José Antonio Roda


José Antonio Roda Is an illustrator based in Madrid whose work is know for its friendly and colorful aesthetic. 


What is one thing about illustration that you think people should know?

Drawing is like going to therapy: it makes you think, observe and analyze. The result of this exercise is your drawing. After this you draw something new and repeat this same exercise, so drawing helps you grow and move on forward.

How did you first get started making illustrations?

I have always drawn for fun and without any ambition: as a child at home, after school and while being bored in class. Professionally and for a living, I began about 5 years ago.

Image José Antonio Roda

Image José Antonio Roda

Can you walk us through your creative process of making art?

It's quite simple. I'm an emotional and intuitive person. I don't choose a specific theme to create about, and I don't plan on transmitting any message with my drawings; I just want to draw nice things. I generally visualize what I want to create and go ahead with it. Shapes and colors are normally a starting point. From there on, I develop the image I pretend to compose. I play with these two elements, and like to vary supports, materials and techniques. It helps me to not get bored and keep learning, which makes it interesting.

Do you prefer to work in series or on single images?

I find it easier to work on single images, but when I manage to work on a series successfully, the sensation is much more gratifying.

Image: José Antonio Roda

Image: José Antonio Roda

How do you hope to see your work progress over the next 5 years?

I hope my work becomes bigger and better. I love working and am hungry to keep learning things and seeing where my work will take me.

What would be your dream project to work on?

One with a lot of creative freedom, a big budget and a lot of time. It would also be nice for it to be a project for people, something the public can enjoy, use and appreciate even without knowing my work previously. That's incredible. I also love working on stuff where people around me get involved, people I appreciate. It's very nice to create something which makes you proud and having done it with someone you love.

Image: José Antonio Roda

Image: José Antonio Roda

How has living in Madrid & Barcelona affected your aesthetic and subject matter?

Since I have lived nowhere else, I can't compare and couldn't tell you. Both are big cities with a lot of things happening constantly. Both have big artistic and cultural scenes. I have lived 25 years in Barcelona. I consider it my home, but Madrid is my workplace. I like thinking of my work as something Mediterranean: something fresh, kind and full of light.

What is your favorite illustration that you’ve made thus far? Why?

This is like asking: who is your favorite child? Who do you love more, mommy or daddy? This is hard to answer, because as I draw, I create new drawings which become new favorites. I am fond of many of them. The RodaDolls, some paintings from my “A Color Herstory Exhibition” (last March in Oporto), a drawing of a blonde girl called 'Girl in a hurry', a huge fabric piece of a woman in a red hat eating an apple, I did for ArtNit Campos (Mallorca)...

Image: José Antonio Roda

Image: José Antonio Roda

Any other upcoming projects that you can tell us about?

I never give any specific details about future projects. I am working on my next exhibition for Barcelona this October, new limited edition screen, riso prints, and something new for this Christmas. In any case, my future project is to keep on drawing, keep working...stay tuned!


More of José's work can be seen on his Instagram and in our Gallery

IllustrationRyan Berg