Pablo Azar, a trip beyond the evident

Interview Pablo Azar

To talk about Pablo Azar is to talk of youth, profoundness and an immense talent, very well-known worldwide due his successful acting career he is also the creator of a very unique painting style called “Toonymania”, in which he takes us on a fantastic trip beyond the evident, his aim is to make us look closer and find small “creatures” with a deep meaning which, in perfect harmony, create the big picture.
In an exclusive interview for Pébéo, Pablo Azar talks about his style, his relationship with colour, his experience using Pébéo 4Artist Markers and more…

“I have been an actor for more than 10 years, a painter for more than 6 years and an artist for my whole life.”
Pablo Azar

Pablo, if we didn’t know anything about your career, how would you introduce yourself?

Pablo Azar : I’m a Mexican-American artist who understands that the responsibility of being an artist is as a creator and as an influencer; therefore, I’m an artist who likes to share a positive and responsible message to my followers, or fans, and the people who see my art. I have been an actor for more than 10 years, a painter for more than 6 years and an artist for my whole life.

I must ask, when did you realise that you had a special talent to paint and how have you developed this talent since then?

Pablo Azar : I won my first painting contest when I was 6 years old and I don't have a memory of myself not painting or drawing, actually my mom says painting was my first ever activity. The process of developing my talent has been very spontaneous, I allowed myself to be touched by my surroundings and just learned to let my creatures speak (by creatures I mean fears, dreams, emotions, desires, personality etc... in other words, everything that I am but which cannot be seen with the human eye but with a spiritual eye). So the evolution of my talent has evolved without my realising it, it just happens by living. I have also enjoyed learning from masters like Dali, Picasso, Escher and Octavio Ocampo among others.

You created your technique “Toonymania” which combines cartoons and colours to create a very different concept, how did this concept evolve?

Pablo Azar :Within me (and every other living creature) exist a world of different “creatures” that we cannot see with our eyes, but they are there, (we call them dreams, fears, personality, diseases, molecules etc. etc.), I just make them evident through my art, I give them a “recognisable” face. Then I understood that even unanimated things are formed by millions of meaningful things that we don’t see, unless we take a closer look. I use my art to make you take that closer look.

With all the elements present in your work, what is your relationship with colour? Is it a pre-conceived process or is it spontaneous? 

Pablo Azar : Colours are all about perception, a colour has no meaning, what gives colours meaning is the perception of them in our brains, so I use colours in a very spontaneous way… my colours just “happen” so that each person that sees my art finds their own explanation in the colours they see.

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If you would be forced to work with only 2 colours which colours would you choose and why?

Pablo Azar :Blue and green, because for me it’s no coincidence that everything that represents life is represented by those colours, and my art is all about life (the sea, the sky, earth, water, plants etc. etc.)

You started working with coloured pencils, where are you now with regard to the materials you use?

Pablo Azar : My “creatures” (if you know what I mean) tell me what materials to use, materials are irrelevant for me or my art, what matters is my imagination that moves those materials to create the piece of art. The material or technique has no meaning, the meaning is in the creation.

We see that you use canvases, 3D models, textiles and even notebook paper to express your art, what is your creative process? How and when do you decide your medium?

Pablo Azar :Most of the time I just use the medium I have at hand at the time, I feel the urge to create, for me the medium is not that important, it is the creation itself that really matters. So if by the time I have an urge to create and express I have a rock or a guitar next to me, I might create a painting on those too.

Sometimes I do choose a medium that is not at hand and that is entirely made by a "gut feeling" process.... I just "feel" that I have to use that medium...

What is your source of inspiration?

Pablo Azar : What created me is what moves me and inspires me, I mean, we all were created by a greater force, some call it GOD, some UNIVERSE , or MOTHER NATURE... however you might consider that the force that created me is what also inspires me, so to speak, I let all of his creations inspire me, the stars, the trees, the flowers, animals, other human beings, love, the sky etc etc.... That's what I mean by saying "what creates me is what inspires me" I let the creator speak to me through my art, or better still, I learned to listen to him through my art.

On the other hand I am almost never inspired by something that is entirely created by humans, like a car or a machine, or something like it, because I still can't find the creators voice in it.

Even though all my “creatures” are so different and have a different mission within me, when they “come together” in a harmonious way, then the Inspiration is born and I can finally create.

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Has living in the United States of America for so many years influenced your work and how?

Pablo Azar : Everything that happens around me influences my “creatures”… even the place I live in, we all are what we are surrounded by so yes, the USA has influenced my work.

Since living here, I have painted the things that surround me... so I have painted American landscapes, the US flag, the Miami landscape, portraits of famous Americans like Elvis Presley etc... I don't think that some countries are better than others, just different.... if I were living in France, instead of doing a portrait of Marilyn Monroe, I would probably have painted Edith Piaf... or instead of painting a Miami landscape I may have painted Marseille. You see the USA in my art, but the essence wouldn’t change whether I were in the US or Japan.

Is there a relationship between your art and your acting career?

Pablo Azar : My acting career allows me to connect with other peoples “creatures” to feed my creativity and when I am ready, I just switch to painting. So I have both sides of creativity, collective creativity and individual creativity, which makes me a complete creator.

Where are you going next on your creative journey?

Pablo Azar : Wherever my “creatures” take me, I let myself go with the moment, excessive planning is a waste of time, because the straight line we trace to go from A to B, will, at the end, always be curve.

Tell us about your recent work using Pebeo 4Artist markers.

Pablo Azar : There is a difference between a brand that creates products only to sell and another one that besides selling wants people to create and get inspired. By using Pébéo markers I realise that Pébéo materials are also created for the purpose of creating and transmitting something to people, which I enjoy very much, and will always be reflected in the quality of the piece created. So I very much like working with Pébéo markers.

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