Interview with Dulk

You are one Spain's leading illustrators, as well as being known internationally as an accomplished street artist. Do you think it unusual for an artist to excel at both art forms, and do they compliment each other?

I started to paint graffiti on the streets but I have always drawn. In the beginning I tried to keep my drawings separate from my graffiti but after a few months of painting a lot I started to paint the same in both disciplines. One of the best things about working as an illustrator is the possibility to work on different kinds of projects: animation, advertising, children's books, fashion, mural painting, etc. Maybe you are closed in the studio for three months and after that three months travelling to different places painting walls.

Your style has been classified as Pop Surrealism – is this the correct category and, if not, how would you label your work?

I really like artwork full of details, characters and colours. I like to illustrate imaginary worlds with imaginary characters and stories

but at the same time I like to mix it with real life. All my illustrations have personal stories from my real life inside them. I don’t know if it’s Pop Surrealism, Lowbrow, whatever – I do what I feel inside me. I don’t think of it in terms of a specific style, I

just draw trying to reinterpret my own feelings.

Africa by Dulk
Africa by Dulk

Your work contains many animals, both real and imagined. Can you tell us about this and the inspiration for your designs?

My father has been always a big nature fan, he breeds lots of different species of birds and he loves all kind of animals. Since I was a little kid I’ve been surrounded by them. Our shelves at home were full of animal books and encyclopedias. I remember being on the sofa drawing in sketchbooks while my father showed me black and white photos of hundreds of animals. I’m sure it all started here; when I see my old drawings (my mom kept them all) I can see what I’m doing now but in a child's language. When I was a kid I wanted to be a veterinarian, because I love animals, but nowadays I can have them in my drawings.

Broken Thoughts by Dulk

How much of your mural designs are created initially on a small scale, in sketchbooks?

All of them, I like to start on paper, with pencils. Normally I work on a final drawing before starting the wall, I like the fact that there is a piece of art before the mural painting.

Your real name is Antonio Segura Donat but you are known in the art world as Dulk – where did this name come from?

It was because of the guy who convinced me to pick up my first spraycan. I always drew in sketchbooks but never on walls. That was something I never could imagine for myself. I started to paint with a friend who began painting with another guy that signed his work “Dulk”. The original “Dulk” died in a traffic accident. I never met him. My friend always said that he was a wonderful guy and he wanted me to sign as him. I didn’t have a “graffiti name” and I thought it was a nice gesture for that boy and for my friend.

Andy Devane

Dulk's exhibition Broken Thoughts is at Galleria Varsi until 24 May.