Interview with Pablo Stanley, Graphic Designer & Illustrator

Kaplan are delighted to introduce Pablo Stanley, a famous graphic designer and illustrator. Pablo was born in Mexicali, Baja California, Mexico and now lives and works in San Diego, USA.

Kaplan have teamed up with Pablo to create a series of comic strips called “Adventures in English”. Read the first episode.

Discover more about Pablo and how learning English has helped his career. You can read this interview in Spanish here.

When did you first become interested in illustration and graphic design?

I have liked drawing and even making simple comics since I was a kid. But it wasn't until my teens when I got interested in Graphic Design. I think I was around 13 when I visited an aunt in Texas and she had a computer which had Windows Paint. My mind was blown. I couldn't stop making silly, pixelated graphics with it. I was hooked and there was no turning back.

You enjoy playing with the English language in your illustrations, why is this?

I suppose it's because of my own struggle with understanding the language. I'm from Mexico, so my native language is Spanish. Spanish has very rigid rules in its language. The vowels always sound the same, whereas in English they always sound different!

I feel like it's almost arbitrary. The phonology is awkward for me. I can't find the difference between sheep/ship, cat/cut, fool/full. That's why I write about it. I find it unfortunate but funny. English is just amusing to me.

How important has learning English been to your career?

It has helped me connect with many people around the world. Landed me some cool gigs. It's useful to know the language of the country you're living in. I move to the US 10 years ago so it's convenient.

What would you say to other Mexicans who are planning on learning English?

English is the most commonly used language amongst foreigns. It will help you connect with anyone in the world. The US is still the leader in tech innovation. English is used in many countries due to Great Britain's expansion during the colonial age. You WANT to be bilingual.

How has your Mexican upbringing influenced your illustrations and designs?

It has influenced me deeply. Many of the jokes I use are from my childhood, with some variations. Mexico has such a great history and culture. I'm proud of being from a place with such kindhearted people that know how to laugh at themselves and move on.

Which of your illustrations and designs are you most proud of?

Life and Donuts. I've received many emails from people telling me how it has actually helped them comprehend more about the absurdity of it all. That's shocking to me. In a way scary. I have to be more careful with what I write. I feel I now have a responsibility to bring a good message.

Click the image for the illustration!

What is the most important thing which has helped you achieve success in your career?

Perseverance. Skills you learn. Creativity you gain or are born with. Talent you acquire. Attitude you don't. Keeping yourself motivated despite the never ending challenges is what will keep you alive in the game. Perseverance is what pushes you to the top.

Which superhero would you be and why?

I would be Captain Obvious. I would fly through your wall, state the obvious and fly away. Without solving anything. Just leaving mayhem and confusion behind me. Why would he tell us what we already know?

Thanks to Pablo for some great answers. Are you a fan of his work? Let us know which one is your favorite by leaving a comment. Don't forget to check out Pablo and Kaplan's "Adventures in English" comic strip!

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