Elevate Talks: Ricardo Cavolo
Ricardo Cavolo is a Spanish artist who has attracted thousands of spectators in cities worldwide. He paints and draws as a lifestyle and as a job. He has been raised surrounded of brushes, canvases, colors and pencils. His works are astute and deep. He creates characters who tell stories and combines them with a palette that is powerful, vibrand and emotional. Eyes are always present reflecting power and insight.
Could you introduce yourself, please?
I am Ricardo Cavolo. I am 36 years old and I am an artist. I work in different fields, such as painting murals, writing and illustrating my own books. I create my own work and do commissions, exhibitions, illustration for brands and advertising campaigns.
How would you define what you do?
Painting and drawing are the basis. Whether or not the final product is a painting or a drawing, that is my means to carry out the work that I am asked to do.
Could you show us a picture of your workplace?
How’s a typical work day for you?
Now I have a baby and my routine has changed a lot. I go early in the morning to my studio and try to use those five hours in the most practical and productive way as possible. I used to spend an average of 9 to 10 hours working and I now realize I lost a lot of time. In five hours I get to do the same amount of work as before. It’s just a matter of staying focused.
How does if feel having a Wikipedia profile?
I didn’t know I was in it! I think today we can’t give it too much credit, haha. We are all there.
When did you start feeling you were an artist?
It has been somewhat gradual. You start believing it little by little as you achieve goals that at first seemed impossible to you.
Which was the first book you’ve published? How was the process like?
It was called “George Silverman’s Statement” by Dickens. My first illustrated book was Dickens! I did a classic book illustration work, with about 10 illustrations plus the cover. That way more different than what I do nowadays with my own books where the illustration invades every page. It was an incredible experience. I have always had as a dream to illustrate a book and it seems impossible so getting to do it was a unique experience. Even now, having published about 7 or 8 books, every time I release one I feel just as nervous and excited as with this Dickens one.
Your color palette is very special. Why did you choose it? What does it inspire you?
I don’t think it’s something you choose. These colors are intrinsic to my own guts. Colors come out according to your personality and the ways in which you communicate. It is not something you can impose and if you do so let me tell you it’s a huge mistake. I am just like my palette: alive, powerful, flashy, brave, optimistic and full of energy.
On a scale from 1 to 10, how important is social media for your work?
5. Social networks can be helpful, but certainly not fundamental, and they shouldn’t alter our behavior as professionals.
What criteria do you use when choosing which clients to work with? Is there some type of client that you would rather not work with?
It always needs to be something that genuinely interests me. The economic offer may be great but if I don’t feel some connection with me or my work, I am not capable of undertaking it. I would not work for things related to the Church or defending political precepts.
If you had to build a top 3 with your best projects, how would it be?
- My book Periferias.
- The mural I did in Montreal in 2017
- “Cambiamento” my last exhibit.
What inspires you?
Everything related with social minorities, social injustices and the struggle for human rights.
What makes you angry?
Social inequalities and all that shit related to the wars and the regrettable geopolitics of our history as a species.
What are you working on right now?
Right now I am preparing my next book. It will be an autobiography about the first third of my life (until I turned 35 years old). I consider that many things have happened to me since I was born till now and I find it interesting to leave it written and drawn on paper before I forget it.
What would you like to be doing a year from now?
The same things as today.
What would you like to be doing 5 years from now?
The same things as today but with even more important projects.
Bonus track: Could you recommend any TV series/ comics/ movie/ song/ artist/ etc?
I’ve just discovered 070 Shake, a Dominican woman who sings on Kanye West’s last album (in the second part of the song Ghost Town). Her EP is the album that I’ve heard the most so far this year.