Featured Artist: Cristóbal Schmal

Cristóbal Schmal is a Chilean illustrator now living in Berlin who tells stories with images that are comfortable, funny and strange all at once.


After finishing his Graphic Design degree at Valparaiso University in 2001, he moved to Barcelona, working as a Designer/Art Director for several graphic design studios and advertising agencies.


In 2008 he decided to move again to Berlin where he started to work full time as a freelance illustrator, working across editorial, cover art and advertising.


Cristóbal uses mainly digital means to produce his pictures, though they have the look of handmade collages comprising hand drawn elements and textured patterns. His long-limbed figures and pointy-nosed faces are made up of few elements that suggest a process of refinement, hinting at his background in graphic design. The pleasing flatness of his pictures is delightfully David Hockneyesque in style.

I like to be bold and to try to communicate something very specific but very simple. I like to be clear, not in the message but in the composition.

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Water and townscapes are popular motifs in Cristóbal’s work. Buildings are rectangles with triangle roofs and the sea is described in familiar, regular waves. A colourway of sunny, softly muted primary tones draws the viewer in.

cristobal-schmal-lifestyle cristobal-schmal-personal-work cristobal-schmal-technology

A fan of giants of the visual arts including Matisse, Miro, Picasso and Joseph Beuys, Cristóbal uses mixed-media in his personal work. This acts as a point of departure from which to make his commercial imagery.

I don’t think so much, I like to compose the scenes from some abstract thinking. Sometimes it’s the opposite of rational.


View Cristóbal’s portfolio, check out his out blog for a collection of fun GIFs and buy prints here.


Quotes from illustratorsillustrated.com and illustrationmundo.com. All images by Cristóbal Schmal



Posted on Oct 31st, 14 by

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