The art of stealing Art - Interview to Illustrator Pachu Torres (Playboy Magazine)

(This interview is also available in 🇮🇹 italian on Lo Spazio Bianco)

In this new interview I’ve contacted Pachu M. Torres, Spanish Illustrator specialized in erotic and psychedelic art , collaborator for Playboy Magazine, Showtime and Critics’ Choice Awards. We discuss about copyright, stolen images from social, his 16 times bans, Youtube Article 13 and more…

Hello Pachu, I’m discovering you via your firm on your illustration.
I tell you what happened:
There’s a lot of Psychedelic Instagram pages that shares your artworks without insert your name as a tag. Also, talking with one of them I’ve understood that they put your no tagged image and in description say to follow another affiliate page. So the affiliate page gave money to the big one for put in the description their affilliation.
Anyway I wrote a comment on one of this page putting your tag and then they delete my comment. Then I’ve contacted privately the page and only at that case they put your name on credits.
The first question is: How you feel to know this situation?

I feel bad, in the sense that artists or new creators can't have the deserved visibility for their work. Unknown people (they are always impersonal accounts on social media) are getting the success of the creations of others, obtaining the feedback instead of the artists. It's disgusting especially for someone who wants to start it's career. But the funny thing, is in my case, this other situation: as you know, many accounts share my art without give me credits. Ok. I reply them and ask to do the right thing. But then, surprise, they report my account for sharing pornography and my accounts get banned (I had in Instagram 16 accounts since 2012). I say this because I know this happens that way, one day a brazilian fan asked to give me credits in a pirate account, then they threatened me to turn down my account and then, some days after this... surprise, I couldn't log in in my Instagram account. After this, when my accounts are banned, many new accounts impersonates my identity. And when I report this flagrant use of my name and art on the Instagram, I don't have any response from there. 

What is your point of view about people that share other works art?

It's a natural action. I do it. We all do it. The social media have been created (in an utopian vision of them) to create a network of people, finding common pleasures and affinities with unknowns from all the world. And the best way is sharing your interests through art or artists (videoclips, illustrations... art in all it's ways). So, it's great the use of the other works art. but, why don't give credits to the author? I understand that a pic of Cristiano Ronaldo or a paint of Dalí don't need to be accredited because they're worldwide referents. But when we talk about minority artists or emergent creators that's truly unfair. I have good luck, and many big accounts shared my art giving credits. But also I found Chinese accounts which not only didn't mentioned me as the creator of my illustrations, but deleted my name from my drawings. Ridiculous.

About the Article 13 Youtube Discussion, what you think could be happensfor creators?
We have a popular saying in Spanish, more or less like this: kill flies with cannons. That's what I think for the Article 13 issue. As a creator, I understand and support the initiative. In fact, we have no rights over our creations on Internet. And that's not fair. It's not about money, of course, but just about visibility, respect for the content and to protect the creativity. 

Tell me about you: When you have started to understand that illustration was the thing you want to do in life?
As a kid, I started drawing when I was 4. After watch the Batman movie on cinema, in 1989. I asked my parents to be a comic illustrator. When I grew up, I finished my university studies and tried to start a career as an artist: work for spanish newspapers, do posters... and finally, when I started sharing my art on social media, my life changed into this. Now I'm 24 hours illustrator hahaha. I collaborate with Playboy magazine, many other publications, Showtime, Critics' choice Awards etc. and I do several pieces as a freelance.  only have time for coffee and to get inspiration ;)

What are the artists who have influenced your artistic path?
Many ones, in different levels. But the most important ones are Milo Manara, Serpieri, Jordi Bernet, Tomer Hanuka and David Lynch.

Do you ever tried to realize comics instead to illustrations? 
Yes. In fact I wrote several texts for comics. But I don't have the time to draw them. I wish some near day I could surprise you with my first graphic novel.

Joaquin Phoenix as Joker

How did you come to publish for Playboy Magazine? It’s like the hidden secret dream of every man!
It's one of the best things of my career. And yes, it all happened on social media. Cooper Hefner (Playboy's chief, son of Hugh Hefner) sent me a direct message through Instagram asking me to collaborate on the magazine. He found my art there and get interested. I am very grateful for that.

How is your daily working routine?
So crazy. I need calm and quiet to draw, so I do it all at night: coffee, music and the sofa to sketch ideas. Then, draw the ideas, get the good ones and start inking. If it's too late (usually 05:30 am) I stop there and continue in the morning. Then I give colours (the level of required concentration is different). I have a lot of art to send, so I wait for Mondays or Fridays and take them all, package and send it through the post offices (this process takes a lot of hours, I'm not Amazon hahaha).


Which Technique do you use for realize your artworks? And how much time required for the idea to the realization?
I do my art always handmade: pencil and ink brushes. The color is digital. I sketch some ideas for an illustration. Take the best one and then go for it. First pencilling and then inking. This part, more or less, can take 2-3 hours. Then, I scan and give color. Choose a good tone and palette and work with it are another 2-3 hours. So, the average is 5 hours. But it can be more depending of the difficult of the work.

Do you ever partecipate to challenges like Inktober and similiar? Did this kind of challenges can help an illustrator to work more?
I do it for fun. And because I try to do an illustration per day. But I don't like to be in a challenge because that implicates a routine that can kill creativity or stress me. I like what people do on Inktober, they're great people there showing amazing works! But I'm not sure this overcrowded challenges can help a beginner to get more work. It depends of many factors...

If you were not an illustrator, what you wanted to do with your life?
The guy of my illustrations hahahahaha. No, I think I would like to be a cinema director, or even photographer.

Thanks to Pachu for this interview. Hope to see his account verified one day. If you want to follow Pachu Torres (when he is not banned) you can watch it via Instagram, Facebook and Twitter or his official website.