Alejandro Carrillo, a young illustrator and Tec de Monterrey graduate, has been included in the list of the 100 most creative Mexicans in the world by Forbes Mexico magazine.
At 24 years old and having recently graduated in the summer of 2022 from the Digital Art and Animation degree, Carrillo was put on the list by the magazine’s editors thanks to his achievements as an illustrator.
In 2020, while still a student, he published his first coloring book, Faces, which quickly became a bestseller on Amazon.
A year later, Carrillo won first place at the Toronto Indie Filmmakers Festival in the animation category with his animated short Express.
He recently showcased his artwork at the Walt Disney Family Museum in San Francisco and is preparing for the release of his second book and his new animated short, Spark of Color, this year.
Young, recently graduated illustrator among the 100 most creative Mexicans in the world
The list of the 100 most creative Mexicans in the world includes renowned film directors, conductors, actors, architects, photographers, and other artists.
“I feel really lucky to be on this list,” says Alex Carrillo, as he calls himself on his illustration Instagram account: alexcarrillo.art
“It’s an honor to share a place on the list with personalities that I greatly admire, such as Guillermo del Toro, Alejandro G. Iñárritu, and Tenoch Huerta, to name but a few.
“I always dreamed of inspiring young people to be able to flow freely and inspire their creativity. So, for me, this means I’m doing things right.”
“I feel really lucky. It’s an honor to share a place on the list with personalities that I greatly admire, such as Guillermo del Toro or Inárritu.”
From launching his own book to making a mark outside of Mexico
“The truth is that it has all happened really fast,” says Carrillo.
“I started out as an illustrator in 2020, when I launched my first coloring book. So, it’s been pretty incredible. I never imagined this would happen.”
During the seventh semester of his degree, Carrillo decided to create and launch his book, since there was no interest from publishers.
Unexpectedly, his book charmed audiences and started to sell well. Previously, his drawings had convinced personalities such as Justin Bieber follow him on social media.
“Ever since I was little, I dreamed of becoming a professional illustrator and devoting myself to drawing.”
In under two years, his short film won an international award, many brands sought him out for collaborations, he was invited to showcase his artwork at the Walt Disney Family Museum, and had his own exhibition in Saltillo.
“Obviously, I feel very lucky and very happy. Ever since I was little, I dreamed of becoming a professional illustrator and devoting myself to drawing. And now that I’m fulfilling that dream and doing these projects, it’s incredible.”
“It’s been hard work: drawing a lot, learning, seeing how I can improve my drawing techniques, and doing projects that I enjoy, following my heart.”
Tec student, storyteller, and illustrator at CONECTA
“It’s been a journey of almost 10 years now,” says Carrillo about his time at Tec de Monterrey. He started at PrepaTec Salitllo and later finished his degree at the Tec’s Monterrey campus.
Along the way, he participated in plays, in the Storytellers communication training program, was an illustrator for CONECTA, and made short films and projects during his Digital Art and Animation degree.
“In high school, finding myself was a process. Right at the end of high school, I realized that I wanted to devote myself to drawing and making animated films.”
“I feel that the Tec has contributed a lot to my training,” he says.
“(The program) Storytellers was a great experience for finding myself and learning how to tell stories.
“CONECTA opened the doors for me to explore my talent in editorial illustration, which really helped me be able to take my art to magazines,” he adds.
“The Tec changed my life and really motivated me to search for opportunities in order to achieve what I want to.”
“I feel that the Tec has contributed a lot to my training.”
Alex Carrillo’s new dreams
Carrillo talks about his new dreams as a professional in an interview with CONECTA.
“My biggest dream is to be able to direct an animated film with characters that are all my own and to be able to watch the film in the theater. That’s been my dream ever since I was very young.
“And I would also really like to take my art to exhibitions around the world. For example, I would love to one day be at MoMA,” he says.
“And what’s coming in 2023? “I’ve got a collaboration with a very famous Mexican athlete coming up, as well as my second solo exhibition at Gomez Palacio in Durango in March.
“Also coming up are my second coloring book and my short film Spark of Color.
“It’s an animated short that tells the story of Max, a young man who seeks other people’s approval and is trying to find himself,” he explains.
“I’ve got a collaboration with a very famous Mexican athlete coming up, as well as my second exhibition, my second book, and my new short film.”
Two pieces of advice for young people wanting to achieve their goals
Carrillo, who has also given inspiring conferences to young people for the past 2 years, says that he wants to continue motivating young talent.
“The best advice I can give you is to not be afraid to knock on doors. We often think that everything is going to be handed to us on a silver platter, but it isn’t. We have to search for opportunities.”
“In the beginning, when I wanted to get my coloring book out, I knocked on a lot of publisher’s doors and they didn’t answer me. So, I went looking for alternatives,” he adds.
“Another tip is to connect with people who dedicate themselves to what it is that you want to do. You never know who might answer you.”
“When I launched my book,” he gives as an example, “I wrote to an illustrator and animator that I greatly admire who worked on the Mulan movie. His name is Tom Bancroft, and he wrote back and gave me advice on how to start my book.”
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