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image c/o Global Street Art

Art with a Bite: An Interview with Spain’s Dulk

Dulk is a Spanish graffiti artist whose surreal characters come from a childhood love of animals and an early exposure to Hieronymus Bosch...

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Dilk from Spain paints characters with big teeth

image c/o Global Street Art

This article was written by our friends over at Global Street Art.

Every detail of Dulk’s characters is cool, from their big toothy mouths, to their twisted expressions. What I love most is that Dulk’s characters are at home anywhere: on walls, as illustrations and as figures. You can tell from looking at Dulk’s work that he’s experienced in graphic design, which gives his art a very modern feel. What better place than here? What better time than now? What bigger teeth than Dulk?

This interview as written by Global Street Art, who have a crowd-funded book available with independent UK publishers Unbound.

Getting Down with Dulk

I have always been surrounded by animals: horses, dogs, cats, fish and birds especially. My father raised them and I always accompanied him to feed them and watch them being born or growing. I loved it. In my childhood I remember afternoons on the couch with my dad. I had lots of black and white encyclopedias and I remember spending hours and hours drawing elephants, tigers, lions – every animal from the books. That laid the foundation of what I do today.

image c/o Global Street Art

Also, when I was a child my mother always had a notebook with her, which she’d give to me to calm me down when I was nervous. She said it was the only way to calm me. All my life I’ll thank my mother for keeping each of the drawings I did in my childhood. Today I live in the countryside, in a village in Valencia (Spain), and I’m still surrounded by animals, including my pig Jose!

image c/o Global Street Art

My name is a long story; it all started when I met a great friend. Since I was a child I always was drawing with pencils, but my friend was the one who made me believe that taking a spraycan was like picking up a pencil and it captivated me. When I was 18, we were skating every day in the streets of my town; when we’d rest we had a notebook to sketch in. Every day my friend told me that I should had to do the same on the walls and in the end I did. My friend suggested I take the name Dulk. Sadly, he died some years ago in an accident. My name now honours his life.

 Before I started painting graffiti at 18 I had already painted canvases and made drawings. However, it was when I started graffiti that I took what I was doing more seriously and I decided to get realize all these things in my head.

That same year I began to study economics at university and, just like when I was a child, I spent the classes drawing in the notebooks of financial mathematics and statistics. I lasted one year at university and then I left. The following year I changed city and began to study illustration. My life changed completely. I was lucky enough to meet great people who adopted me in their crew which I’m now part of: Wildcans.

From here I started to combine illustration in the street and illustration on paper and it began to lay the foundation for what I’m doing today. Years later I studied graphic design at Valencia University. This was a different stage and very constructive for my work. Education helped me to move forward; learning is a day-to-day must!

Nowadays I paint in the village where I live. I have lived in several cities and they are all different. Some are more complicated than others. Wherever I am, I paint. Since I’m in the world of street art I have visited lot of cities that I never thought it could be just because of paint. I love to travel and meet people. What better way than doing what you love? I’ve painted in Italy, Belgium, Holland, Portugal, France and England. Every city is different and each gives you a different feeling, which makes me bring something different with my art each time.

image c/o Global Street Art

With my illustrations most of the time I take a pencil and I try and start from an innocent point of view, through the eyes of a child. I have never stopped doing it and I guess it’s visible in my work. I always try to have fun with what I do and, in some way, be part of it. My works always carries the feelings I had at the moment when it was made.

image c/o Global Street Art

I can’t define myself, I find that that’s a very complex thing to do but what I know is that I am a very close and warm person, funny and sometimes a little bit crazy! Maybe that’s where the personalities of my characters come from; they always have a warm aspect to them and are nice to look at but they’re also ludicrous and bizarre. That’s the mixture where I work! As for graffiti lettering, when I started painting walls I did some letters, but I found it wasn’t what I enjoyed the most. I’m not a writer, I’m just an illustrator who paints in every medium I can.

I try to develop my work in all the fields I can: illustration, advertising, animation, graphic design, mural painting, etc. I never close myself to anything in particular and I enjoy new challenges. Today I am very interested in publishing books, and among other things I’m trying to move into children’s illustration. I find the development of imagination and what it can awaken in a child very interesting.

Next year my first illustrated story will be published in Belgium. I was fortunate to spend a period of time in Belgium that helped me greatly to enrich my vision in illustration. I enjoy both studio work and street work. There are times that the studio work allows me to reach goals that I can’t do painting on a wall and sometimes to the contrary.

When I started my career in Illustration I discovered a Flemish painter, who gave me a great sense of freedom, detail and imagination: Hieronymous Bosch. I made a work in school inspired by Bosch, which I enjoyed a lot. I enjoy creating stories based on my own dreams and daily events, mixing fact and fiction, with a touch of burlesque surrealism and love at the same time.

image c/o Global Street Art

As for the future? I don’t know really where I’m going with all of this. I don’t like to waste time thinking about what will happen tomorrow; I prefer to think about what I’m doing right now. I’m open to everything. I try to enjoy with all I do, and if I can live of it, then better.

Right now new possibilities are opening up a lot and I’m taking my work to new areas. Very soon I’ll jump the pond to the United States, for new opportunities. I have several exhibitions and I’m working on a film project in Barcelona; my first illustrated story is released soon. We’ll see what happens tomorrow!

image c/o Global Street Art

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