chat with

santiago taberna 

Hello Santiago ! So tell us, who are you?


Hello! I’m Santiago, an artist an illustrator living in sunny Glasgow, Scotland.
We really like your dynamic and messy compositions. Who/what are your main influences and inspirations ?


I’m really into distortion. I have a fascination for shadows, reflections, light, concert photographs which I always try to capture in my

compositions… and also how our minds are constantly thinking in a lot of things not necessarily in a sequence, it’s sometimes focused, it sometimes drifts away and starts daydreaming, it’s sometimes rushing because of all the caffeine in the bloodstream. I do find this whole dreams and subconscious business really intriguing. I try to collapse all these things into my drawings and maybe that’s why they look all moving and messy! It’s a bit like that Doctor Who episode when time stops existing all together and all of history happens at once. I’ve always found that idea hilarious and interesting.
The sense of movement and dynamism I think comes from my love of music, which is the other most important thing in my life. The way music works, there’s so much happening in one song, so many details and it just keeps going forward, unlike visual art which in a way stays still. I get very inspired by the way musicians work when writing songs and the theatricality of performances. David Bowie in particular is my biggest inspiration for always trying out new ways to create art, find new sounds and always remaining the coolest outsider - there’s so much you can achieve by being yourself! I do love seeing unknown musicians and weird performances, jamming with friends and improvisation in general. As for other big names, Grimes, David Byrne, Arcade Fire, The Velvet Underground… I admire way too many people to mention all of them here! You can definitely find traces of everyone in everything I make.


Literature is also a big one. Jack Kerouac and the Beats also had a big impact on the way I make things, particularly his book The Subterraneans. I find his writing style all fast-paced and messy, chopping up sentences where they shouldn’t, capturing the chaotic way people talk in written words and the energy of those very long paragraphs without a comma that go for 3 pages. Sometimes I have no idea what he’s about but his writing does give a very clear impression of what’s happening and feelings - without much (apparent) editing. So much jazz.

As for visual artists that inspire me, I go through phases but dadaism (particularly collage) and surrealism are two of the biggest ones. Naming a few people: I love Van Gogh’s spiralling skies, Matisse’s

cutouts, Picasso’s general madness, the calculated geometry of Russian constructivists, my other illustration friends are also fabulous. Graphic designers I really admire: Storm Thorgerson, David Carson. Then there’s children’s books like Where’s Wally, poorly drawn things I find on the internet, Tumblr humour… and album art is really inspiring, of course! DIY mixtape covers, Pavement’s album art… just browsing records in shops can be incredibly inspiring. Finally, I get very inspired by my friends! Kate Bush said in this interview that everyone is so full of poetry. It’s so true.


We send a big thanks to Santiago for this cool interview! You can find Santiago Taberna using the link below:



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