Who am I?
Ignacio Alfonso Marín de Espinosa Sánchez is my name, but you can call me Marín. That is easier. I am a sketch artist from the Spanish city of Murcia. Currently, I live in the city of Louvain in Belgium and I work as a caricaturist, cartoonist and portrait artist in Belgium and the Netherlands.
Why did I specialize in caricatures and portraits? Because I like to look for someone’s typical features. At events, I try to draw those chubby cheeks, that sharp nose or that smile from ear to ear in only a few minutes. Quite a challenge, right?
How it once started
When I was little, I always dreamed of becoming an artist. I could spend hours watching the caricature artists on the Spanish beaches and soon I realized I wanted to draw too. My school notebooks were full of drawings and at the age of eight I won my very first drawing competition.
Everything in my life revolved around drawing and art. So, the logical next step was to study art history at the university. In the Spanish city of Cartagena, I worked for the Regional Museum of Modern Art. That is how I got to know artists from all over the world which inspired me to chase my dream of becoming an artist myself one day.
Little by little my dream came true. In December 2013, I organized my first individual exhibition of realistic portraits. Then I discovered Dirk Dzimirsky’s works of art and I attended his workshop ‘drawing hyperrealistic portraits’ in Germany. That is how I improved my technique.
The Belgian adventure: The caricature stand
In 2014, I moved to Louvain in the province of Flemish Brabant, near Brussels. Caricatures and cartoons were popular here, and soon I could work as a professional caricature artist at all sorts of events. Currently, they hire me as entertainment at fairs, sports events, children’s parties, birthday parties, communions, weddings, office parties and in retirement homes. You name it! Caricatures are fun for both young and old.
In the center of Louvain I have a small but cosy studio. There, I am always painting and drawing during the long, Belgian winters, with a cup of tea by my side to keep me warm. I draw caricatures on demand, portraits, landscapes, and abstract paintings. I love drawing group caricatures for companies and organisations. It is a blast to put all the colleagues together on paper in a funny way. For the individual caricatures on demand, I always ask about the model’s hobbies, which I add to the drawing in a fun way.
I have also already worked as a cartoonist for Kindermagazine, Jeugddienst Leuven (a magazine for children, published by the city of Louvain). In the Buurtcentrum Mannenstraat (a community center near my house), I organize classes ‘drawing for beginners’. I also give art classes to De Blinde Muur, a group of artists from the Belgian village of Kortenberg.