Ricardo Salamanca is the founder of Salamagica – a photo retouch studio, where a devoted team of designers specialized in retouching photos.
We have found their art work amazingly detailed and constructed in a perfectionist manner, so we dug into it and tried to find out more about the secret behind it. Mr.Ricardo shared some thoughts with us, in an exclusive interview, that is for sure worth reading. Along the way 60 of Salamagica’s most beautiful creations can be admired.
Q: Hello and welcome to pxleyes.com community. Please tell us a few words about yourself.
All my life, since I was little I have been drawing and this has somehow made my personal and professional life easier. Arguments at school would often end when I decided to draw a caricature of my adversary. “A picture paints a thousand words.”
Imagine what it is like to have a pen in your hand and know how to use it.
I have always been fascinated by observing. I am obsessed with watching people in the street. It surprises me how everyone is individual even though they came from the same beginnings. I like the singularity of things.
When I found out that in the olden days painters painted by candlelight to generate an atmosphere (as the source of light in that era, it was the only way it could be done) I realized that to create an atmosphere was as important as doing the drawing that you want to make.
Atmosphere is the key to transmitting sensations.
I studied graphic design but I didn’t even graduate. I decided to do an internship with an advertising agency and well, that was 17 years ago and I have been working since then.
Of those years, I spent 14 working at Leo Burnett, Chile retouching images and the last 3 years I have worked for my own company “Salamagica”.
Q: The details of Salamagica’s artworks are striking! Who comes up with these ideas? Anything in particular that inspires you?
I am an observer; I think that life offers us much more to observe than what we generally observe. For example, with a simple visit to the local market, you can find the best idea for so many things, from a horror movie to a child’s toy. Inspiration is in the details.
I have always referenced the details used and demonstrated by “El Bosco” in his work, which were important for his era. People could say he was crazy but to me he was very lucid.
Q: What kind of software do you use?
Hand drawings, photography, illustrations, Photoshop, Painter, Zbrush and Cinema 4D.
Q: Do you have any special projects going on?
I try to make all the projects stand out. In general at this time of year (from March to April} we concentrate on working towards competitions, especially for Cannes, and the majority of them
allow a lot of freedom. I try to take projects where I can add a lot of value to art direction.
A project which gave me a lot of satisfaction was the campaign comprising of 3 ads for Landrover, my client, for the agency Y&R Latin America because I felt that the art direction team and the creative team in charge worked well together.
“61 A M E R I C A N I N O”
Q: Do you believe in natural talent or hard work?
I believe in talent and then comes hard work. Talent is priceless and this is nothing to do with the amount of hours you spend at work. Effort and work without talent generates casualties.
But effort with talent generates a tidal wave of success. Talent without effort means a good idea is never realized.
True talent is not in the hands or the eyes but in the mind, it is how we receive and organize everything we see and create with our hands.
“62 A M E R I C A N I N O”
Q: Please give some piece of advice for the newbies in this field.
Look at everything, be observant. Be self-critical and don’t conform. defy your pride be your own enemy. Be your own biggest challenge.