you…” Personally, I am a firm believer that the desire to realize something is a manifestation of the interior capacity to do it.
Arrow: With the rapid changes in the publishing industry, do you plan to release more titles in eBook or other formats?
IA: Sure, the idea is to take advantage of every platform, adapting the already realized projects and incorporating the new ones into these formats. I like the possibilities that the new forms of publication offer. I hope that the industry rises to the challenge of change and adapts to it.
Arrow: What do you do to promote your books, your brand and yourself?
IA: I have a website www.italoahumada.cl. I use social networks and communities that adjust to my interests. I have a constant presence on the web. Anyone that wants to see my work can contact me very easily. I expect to enter into e-commerce with my individual projects of sculpture that will be available in 2011.
Arrow: What advice do you have for new writers?
IA: The principal thing is to maintain your own sensibility. Do not be afraid to do something wrong and never get discouraged. And every artist and creative person should occasionally return to the classics, there is so much to learn, to rescue and to reinvent there.
Arrow: Anything else you’d like to tell us about yourself or your books?
IA: Creative work, although demanding, is also very gratifying. A part of this remuneration is personal and becomes intimate and another part is to know there exist people who enjoy it. So I hope that the readers enjoy the stories, these and those that will come, cordial regards to all and thank you very much.
These titles and more are available in the iTunes App Store in Arrow’s Love & Romance Collection.
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