Photographer Luis Mindo signs for The New York Times, Apple, and others: “Paper and Pencil, That’s All You Need”

Luis Mindo is a world famous painter who now lives in Tokyo. However, he lived in Groningen, where he studied in Minerva and learned the finer points of graphic design. It now works with major clients such as Spotify, The Guardian, American Express, and many more. But he also decided to take a new path and focus more on free drawing. He’s making a hole in his busy schedule for nearby Groningen. “Feeling creative in the simplest way: paper and pencil, that’s all you need.”

Luis, who was originally from Spain, had been drawing all his life, and as a child he used every free moment to paint. “I can’t remember a day without drawing.” Luis started with art in Salamanca and then moved to Graphic Design in Madrid, graduating cum laude, before graduating in Groningen in Minerva. Lewis subsequently gained 20 years of worldwide experience as a graphic designer before finally settling in Tokyo.

style

Lewis finds it difficult to describe his own style. “I would probably call it arrogant, organic and dynamic. It’s hard to tell! You can always see that the drawings are by me, despite the fact that I use different styles. Lewis explains.” “I love the diversity that drawing gives me, so I don’t want to commit myself to one way.” What distinguishes my work is that I prefer to draw people, cities, animals and plants. Everything that lives and moves. I find that more interesting than the static stuff. “

The human. illustration | Luis Mindo

humanity and universality

Lewis’ work is distinguished by the fact that there is always a human component. “You probably know the story of Don Quixote. This is universal and human: it can happen anywhere, but it is about a madman who has adventures with a sober friend. If you bring these two adjectives into a story, people will always recognize themselves. I also try to create that in my drawings ” .

A shoemaker is more than an artist

Lewis enjoys his profession. “Drawing is a real handcraft. You can only develop yourself by doing it often and getting the right master. Indeed,” he says with a laugh. “I see myself as a shoemaker more than an artist. You wouldn’t get anywhere without working long hours.”

Plus, the drawing keeps Lewis sharp and gives him attention to his surroundings. “I always have to draw ideas and things for clients as if I am seeing them for the first time, which is often the case. So I have to look carefully, or else I won’t be able to draw them. I find this very interesting about my profession. At the same time, I also find it more difficult, because I try Always inventing something new. Sometimes I struggle too hard.”

Photographer Luis Mindo
picture | Alex Ebian

disparity

Lewis has worked for twenty years as an art director for major companies and famous names, but he is always about the content. “I don’t really care who pays me, it’s about the content and the story. Why would they want an explanation and what should it convey? It’s about the vision. No,” he adds with a smile, “whether it’s a potato scoop manufacturer in Groningen, and yes, I’ve done it once, A long time ago, or the New York Times, I don’t really care. Variety, that’s what matters to me!”

Photographer Luis Mindo
illustration | Luis Mindo

sober

The sober Dutchman still fit Lewis like a glove. When we called him a “world famous photographer” during the interview, he started laughing: “I don’t know if you’re ‘world-famous.’ People may know you in this field, but it’s also a job that I have to do pretty well. If I were a plumber, I would have to solve leakage problem.

Photographer Luis Mindo
Louis loves to paint the way a spring day feels: cute, cheerful, and beautiful. illustration | Luis Mindo

Fun, fun and beautiful

On his site, Lewis quoted a quote from Renoir: “In my opinion, the image should be something gentle, cheerful and beautiful. There are many unpleasant things in life as they are, without creating more of them† This statement is the common denominator in his work with Lewis. I refuse to paint bleak stories. I always draw “beautiful” things, which people are happy to look at. Some people enjoy blood and horror and that’s fine, but you don’t have to ask me to.”

But what is this about him? Fun, fun and beautiful† “Look out the window on a sunny spring day. What makes you happy? Are the people, the colors, the birds chirping, the flowers blooming, the scent of spring hanging in the air? Or are the terraces full of people? Everyone has their own taste, but that feeling is what I want to I draw it.”

Photographer Luis Mindo
Tokyo is also quiet, which Louis likes very much. picture | Alex Ebian

Tokyo vs Groningen

In 2013, Lewis decided to settle permanently in Tokyo. “I came here in 2009 on a 3-month vacation, but fell in love with the city. Not so much in Japan, by the way,” he laughs.

“Now I’ve lived here for 8 years and I thank myself every day for this decision. It’s great to live here. Life in Japan is easy and despite the familiar image of busy Tokyo, you can always find peace here. Everything is widespread and the service is the best in the world.” Contrary to what everyone thinks, it’s much cheaper to live in Tokyo than, say, Amsterdam. People are always nice and polite. Things in Japan are designed with love and made with high quality. When I say everything like that, it’s very hard not to want to Live here!”

Is Louis missing anything from Groningen? “Well, I don’t miss the Dutch weather at all. At that time everything was closed on Sunday, which I found very sad. But I miss the liveliness of the terraces and the cozy centre. Friday night ends at the oil bar… It was unprecedented, as to learn! “

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