Be it Kuala Lumpur, Tokyo, China or the Philippines, illustrator Pablo Ientile draws inspiration from typical Asian scenes to fill the pages of his sketchbook. Having started his 10-country tour in Kuala Lumpur on September 15 last year, Ientile has camped on couches in the homes of strangers across Asia – all in the name of his Illustration Around The World project. The project, which follows the main character – the bear Pablo – on his journey, also features the work of illustrators from the countries he visits.
Compiled by: Chitra S Illustrations: Pablo Ientile
How old were you when you decided to become an illustrator?
When I was younger, I always enjoyed painting and drawing like most other children. But it was only at 22, when I was choosing a major in university that I decided on graphic design and art as my career choice.
What are some of the things that have influenced your work?
My Argentine origins! We have a particular sense of humour. Animated TV shows I watched while growing up like The Simpsons, The Ren & Stimpy Show and Astro Boy also heavily influenced my style.
What inspired the Illustration around
the World project?
Staring at a blank piece of paper one day with no ideas and lacking inspiration, I thought to myself, ‘How many illustrators out there are in the same situation as me?’ Not just in Madrid where I live but also in Tokyo and Kuala Lumpur. That’s when I decided that instead of sketching in my house, I could go and draw with other illustrators out there – visit them, see where they work and create something with them. I knew their support and ideas ould bring something new to my drawings and, the project so far has been a success.
How did you choose the cities in Asia you wanted to travel to?
At first, I picked countries I really wanted to see but in the end, I chose those that had thriving art scenes. I made it a point to contact local illustrators in all those places. I do enjoy exploring the countryside, so I typically spend a few days away from the city. Each country had something different to offer and my journey has certainly been an exciting one.
How did you keep your costs low during your travels?
The great thing about this trip is that through social media, I was able to find people willing to offer me lodging. This is amazing because it allowed me to live in the city without spending too much. On trips like this, you have to save money where you can and I travelled on low cost airlines like AirAsia, which was great because it connected me to all the major Asian cities.