Interview with illustrator Marcos Cabrera

In Loco Rider we are always aware to everything that can slide and can fill us with adrenaline but naturally we are also interested in all the circle around the culture of surfing and skateboarding. Music, illustrations, audiovisual and arts in general have always been part of the lives of many skateboarders, surfers and all the crew around. Probably you have known some skateboarders or surfer that, apart from demonstrating their art in motion they have music bands, photography studios or they are designers too. We have met a few indeed.

In Loco Rider we wanted to know more about a great illustrator as Marcos Cabrera. And it is a great honour he can spend some time to answer the questions that all skaters would ask him.

Marcos Cabrera is an illustrator and designer from Tenerife based in Barcelona. His passion is to draw, draw and draw more. He loves video games and he is a premium beer lover too.

His work is weird, shocking and inspiring, full of punk, rock and hardcore with great influence from the sub-culture of surfing and skating from the 80’s. His work is colorfull and powerfull, plenty of monsters, zombies, skulls and all kinds of alternative and underground imagery, with a personal touch.

He has done illustrations for sports brands such as Converse, Vans, The Kooples, Boss Gear, Bubel, House of Marley, Ironfist, Long Island Longboards, Jart Skateboards, Cruzade Skateboards or G-SHOCK.

It also appears in magazines such as Total Guitar UK, Vice Mag, Ling Mag or Lamono and illustrated album covers, t-shirts and poster tours for bands like Killswitch Engage, Carcass, Sorcery, Day of the Dead, Angelus Apatrida, Crisix, Aggressive or Stillnes.

Interview with Marcos Cabrera by Loco Rider (LR):

LR – There was so much things to do and you chose to draw.

I have always drawn. From kid I loved to draw and eventually, as a sort of natural evolution, drawing has become my profession.

LR – Your references are so gore, punk and dagger, that obviously influences your work. But apart from that style, do you work softer designs?

I am a big fan of horror movies and science fiction, in addition to everything that has to do with the supernatural and the fantastic. Since childhood I have been a fan of all the imagery and aesthetic concepts surrounding horror, monsters, creatures from other worlds, etc. Apart from this, I try to adapt my work to customer requests, because at the end, the style of stroke and gesture remain on the subject of the order.

LR – What was your first contact with the illustration in the world of skateboarding? Do you practice skate, surf or snowboard?

I was a kid when I had my first contact with illustrations and skating. It was in the late 80`s. My father came home with a couple of magazines: Transworld Skateboarding and Thrasher. To be honest, apart from the pictures and the tricks I went shocked by the esthetic, by the graphic arts on the boards and by that punk destroyer atmosphere. I started to copy and sketch the graphic arts once again and again for months. That shock was too strong and I would rather stay home to draw graphic arts from Jim Phillips, Courtland Johnson or Pushead before leaving to skate with colleagues in many ocassions.

Talking about skateboarding and surfing, I am from Tenerife, where I practiced a lot with the bodyboard and a little bit of skateboard, actually very little. Arriving in Barcelona more than 10 years ago I went to skate some days, but right now I skate virtually nothing.

LR – We enjoy a lot watching the graphic arts in CRUZADE Skateboards and JART Skateboards and we have seen some uniform series as “Breaking Jart”, “Crows”, “Pool before death” or the “Ripper Series”. Are them orders from the clients or is it your own?

Usually the order comes from the client. In the case of JART I work directly with the art director of the brand, which is passing me ideas and proposals to draw them. After a few sketches we get the final graphics.

For CRUZADE Skateboards was a little different. At the beginning of the project I had almost total freedom in the creation of the arts in each board, besides that the idea of the brand started from a common concept among CRUZADE and me. The last series was a little more defined by the art director, but the freedom to develop and draw topics is quite wide in general.

LR – In “Cut Off”, the last series of JART Skateboards, we have seen that they do not keep the uniformity in the series. How the inspiration came?

It has been a little from each case. Some of the arts were very fixed ideas that came directly from the skaters, as Bulard or Frölich (that art has to do with a story that happened in his hometown long time ago). In other cases, such as Origel, Rivado and Muñoz were just suggestions or not defined ideas to start making arts for each board. Anyway it is always a pleasure if the work is marked or if it is simply a beginning of ideas. The more different from the previous the more fun is to work on it.

JART Cut Off series - Illustrations by Marcos Cabrera

LR – Do you have any short term proyect on skatebarding?

Well, I have just finished a series of longboards, a new series for Jart and Cruzade, and maybe they are launching two new series shortly. Also, I’m working as a personal project on a series of illustrations about rippers and skate, skulls, bones and skateboards ?.

LR – And long term in general?

In the long term I have also many projects out of the skateboarding. Right now I’m finishing some jobs that have to do with music: album covers, t-shirts, posters, etc. Some works more personal too and lately I’m working on some murals as well.

LR – Dog or cat?

Both. I have had dog since childhood, and now lives a cat with us, Lilith.

Good Mornings with Lilith, the kitty with Marcos

LR – One film

It is difficult to choose one. Probably there are some: Alien, The Thing, Star Wars, Hellraiser, Blade Runner, Big Trouble in Little China … Among the movies that I have seen lately I would recommend The Witch

LR – One album.

It is also very difficult. Lately I’m listening all the time The Bones of a Dying World from If These Trees Could Talk, Feersum Endjinn, the new work of The Killin Joke. Usually a lot of music.

LR – A Spot (location).

The Playa de Benijo in Tenerife

LR – One sneaker

As a kid I loved the Aztec Airwalk and high top Vision Street Wear with black and white printed designs, and the red ones were cool too. Now I do not know, nearly all the new skate sneakers seem similar, lol. Usually I like the high top sneakers, maybe the Vans Half Cab.

LR – One Car

A large 4 × 4 pickup

LR – One name for a new series of skateboards design

Zombie Kittys

LR – One Crew

My friends

LR – One video game

There are many that I like but the old arcade beat ’em up flip me out: Final Fight, Golden Axe, Crime Fighters, Cadillacs and Dinosaurs, the Sengoku saga, Battle Circuit, Alien V.S. Predator, etc.

LR – One beer

An IPA (India Pale Ale)

LR- Great! Thanks Marcos. It has been a pleasure to meet and interview you. From Loco Rider we give you our best wishes and we hope that you continue burning the pencil so we can enjoy all your work.

Thank you very much to you, a pleasure!

JART Skateboards - Party Series, illustrations by Marcos Cabrera

To follow to Marcos Cabrera,

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