Luis Hidalgo Artist Interview

Deyvid Dimitrov
Deyvid Dimitrov
March 1st, 2022 5 mins to read

Luis Hidalgo is a fine art and illustration artist living in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. With a strong background in Fashion design, his body of work ( using both digital and traditional media ) deals mostly with humor and his own very caricaturesque point of view.

Hi Luis. Thank you for agreeing to do this interview, I am really excited to get to know your practice as an artist.

Thank you so much for your interest in my work, this is such an honour.

How are you today?

Fine thanks, a bit tired after catching up on all Drawing Cabaret Couture´s sessions for London Fashion Week, but overall very happy with all the wonderful results.

Tell us a little about yourself

I’m an illustrator living in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, right in the middle of the Caribbean. I´m a teacher at my Alma Mater ( Chavón/ La Escuela de Diseño ), where I’ve been teaching Fashion Illustration/ Drawing for the last 20 years. I have worked for many local brands/ designers and also for a few international blogs.

Did you study art or are you self-taught?

I have an AD in Fashion design, and prior to that, I went to College for Advertising/ Graphic Design. I have always enjoyed drawing and loved fashion. Growing up in the 80s with all the hype about music and fashion made me fall in love with fashion design, and made it possible to attend Fashion school later on. I have always been intrigued by why people wear the clothes they wear and why do they buy them. How the clothes one wears can be a way of self expression.

Your style is very distinct and whenever I see photos of your art I can instantly recognise it. What are your biggest influences and how did you develop your style?

Thank you. I remember watching a story about Antonio on TV and falling in love with his work, and also realizing that Fashion Illustration, as a career, existed so one could say he is quite an influence. I also look at the work of many contemporary illustrators like Melanie Reim, Carlos Aponte, Helen Bullock, Bill Donovan just to name a few.

Instagram has also introduced me to the work of many fascinating artists. As for my style, I draw every day. I´m a Taurus so I´m pretty routine oriented, but I’m also quite stubborn. I like to challenge myself by not doing things the same way all the time, especially when it comes to techniques and materials. I approach fashion drawing with a story in my head, about the clothes or the character wearing them, and try to convey that storytelling through my drawing. It can be as subtle as the direction the figure´s eyes look back at you or as complicated as a really intricate texture rendering. It´s all about creating a story and communicating a feeling.

Could you walk me through your art making process?

I always draw with music. Most of the time I look for music that relates (at least in my head) to what I want to draw. Also, lighting incense is a plus. For DCC´s classes, I use an iPad, which is relatively new to me but has given me the benefit of saving/ sharing the result in high definition, skipping the hassle of taking photographs or scanning. And since I am in the middle of moving to another apartment, most of my art materials are still stored in a box… somewhere. So the iPad has been a real blessing. Took some time to get the hang of it, but then again, I´m quite stubborn.

What is your favourite piece of art you have made?

Well, there have been many. I find that I really enjoy when the drawing takes a life of its own, and just flows. Drawing digitally I challenge myself not to erase, and that really has injected energy into my drawings. I really enjoyed the last pieces I did from Drawing Cabaret Couture´s London Fashion Week 5 day classes, mostly because the variety of designers allowed me to experiment with different solutions and graphic approaches to the figure. I also attend a few online figure drawing groups and really love what I have been able to make.

Do you have a muse and how do you find inspiration?

Many muses, not just one. Quite often I get obsessed with a style, a person, or an era, and begin researching and collecting images. Currently obsessed with German expressionism and the Weimar Era. I read a lot of literature which helps unleash my imagination.

Would you share with us some of your artworks from the Drawing Cabaret Couture London Fashion Week classes?

Glad to. I think Drawing Cabaret Couture´s classes really encompass what I mention previously - the sets, the playlists, the clothes and the models are always so inspiring. Week after week they have managed to wow me, even though for work/ time zone differences I often have to watch the catchup videos.