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 makes 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 on to Graphic Design in Madrid, where he graduated cum laude, before completing his education in Groningen in Minerva. Lewis subsequently gained 20 years of worldwide experience as a graphic designer before finally settling in Tokyo.


Lewis finds it difficult to describe his own style. “I would probably call it arrogant, organic and dynamic. It’s hard to define! You can always see that the drawings are by me, despite the fact that I use different styles. Lewis explains.” “I like the variety that drawing offers 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 introduce 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. In fact,” he says with a laugh. “I see myself as a shoemaker rather than an artist. You wouldn’t get anywhere without working long hours.”

In addition, the drawing preserves Louis’s sharpness and gives him interest in his surroundings. “I always have to draw ideas and things for clients as if I’m seeing them for the first time, which is often the case. So I have to look carefully, otherwise 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’m trying Always inventing something new. Sometimes I struggle so hard.”

Photographer Luis Mindo
picture | Alex Ebian


Lewis has worked for twenty years as an art director for major companies and famous names, but he is always about content. “I don’t really care who pays me, it’s about the content and the story. Why do 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 I care about!”

Photographer Luis Mindo
illustration | Luis Mindo


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 well. If I were a plumber, I would have to solve a problem.” leakage “.

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 paint “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 for him? Fun, cheerful and beautiful? “Look out the window on a sunny spring day. What makes you happy? Is it the people, the colours, 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 paint “.

Photographer Luis Mindo
Also the quiet Tokyo that Louis loves so much. picture | Alex Ebian

Tokyo vs Groningen

In 2013, Lewis decided to settle permanently in Tokyo. “I came here in 2009 on vacation for 3 months, 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. The 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 Learn! “

  • Looking Inside Rutger: “The walls are the same color as my eyes”

    Big TV, black furniture and rows full of CDs: typical features of a man’s home. Groningen house…

  • Relax in the sun: here you will find all the seats in Groningen

  • Puzzle solved: This is the purpose of the iron pipes bent into the ground

  • Take a breath of fresh air with your dog in Groningen: they can run here

Leave a Comment