The voice of Chamo San

Meeting the artist: Chamo San
Barcelona - APR 03, 2013

Born in 1987 the young illustrator of Les Corts is opening place for himself in the always-complicated world of art (in its multiple aspects) based on hard work and above all, creativity. He is a large fan of soccer, so hardly a better candidate could be found.

You can follow his blog at

Meeting the artist: Chamo San
© Chamo San

How do define youself as an artist? What artists have influenced you most?

I do not like to define myself, but if I do so I would define myself as an artist in practice. My style will define itself gradually but I don't want it from stop evolving yet. I cannot stop collecting inspiration from everything around me. The artists that have influenced me most are my own friends. And then big names as João Ruas, James Jean, Wesley Burt, Shawn Barber, etc.


The domain that you have adquiered with ball point pens is impressive.  Why have you chosen pens as a tool? What is it that attracts you?

The pen is an instrument that I've always had on hand. I have never stopped drawing and my class notes were full of scribbles. The pen allows me to have a very wide range of tones and is not as dirty as the pencil, even if the creation process is much longer.

Meeting the artist: Chamo San
© Chamo San

In addition to your individual and personal work as an illustrator, you also have a artistic collective called Penique Productions, with three other friends, could you explain what it is and what actions you carry out?

Penique Productions is a team that is dedicated to mounting inflatable and ephemeral installations. We are Sergi Abrusà, Pablo Baqué, Pol Clusella and myself.

Having done such different things, first Penny installations and on the other hand your own art, has it allowed you to open up and explore new terrains?

I have always loved to experiment in other areas. Specially since I started my career in fine arts. I wanted to try everything to know what I really liked. I had a beautiful love affair with photography.


With which one do you feel more comfortable? Which one is more Chamo San like?

Obviously in the personal work that is drawing and illustration. In the other one, we are a team and everything is equally distributed. 

Meeting the artist: Chamo San
© Chamo San

Tell us a bit about your experience working in a magazine like Panenka. What do you value more when making a comission (be honest) the money or the comission's theme?

In this case in particular, the theme of the commission and, above all, the medium. I was already a Panenka reader and saw that my work could fit perfectly in the magazine. Many of my friends were also readers and the fact that they saw my work there to my already was sufficient reward. I also know how they started, with more passion than resources, and with that I identify myself 100%. Obviously I get paid. Paying not only is a way to reward and recognize a work, it is also a measure to make sure that work is going to be made. If there is no exchange surely there is no commitment.


Where do you think emerging art is going?

Emerging art makes no sense as a genre. All artists have a period of initiation. To put a label on this period is nonsense and a big mistake for many magazines, galleries or other platforms that seek to take advantage of this stage of the artists. I'm really tired of hearing about emerging art or emerging artist with so much joy and so little knowledge. Emerging art can't go to either side as such, because within that 'group' of artists there are many techniques  that are different.

If you ask me which movement or ideology is currently brewing, I will tell you that today more than ever irrelevant and the frivolous works are valued and that when we get tired of it they will return the great epic and the emotional and political art. This is more a personal desire considering that artistic movements always accompany the global ideology of the time. If I am right in this I would like to say that society will come togetherr to fight for a better world. 


How was your experience abroad?

Generally it went well. When I was in Erasmus in Paris I tasted the sweetness of a university system outside of Spain and had the best classes I've ever had thanks to Philippe Comar, which is the only positive experience I have had in the French capital. Later, with the Penique team we traveled to make our installations to Italy, France, the Netherlands, Brazil and Mexico and, except in Paris, all experiences have been impressive and we have worked with true professionals. Definitely I have not been lucky with Paris.

Meeting the artist: Chamo San
© Chamo San

Has it proved very difficult to establish yourself as an artist in the current scenario? What difficulties have you found?

Everything has been coming along. For a long time now, I have been working whatt is happening to me right now. The important thing is not wanting to start the house from the roof and to work every day.

As a young artist, under 30 years of age, do think that in the context of the current crisis, it is possible to be a full-time artist? And you think that the crisis has brought initiatives that previously did not exist or that it is more harmful?

The crisis can not be beneficial in any respect (at least for us). Yes, sometimes you sharpen your wit to make things that are now more difficult to do, but if there were no crisis we would make them anyway, without losing much time in thinking how to do them and maybe spending more time doing them, directly. I aspire to be a full-time artist.

Finally, what are your next projects? If you can reveal them…

I would like to have time to rework my style and my subjects. To redefine my work basically. Get out of my comfort zone and try new styles and invent stories.

Luz Massot

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