As an illustrator focused on football (and some other sports), I’m always looking for a project related with «the beautiful game». Let me tell you the story behind my latest project., the Levante UD Illustrations.
As a long term project, let’s start with the logbook of the story:
- On October 11, 2021, I received an email from Pau, a worker at Diputació de València, telling me they where looking for an illustrator focused on sport for a project. (euphoric inside!). I phoned him and we were talking about it. It sound really professional and my joy was rising when I discovered that the project was for the spanish football club Levante UD! (really?).
- The project: making 113 Levante UD illustrations in a book (113 years has the club) for every iconic player and trainer. The book was part of an exhibition about Levante UD: «De granotes, gats i palmeres». The challenge was interesting. And I say yes! (of course). And then…
- During the next few days, I was on cloud nine. Really? Me for a huge project like this? Pau told me he found me trough the website of APIV, that I belong for years. The feeling you have when this happens is beyond description.
- November 3, 2021, was THE DAY. We had a meeting face to face with the promoters of the project: Pau, Xavier Rius and Emilio Nadal. They told me every single detail of what they where looking for the project. I made a brief and start making some sketches to show them. The first sketches looked like this:
The hard work
- The way I create illustrations (especially for characters) is to create an atmosphere after being informed about him or her. I don’t like making just «portraits» or panini stickers. So I asked Pau and Emilio to have a short bio about every character. That helped a lot when I make the illustration. I tell a visual story.
- When they saw the sketches, they were clear the kind of illustration they wanted for the project. And, at the first meeting, Xavier talked about one of the most iconic players of the team, Carlos Caszely, and that he could see a parallelism between him and Che Guevara. So…Bingo! This was the first illustration of the project:
- Hey, I don’t want to bore you, so I tell that the next few months after the first illustration became a mix of emails, information about the characters and a lot of drawings and sketchings. Therefore, it was something like this:
And the final project is this. 113 illustrations, plus 4 more that were not included in the book. I hope you enjoy as much as me making this illustrations. Cheers!
Juan Ignacio Martinez
- December 28, 2022, the book was introduced to the public. It was an emotional presentation at La Beneficencia in Valencia. Some of the players of the book came that day and they really enjoy it!
«113 Icones de la història del Levante UD» / ISBN 978-84-7795-951-6 / DL V-3417-2022 / Printed and designed by Gimeno Gràfic. 242 pages.