Sebastian Curi: ‘The older I get, the more I acknowledge my roots’
Sebastian Curi, an Argentinean illustrator and animator based in Barcelona, is one of Us by Night 2019's speakers. Us by Night is a true wonderland for creatives worldwide, located in Antwerp. Sebastian talks to us about his inspirations, time in the U.S. and recently discovered hotspots.
This is Antwerp: Today we’re in Antwerp, but you’ve worked in cities all around the world. Which one inspires you the most?
Sebastian Curi: L.A. was pretty amazing, it’s like a melting pot. We live in downtown L.A., which is very colourful and vibrant, so it’s super inspiring to be there. At the time I was working with a group of creative illustrators and it was really interesting to see how they were working, what kind of stuff they were doing. But moving was nice also, first to Vancouver and now Barcelona. It’s like every two years we feel that we have to make a change of scenery.
TiA: Originally, you’re from Buenos Aires. Does this city have an influence on your work?
Sebastian: Yeah, for sure. The older I get, the more I aknowledge my Argentinian roots. Buenos Aires is a beautiful city, I actually go back in a couple of months to visit some family. But the entirety of Latin America has had an influence on the way I work. I’m also very messy and all over the place, that’s a pretty Argentinean thing (laughs).
TiA: Do you think there’s a difference between the animation and illustration scene in the U.S. and Europe?
Sebastian: Yeah, they’re pretty different. I worked in L.A. in a big production company. What’s nice about California is that on the West Coast you have cities like San Francisco and all around big companies that also have big budgets. The scale and time frame of the projects is way bigger than in other parts of the world. So it’s nice to approach a project with 60 people that’s about 3 months of work. But working in Europe, where projects are mostly smaller, is also nice. It just depends on the kind of project.
TiA: Might there be more pressure working for a bigger company?
Sebastian: No, not really. It maybe depends on the person. But I think you mostly just get used to it. The first big project I worked on, I felt the pressure. But after two years of doing this, there isn’t really a difference in pressure.
TiA: You also worked with Apple. How big of a dream was that?
Sebastian: It was amazing and surrealistic to work with them. It’s such a big company that you don’t realize exactly how big it is. Sometimes I used to see Instagram stories or screenshots from whatever parts of the world and your work is there on every store. That’s super weird sometimes, you know. It’s really nice to have earned the trust of those kinds of companies, because you actually feel like you’ve achieved something.
TiA: Any favorite Belgian artists you might have?
Sebastian: Not any that I can think of right now. My background is not in arts, so the way I approach illustration sometimes is really naïve. But I’m trying to study more. The last couple of years, I studied a lot of American illustrators from the 70’s and the 80’s because I was in the U.S. and they are super famous there. Now that I’m in Barcelona, I’m trying to learn a bit more about Picasso and Gaudi. So it depends on where we are. Maybe if we stay in Europe, I could get more educated.
TiA: Have you ever been to Antwerp before?
Sebastian: No, it’s my first time. Beautiful city. We’re not used to these kinds of cities. It’s so well designed with so much beautiful architecture.
TiA: Do you already have some favourite spots?
Sebastian: We went to this bookstore called ‘Copyright’, which we really liked. We also went to get some coffee at Coffeelabs. I’d like to stay a little longer, actually.
Text and pics by Julie Gabriels