(During the "Pilgrimage of Santiago de Compostela" - August 2011)

Where does your inspiration about Pencil Vs Camera come from? When did you start the project? Can you remember the first piece of the series?

I have been drawing and taking photography since many years. I had the idea to combine these 2 disciplines in one new art form. This is the first image of the series. This first picture is very simple and realistic, the next images I made became more and more surrealistic and inventive. I started this project in April 2010. It’s still ongoing. I intend to make at least 100 Pencil Vs Camera creations.

Would you please talk about the creative process? When you find something interesting, will you draw something immediately, and then take the photo?

It depends... there are quite a few methods to reach the same results. I sometimes make a drawing first and then take a photo afterwards. In other cases I merge a drawing and a photo digitally. In every case, the drawing is always handmade. Although it may look effortless, each Pencil Vs Camera image requires a lot of work and time.

What’s the biggest difficulty when you’re doing this project?

Drawing is something I’m used to do now. I can draw everything in different styles. Honestly, the most difficult part is to find interesting ideas, dig in my imagination as deep as possible, to always surprise people in a positive way. I hate to be redundant.

Many of your works go with poems by Peter S. Quinn, can you talk about the poet? What’s his most attractive things for you?

I know Peter S. Quinn’s poetry since many years. He has become a good friend and a soul mate. I love his work and the way he sees the world. He is such a talented, prolific and moving person. He often writes poems exclusively for my creations. We have many sources of inspiration in common; we share the same ideals and we live for similar purposes. There is always a fusion between his writing and my visual work. I feel like something big is happening in my heart each time I read his verses.

Will you make photos specifically for one particular project you have in mind or do you take your camera everyday?

I always have a camera with me. I sometimes prepare in advance my projects but most of time I take pictures that I will use or not for future works. For instance, I just came back from a trip in the North of Spain where I walked almost 700 kilometers, (from East to West, towards Santiago de Compostela). I took 200 photos everyday, during one month... I came back with thousands of pictures. And I'll certainly use many of them for my next projects.

As a painter, what does photography mean to you?

In the past, I believed painting and drawing were more meaningful and powerful. I don’t make any specific distinction now; most of my recent creations mix different art forms. Many people told me my photos look somehow like paintings, may be because I always try to remove all the imperfections, and because I try to edit my shots as much as possible. I became interested in photography when I studied Journalism. I’d never think I’d become a photographer one day. There is no limit in photography.

As a self-taught artist, in your opinion, what’s the most important point in art creation?

I think it’s important to be guided by your own creative instinct. There is definitely not a single path to make art. The most interesting is the end result.

Can you describe a usual day lately (ex. will you stay in front of your computer all day or spend much time with friends, or stay late at night for work etc.)

I usually do my creative work in the evening and late at night, and I focus on the administrative documents in the morning. I do spend lots of time in front of my computer. I tried to travel as much as possible. I love spending time in nature, see new landscapes, breath fresh oxygen, meet people, feel free…

What’s your ideal life?

Keep surprising myself, surprise the people following my work, live everyday in a different way, give happiness and find happiness.

What’s you camera’s model?

I currently take photos with a Samsung NX11, it’s a powerful new generation camera. Samsung Imaging sent it to me in the context of their “ImageLoger” program. I intend to opt for a bigger camera soon…

(*) Shanghai Weekly is a a weekly newpaper published in Shanghai, China. This interview has been published in Chinese in September 2011.