Hello there, my name is Jose Ernesto Diaz, and I am a 38 year old artist living in Guatemala City, Guatemala. I have been an artist since childhood, comics and cartoons being my first influences. As an adult, I began painting, surrealism was my favorite style of art. A second strong influence in my artistic career are the heavy metal covers, Pushead Metallica´s covers, Edie from Iron Maiden (I don’t know the name of the artist) and of course the great master, Giger. It’s difficult for an artist to walk away from his influences, but I am still young so I hope to find my own path soon.
Generally, I am constantly exposed to artistic images. I collect art books so the new ones in my library include, Norman Rockwell, De Chirico, Brueguel, and Bacon. But I have a lot of these books in which I use for reference. I also have a lot learning material, that includes a blume book for drawing animation, some anatomy books, a book called “Los Lenguajes del Comic” (which is something like “The Languages of Comics” in English), a collection directed by Umberco Ecco, and some other stuff. Since in my country the art is limited to painting, I have done several oil paints, not too much, but it has been my escape. In the last year, I acquired a Joe Kubert correspondence course, (I wanted to enter the school, but circumstances didn’t allow, so I went to law school in which I have recently graduated) and this has been a really exciting thing, because I always wanted to break into comics. As I said, I love the art of creating a whole world. You can do whatever you want and all you need is just a blank sheet of paper, a pencil and ink, and then you can create science fiction, or westerns, or whatever you want to do.
So this [Send in the Clowns and Guero] is my first comic assignment and I am very excited about it. I want to do it in a responsible way, since I know the United States is a good place for creating comics. In the future, I’ll be doing a Joe Kubert story graphics course, which, I think, is essential for this industry, and I have the horror course, too. I think one never stops learning and art is something that I’m always doing. Every day, I get to draw something, and I am expecting to improve.
In my schedule, I have had comic pages exposition in a comic store, and I have one exposition in May at the university here. I have received free courses in the National Plastic Arts School of Guatemala, and I expect to learn everything that is possible because I love art; I love comic books, and I think it’s part of the human development that a person expects from himself to be the best that one can, to be happy in this world doing what you think is right.
In the future, since I have legal studies with a specialization in Human Rights, I would love to do some comic stories with different human rights themes and elements in them. That, in this moment, is an important thing one must do, and comics and art can be a useful tool to achieve those goals.
You can check out my DeviantArt gallery here.
Jose is the artist on a book called “Side-Split War”, which will be featured in the upcoming Anomalous anthology, Send in the Clowns. Here’s a strip from our upcoming Guero mini.