Although he is now a freelance illustrator, Raúl Soria’s life could have been very different. He initially studied tourism and looked likely to drift into a career in hospitality before he decided to make a change.
Born in Spain and now based in Berlin, Raúl admits that in choosing to follow a creative path, he was “running away from a life I wasn’t enjoying at all.” But his witty, intelligent style found favour with a rich array of clients and now Raúl’s work is much sought-after. He particularly excels in editorial commissions, as he enjoys the combination of a well-defined concept and a tight deadline, which he says gets the best out of him.
There is always a strong idea behind his images, but Raúl is able to find an unusual way to approach his subject matter. “It might have something to do with my sense of humor,” he explains. “I have a weakness for quirky, absurd and awkward stuff.”
And at a time when illustration seems to be enjoying a really respected creative moment, Raúl is perfectly-placed to take advantage of this renewed interest in the artform. This new golden age, he thinks is down to technology and the kinds of lives people increasingly want to lead.
“The unstoppable growth of the internet and social media has made the work of illustrators potentially visible to an extremely wide audience. and now everyone can see what anyone’s doing, including other illustrators, who learn from and get influenced by each other. It’s a virtuous circle,” he says.
“At the same time, access to this sort of exposure has been democratized, so you no longer need to have good contacts in the business, because there’s Instagram, Tumblr or Twitter. If your work is good enough and you show it properly, then you’re most probably going to get your chance.
“I also think that changes in the labor market have had an influence because there are not only more and more illustrators, but more and more freelance professionals of all kinds, small independent businesses, start-ups etc. I guess all this has been increasingly leading people to try to make a living by doing their own thing.”
There are lots of people out there who are very glad Raúl had the courage and the conviction to do his own thing.