Valero Doval loves nothing more than trawling vintage magazines and visiting car boot sales for inspiration for his collage works. We speak to him about his work and current exhibition at Rojo Artspace:
You studied Fine Arts in Valencia, how do your studies inform your work now?
Fine Arts was a place for discovering new techniques and a playground for experimentation. I learned a lot from my classmates and always been influenced by them.
You tend to mix hand-drawn elements with collage, is this something that you've always done and do you feel that there are a lot of artists out there now who don't have the draftmanship skills of artists before?
I always loved drawing. It's something very simple, pure and personal. I fell in love with etching in the past and my work used to be more drawing-like. I started with collage later so I naturally started to mix them.
I think every single person have draftmanship skills. They just need to discover them.
Where do you source your images that you use in your collages from, are there certain eras of design that you're particularly interested in?
I have lots of old books, vintage magazines and prints I collected over the years… I love spending hours at charity shops and car boot sales. I have also used online shops but I prefer touching and skimming through the physical books before buying them. I love 16th, 17th, 18th and 19th century prints…
There seems to be, especially within artists in Barcelona, a rise in the use of collage, can you explain its appeal?
Yes I’ve read some articles talking about how collage is fashionable again. I think collage is back with a contemporary vision that makes it exceptional.
You've had your work used in a wide range of publications such as The New York Times to Elephant magazine, do you have to keep your editorial work separate from your personal work?
I mainly do editorial work. I love experimenting and working in personal projects when I have time. This is really satisfying as well as it allows me to bring new concepts to my commercial work… so I keep them separated but together at the same time.
Do you approach the editorial work differently than your personal work?
The process is quite the same. The technique is very different. I use scissors for my personal work. I really enjoy the process of cutting and the final results I get with it. I use computer for my commercial work. It allows me to easily amend the illustrations if need it.
You have a lot of posts on the internet on blogs such as Grain Edit or Unstage, how does this kind of sharing of work help an artist these days, is it a positive thing to have your images out there?
Blogs allow us to know and see work from other artists that we would't see other way. That's always inspiring, stimulates your soul and it simply can make your day. Spreading and sharing nice things is always positive.
Where do you get your inspiration for your work from - do you use any other media, such as photography?
My inspiration are out of print encyclopaedias, books of birds, plants and animals, old fashion magazines, vintage cookbooks, used notebooks. I mainly use illustration but depending of the project I also can use photography. I don't limit myself.
You do a lot of work outside of Spain, do you think that other countries provide a better platform for your work and how do they compare to Spain, or Barcelona in particular?
I lived in London for many years. I started my career of illustrator over there so that's why I mainly work outside Spain. I think it's a question of size. As big the market better chances to get more work.
I'm back to Spain now and wishing to have Spanish clients… let's see how it goes and I will tell you what's better… ;)
What's next for Valero Doval?
Just opened with my partner EL ATELiER, Hair & Shop, a Hair Salon - Art Shop here in Valencia so some new Mini Collage Pendants are next.