Saulo; multidisciplinary artist from the Canary Islands.

Saulo Santana Cabrera is a multidisciplinary artist and designer. He lives in the countryside of the Canary Islands together with his greyhound surrounded by trees, plants, birds, and bugs which he loves observing from his studio.

Currently immersed in children's illustration projects, Saulo guides his creativity using warm colour palettes, to infuse his works with playfulness and storytelling. His aesthetic resonates across digital and traditional mediums. This duality empowers him to craft captivating visual experiences that bridge tradition while also fostering sustainability and innovation.

Here’s where we found out more….

When did you start illustrating? 

I started working in the creative industry in 2012, although I have memories of drawing since I was a child. In fact, a few years ago, while cleaning out the family house bookshelf, I found a picture book illustrated by myself when I was 6 years old. It was titled 'History of Plants,' consisting of two paper sheets stapled together with a cover made of recycled kraft paper and drawings in the style of a 6-year-old. So it seems that illustration has been a consistently present creative field throughout my life and even in other disciplines such as design, art, or photography. Illustrating has always been a common thread in them when it comes to communicating ideas or telling stories.

Who has been the most supportive in your illustration career, perhaps your teacher, family, friends?

My family has always supported my creative journey, involving me in culture since I was little.

Did you always think art was something that was going to be a major part of your life?

Yes, always. I’ve always been fascinated by art, as well as any creative discipline, and it’s a profession that I feel a strong passion for.

What is your favourite subject matter to illustrate? 

Nature is a subject I love in general, but I will choose bugs, fishes, dogs, and plants.

How would you describe your style?

I would say that I enjoy infusing warmth into my drawings, paying close attention not only to the selection of colours but also to the playful and narrative aspects of the compositions. I often guide my drawing process from spontaneous, rough, and bold strokes to a more polished and sophisticated finish. That's why I enjoy both traditional and digital techniques, preserving textures from traditional techniques but polishing with digital tools. Also, there is a thing that I call "second look" as I like to incorporate details into the pictures that bring a smile to the readers, revealing interesting and surprising elements upon closer examination.

What is your favourite collaboration to date?

That’s a good question, and it’s actually a difficult question to answer because I think each project has something special. I've been collaborating for several years with a Swedish brand, Wall of Art, that creates original prints made directly by artists. I would say 'Mr. Long Dog' is very special because it’s an artwork of a sausage dog that is so simple. It has only an olive green background and two eyes, but it's a powerful picture. But I also have good memories of furniture design collaborations. Working with materials like wood or ceramics has something special that captivates you.

Moreover, these are projects that involve many people to turn that sketch you create on the drawing table into an object that you can physically enjoy. These are collaborations that I really enjoy.

What interested you about being represented by Illo Agency? 

I met Amy in the ItsMe Mentorship program, and she understood my style right away and where I could fit into the illustration industry. So, the most interesting thing is to have a team of professional agents who understand your work and find new challenges.

Do you have a favourite author, film director, or designer? 

I have a great fascination for the work of Eric Carle; his stories, drawings3, and textures are absolutely fantastic. Also, one of my favourites is Quentin Blake; I love his book "Mrs. Armitage on Wheels." Tove Jansson, Olle Eksell, Azechi Umetaro, Abner Graboff, M. Sassek, and his travel books are also among my favourites.

Are you working on any personal projects you can share with us?

I've just launched a collection of flower illustrations with the Swedish brand Wall of Art. I've also been working on my new studio/home in the countryside of Gran Canaria. It's been exactly one year since I moved to this new place. Gradually, I'm making small renovations and working in the garden with my trees and plants.

Do you listen to podcasts? If so, do you have a favourite?

I'm not a big fan of podcasts, but I am of videos. I usually watch Charles Dowding on his YouTube channel while working on illustration projects. He is a horticulturist in the UK countryside. I learn a lot, and he inspires me greatly by growing his vegetables in the garden.

If you’d like more info, please contact: [email protected]

At illo agency, we pride ourselves in representing a collation of global illustrators, distinctly diverse in creativity and uniquely celebrated by like-minded clients across a range of commercial markets.