Go through life looking at things and let yourself be surprised. That simple and that complex is Javier Sáez Castán’s outlook as a writer and illustrator, illustrator and writer, as he explains some of his keys to the creative universe and the origins of his stories, which are nothing more than everyday life, because ‘fiction helps us reinvent reality’.
Sáez Castán (Huesca, 1964) tells us he is not in favour of separating genres, or of over-editing texts and images, because a sequence visually creates meanings that aren’t in the images by itself, so everything is in a state of constant flux.
The illustrator led a workshop in March 2013 at Casa del Lector
: Dreams of an author or how to shape our dreams to build fantastic stories
, directed at ‘authors, illustrators, creators…and general dreamers’. The workshops and conferences he participates in are an excuse to get outside, travel and exchange experiences with others, and consider his work in order to explain it to others. He claims it has given him a new perspective on his work, in a positive way. He describes an illustrator’s job as naturally lonely.
Along the years Sáez Castán has experimented with language and images, he has mixed languages in his texts and paid attention to painters such as Magritte. ‘I think that the origin of a lot of my books is in a love for games, amusement and experimentation’ he said in an interview for Un periodista en el bolsillo. ‘My objective isn’t to define illustrations, but to let them define other things.’
Sáez Castán: ‘My work is very lonely. Workshops help me to get to know my own work better, as well as enabling me to help others. I am not a fan of catalogues, because I believe a reader must make his own library’.