Martin Tognola

Martin Tognola

(He/Him) • Barcelona, Spain

Biography Interview

Martin Tognola’s narrative, graphic, and illustrative style presents a fresh take on people, places, and things. His work can be found in major newspapers and magazines, and in product ads worldwide. Originally from Argentina, Tognola now resides in Barcelona, Spain, and attributes his experience as a member of the press to his success today as an editorial illustrator and motion graphics artist.

Selected clients

The Wall Street Journal, The Telegraph, Nike, The Washington Post, The New York Times, The Hollywood Reporter, Time Out Barcelona, Le Monde, La Vanguardia, Budweiser, Citibank, Los Angeles Magazine, WWD, Money, Orsai, Rockdelux, Ryerson Review, Penguin Random House, Hartford Courant, CSP Magazine, El Periódico de Catalunya, Playboy, Clarin

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Press, editorial, advertising, animation, comic

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  • 1996 & 1997 – SND Portfolio Award – Society of News Design
  • 2009 – Premi Josep Coll – APIC for Barcelona Low Cost
  • 2020 – Premi Junceda – press & magazines category
  • 2020 – Bronze Medal for The New York Festivals Bowery Awards

Career Milestones

Start publishing in Spain at the age of 22. I started before in Argentina. After being published in Spain, one of my comics has been translated into French and German. I have been publishing a weekly GIF in La Vanguardia uninterruptedly for years. I have already done more than 350 loop animations.

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Martin Tognola in the Spotlight

Martin Tognola

Your pronouns
He – Him

How do you define your identity? Do you identify with (or advocate for) any marginalized communities?
I’m a man.

Where is home?
Home is with my sons. With my family.

Describe your illustration style in one sentence
My style is realistic, conceptual and trying to make humor present.

What themes do you enjoy exploring in your illustrations?
I am used to illustrating social, cultural and political issues, without losing sight of human relationships.

What techniques do you use?
Mostly with Procreate on the iPad, but I still love to play with my pencils, brushes and markers in my sketchbook.

How much of yourself and your own story can we see in your work?
Without the topic, I put my point of view in each assignment, my vision of life and sense of humor.

Is there an unmistakable thread in your creative work?
My jobs are very mixed, but I love drawing people. The people in my illustrations can be the common thread. And the subtle touch of humor too.

What do you want to be known for?
For my way of explaining any topic with drawings.

Which projects excite you most?
I am moved by stories, whatever the project. From an Op-ed illustration to a comic or a GIF. I am thrilled by what there is to say.

What is your dream gig?
It could be to illustrate and animate an advertising campaign.
Doing a children’s book.

Where, when and how do you best create?
My studio is the best place. Lately I do it better in the morning.

How has your style evolved since you started?
I see the evolution of my drawing in that I draw less and less. Is more synthetic, in the line and in the color.

What do you find most challenging in your practice or in the illustration industry?
I illustrate some weekly columns in a newspaper. For me the great challenge is to be able to publish every time and not be predictable.

How has being an illustrator changed your life?
Wanting to be an illustrator led me to move to another country when I was very young. That was decisive for the rest of my life. My work has opened doors to places without knowing their culture or language.

Name a tool you can’t live without!
Today, the iPad. But if not, I could get back to the paper without any problem.

Tell us about a project you worked on that was meaningful to you as an artist.
The first time I published an illustration, it was on the cover of a major newspaper supplement. I was in my early 20s. It was a wonderful feeling and I wanted it to be repeated.

What influences or inspires your art?
Traveling is so inspiring! But I can find inspiration riding my bike by the city, also.
The music is always present. It is a great influence.
As in every art discipline I can enjoy not only the classics, I love to find out new artists.

What would you tell your younger self?
Don’t be so pretentious.
Have more fun drawing.

Why do you think art speaks louder than words?
Because images are universal. They don’t need words, or translation.

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