Miguel Monkc

Miguel Monkc

(He/Him) • Valencia, Spain

Biography Interview

Miguel Monkc is an award winning advertising and editorial illustrator based in Valencia, Spain who has created commercial illustrations, letterings, logos and posters for brands and design agencies around the globe. Miguel is also known for creating illustrations, graphics, icons, doodles, stickers, maps and front covers for magazines, newspapers and publishing houses. Since he was a child one of his greatest passions is drawing. His artistic and design work was very early influenced by the graphic movement of the Bauhaus school (1919-1933) and the Polish school of poster design (1950). Miguel is a digital illustrator whose artistic approach starts with drawings created with acrylic pens on sketchbooks, mixing and reusing pieces of paper that he cuts and paints during the process. The result of his work are powerful images of a high aesthetic level, very close to the images of graphic posters, with vivid colors that transmit a casual, daring and modern look.

Selected clients

The New York Times (USA), Nature (UK), Dwell Magazine (USA), Fast Company (USA), American Way Magazine (USA), Gràffica Info (Spain), Shopify (USA), Sarasota Magazine (USA), Convenience Store News (Canada), Cottage Live Magazine (Canada), Consumer Report (USA), Montecristo Magazine (Canada) Mr. Porter Journal (UK) Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post.

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  • 2021 // Winner, Communication Arts 62nd Illustration Annal.
  • 2020 // Winner, Bonze Trophy Bowery Awards 2020, Design and Illustration category, NYC.
  • 2020 // Finalist, 2020 Bolonia Children’s Book Fair Illustration Wall.
  • 2019 // Winner, Merit Award, Hiii Illustration 2019, China.
  • 2019 // Finalist, 10th Iberoamérica Ilustra Book, Guadalajara, Mexico.
  • 2019 // Winner, 3rd place at the Brightness Magazine Illustration Awards, editorial category, Teheran, Iran.
  • 2018 // Winner, 1st place at the Saint Lazarus Poster Competition by CartelOn, Havana, Cuba.
  • 2018 // Winner, 1st place at the National Contest of Posters of the Cuban Association of United Nations, (ACNU), Havana, Cuba.
  • 2017 // Winner, 1st place at the Guernica 80 Years Poster Competition by CartelOn, Havana, Cuba.
  • 2017 // Finalist, 3rd International Poster Biennale, Lublin, Poland.

Miguel Monkc in the Spotlight

Miguel Monkc

Your pronouns.

Where is home?
Home is close to my dining table, in the afternoons, where I slowly brew my specialty coffee while I look through my window how peacefully falls the rain.

Describe your illustration style in one sentence.
Bold, colorful, straightforward, funny and whimsical.

What lights your soul on fire?
My work, yoga, a hug, my family, the people I love talking with.

What themes do you enjoy exploring in your illustrations?
Human rights, the environment, niche perfumery, health, food, love, my personal and other peoples feelings.

What techniques do you use?
Although the result of final work is 100% digital my approach always starts with a wide range of sketches drawn on my Moleskine sketchbooks with acrylic and regular pens. The acrylic pens allow me to draw and fill spaces rapidly. Shapes and concepts appears while I enjoy the process.

How much of yourself and your own story can we see in your work?
I am an emigrant, you can see it reflected in some of my illustrations. I have touched this topic several times from a personal view. I am also a person who always have fun with the work and doesn’t know what to be bored is, that is the reason why people see plenty of my work coming out very often. I like to produce images, whether for clients or for my self.

Is there an unmistakable thread in your creative work?
Yes. No impressing myself is an issue. Every time I finish a new assignment, I need to be impressed by the work I did. I need to feel I evolved, that I am going a step forward and not the opposite.

What do you want to be known for?
For being a nice person, a professional, someone you can rely on.

Which projects excite you most?
The recently finished branding for Fuentelgato restaurant, my works for Dwell magazine and my personal project called Drawing Bottle of Perfumes where I am exploring with rough sketches the world of perfumery, the materials, feelings, memories and concepts behind each scent.

What is your dream gig?
I would love to explore how to innovate in decor with new ways of integrating illustration and color with the space. I wish I could have more personal prints. I would like to keep seeing how do people connect with my work, who knows if I have the chance of seeing one of my pieces in the MoMA (laughs).

Where, when and how do you best create?
Mornings are the best, at my desk.

How has your style evolved since you started?
It’s very interesting. Now my style focus less time in unnecessary details, now is bolder, colorful, funner and more modern.

What do you find most challenging in your practice or in the illustration industry?
To deal with a huge amount of assignments at the same time from different projects and different clients. I have learned to say no in those moments that you are fully booked. Clients understand that it happens pretty often, it’s natural. I have understood that being honest and saying no when it is needed, most of the time ends with new opportunities for you. Now I deal with pressure better than before. I am lucky to have a great amount of wonderful clients who have enjoyed working with me and viceversa.

How has being an illustrator changed your life?
Personally I am so in love with my work at this point that I do know I was born to be an illustrator. I draw since I was a child, I did not like maths or engineering, nor literature was my favorite thing, so I found in the arts the perfect scape and my future.

Name a tool you can’t live without!
Acrylic coloring pens: Posca.

Tell us about a project you worked on that was meaningful to you as an artist.
The map of Valencia city (Spain). It was originally created for the program brochure of a musical festival and ended being one my best seller and most well known images locally.

What influences or inspires your art?
Mid century illustration and the Polish and Cuban schools of posters design of the 60’s.

What would you tell your younger self?
Never hide your self. Do your own, be yourself.

Why do you think art speaks louder than words?
Images reach the deepest of our consciousness. They have the power of changing behaviors and decisions and overcome the power. Images help this world to be a better place, all you need is a good concept and a message, the rest is done.

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