A black line on a blank paper. Each illustration is made up of a handful of ink drops. Just the bare minimum.
Fernando Cobelo was born in Venezuela, currently living in Turin, where he works as freelance illustrator. Two worlds apart that exist together in his life together with all the other places he's been.
Fernando developed an essential and clean style, representing the intangible side of human nature.
The project of Ordinary Young Man came to life few years ago, quite by chance. It's a series of portraits of an ordinary man and an ordinary woman, whose lives we know nothing but they are very common lives, and who feel the same feelings we all experienced in our lifetime, at least once. In this is exactly what makes the project so powerful: that Ordinary Young Man could be anyone of us.
The characters climb over the physical borders of the paper, come closer to the eye of the beholder, and get straight to the point. Pain, dread, restlessness, dreams, crave for freedom. Soul.
The project has excited a great deal of interest and became popular in no time.
Lately, it brought to the publication of the book “Todo queda igual, pero igual cambia”("Everything stays the same, but it still changes" - Ediciones Hidroavión): it's a reversible book that on one side shows the story of the Man and on the other side has the story of the Woman. Fernando tells their story individually, until they meet halfway through the book and the story ends. Or maybe it starts, depending on the way you look at it.
I think that the power of Fernando's works lies in his capacity of conveying complex messages, difficult to put into words, in a simple and straightforward way. There are some recurring leitmotif. Stars and planets stands for dreams, for the vastness of our inner life, as for "He had the Universe inside", one of my favourite. And then you can see butterflies and birds to depict freedom, black monsters that perfectly embody our fears, and flowers as symbol of life and rebirth.
I recommend to have a look to his last collaboration with the young Spanish writer Vicky Grande: “Mil maneras de perderte y solo una de encontrarte” ("Thousand ways of getting lost, and only one of finding yourself"- BlackBirds), an emotional atlas that drives us across the hardest journey: our soul-searching.