Illustrator Itziar Barrios Speaks of Nature, Privacy And Memories



The sentiments conjured in Itziar Barrios' illustrations are evocative for they convene idealism, absenteeism, utopia and dystopia. The illustrator has most recently graced an article printed in our latest issue which discusses, correspondingly, utopic communities at present.


In conversation with Itziar Barrios, a Spain-based illustrator whose images speak of existentialism whilst advocating for recognising the loss of natural splendour, the artist dives into the variants of her work discussing its foundations, relevance and its place in the current context.


Hi Itziar, we are happy to exchange some lines with you. Let’s talk about your work. Traditional sketching using modern digital tools has led your work into clear, self-explanatory drawings. What is it that your work speaks for?

Indeed, the largest part of my work is made analogically with ballpoint pen, using digital tools only for commissions that require some specific details or formats. I consider this quite relevant since the majority of ballpoint pen artists make fine art more than illustration. In my case, I rescue this detailed technique in illustration for commercial purposes: faster and more conceptual.


"My narrative deals with environmental issues, privacy or social behaviour, for example."


Regarding my personal project, it normally mirrors myself in different ways. I’m a dynamic person and I don't like to stick into a specific subject for a long time. That's the reason why I like to “talk” about different subjects along the way every so often.


What are your thoughts on the current scene of digital illustration? And what’s the future of it?

Not only illustrators but creatives in general are living unprecedented times. 

We could talk about the fear of the unknown but I prefer to stick to a positive outlook and believe this is a great moment—full of opportunities to grow our business and build a global, determined audience.

In addition, this new era is showing us that creatives are indispensable for companies as we add value and distinction. I believe we need to recycle and adapt our capabilities as creatives and take advantage of this moment.


Your bio reads that your inspiration ”comes from nature on one hand, and memories, privacy and beliefs on the other.” How does the concept of nature seeps into your work?

When I work on environmental projects I strive to reach people with a critical impact, but always from my own personal experiences.


"I use soft and kind illustrations in order to sensibilize the audience about subjects that have been forgotten and that I consider vital for our species."


In my Biophilia project, for instance, I pretend to explain the concept of "biophilia” in a powerful but smart way: how humans have forgotten about their own biologic necessity to elevate nature. 


Would you say your work is political?

I’m not sure about my work being political at all. I don’t like to position myself politically but it is true I love to put into question some situations and manners that are socially accepted, and try to see them from a different perspective. 

The result is very interesting since, when we face such common situations taken out of context, we can find many ridiculous and irrational situations. Within this framework we can find some political content as turns into criticism. 


You have recently contributed with an illustration for our latest issue, many thanks! Any exciting projects coming up for you?

The truth is I can’t wait for starting this new year. I close this year with good energy and great balance. Likewise, I have already in mind some exciting commissioned works which makes me feel safe and confident.

But I’m a dreamer and this year I’d like to take my personal project one step further, with my first graphic novel. Hopefully, and if everything goes as planned, the novel will be published by the end of the year. 



   +  Words: Alejandra Espinosa, Luxiders Magazine Editor

Liberal Arts graduate | Berlin-based writer

Connect with her on LinkedIn or Instagram (@sincosmostura)