Who am I?
Ignacio Alfonso Marín de Espinosa Sánchez is my name, in short Marín. I am a sketch artist from Murcia, a city in the southeast of Spain. Currently, I am living in Louvain, a Belgian city, and I am working as a caricaturist and cartoonist in Belgium and the Netherlands.
My specialties are caricatures and portraits. Why? Because I like to look for someone’s typical features. At events I try to see and draw those features in 5 minutes. A fantastic challenge, right?
How it once started…
From when I was a little kid, I have dreamed of being a sketch artist for real. I could spend hours watching the caricaturists on the Spanish beaches. Soon I realised I wanted to draw too. My school exercise books were full of drawings and at the age of 8 I won my very first drawing competition at school.
Fascinated by art and drawing, it was logical I went to study art history at the university. In Cartagena, a city in the south of Spain, I worked for the Regional Museum of Modern Art. This provided me the opportunity to get to know artists from all over the world which inspired me to chase my dream of becoming a sketch artist myself one day.
In December 2013, I held my first individual exhibition of realistic portraits. In 2014, I attended a workshop on hyperrealistic portraits, held by the artist Dirk Dzimirsky in Germany. That is how I improved my technique.
The adventure in Belgium: The caricature stand
In 2014 I moved to Louvain in the province of Flemish Brabant, near Brussels. Caricatures and cartoons were clearly appreciated here, and soon I was able to work as a professional sketch artist at all sorts of events. Currently they hire me as entertainment at fairs, sports events, children’s parties, birthday parties, communions, weddings, staff parties, in retirement homes… You name it! Caricatures are fun for both young and old.
In the centre of Louvain I have a small but cosy studio. There, I am always painting and drawing during the long winters: caricatures on demand, portraits, landscapes, abstract paintings… I love to draw group caricatures for companies and organisations. It is fun to draw all colleagues related to each other. For the individual caricatures on demand, people tell me about their lives and their hobbies. I try to draw these as well.
I also work in Louvain as a cartoonist for Kindermagazine, Jeugddienst Leuven (a magazine for children, published by the city). In the Buurtcentrum Mannenstraat (community centre near my house) I organise workshops ‘drawing for beginners’.