Goñi Montes brings vibrant illustrations to Nov. 2 Virtual Artist Talk

With gray November settling in, a vibrant Artist Talk hosted Nov. 2 by the Illustration department will be a welcome event.
Goñi Montes, whose work is featured by a wide array of clients such as The New Yorker, Scientific American, The New York Times, DC Vertigo, Wizards of the Coast, Tor Publishing, and more, is a native of Ponce, Puerto Rico — something he says greatly influences his portfolio of work.
After earning a BA from UPR Mayaguez and an MFA from SCAD in Atlanta, Montes began working in 2003 as a scientific illustrator for the Puerto Rico Sea Grant. Since then, his illustration skills and interests have led him to work for sci-fi/fantasy books, comics, editorial, and advertising.
Artist Talk: Goñi Montes, Monday, Nov. 2, at 11:30 am
As you worked and studied toward becoming a professional creative, did you experiment with different mediums for your art, or has illustration always been your focus?
GM: I did, but mostly during my students years and the first two or so years of my career. Once illustration projects became the bulk of my work, I started dedicating more and more time to it. Nowadays, I have little time for anything other than commercial work.

Your work is so vibrant, full of energy and color: Who or what influenced that choice?
GM: Definitely my upbringing in Puerto Rico and the master printmakers of the island. I was exposed to a great deal of color from an early age. Renowned artists from the mid-1900s in Puerto Rico loved to mix a few primaries with a wide gamut of tertiary colors. When work is black and white, as is often the case in woodcut, linocut, and a few other printmaking mediums, the contrast is stark and bold. All of these combined have served as an ongoing influence in my work.
And, finally, what do you plan on addressing with our PCA&D students? What do you hope are the takeaways?
GM: Besides talking about my work and how it’s changed throughout the last few years, I always like to talk about focusing on one’s individual voice and trajectory as well as the support that members of the art community can provide to one another. This life isn’t easy, but it doesn’t have to be hard. Extending a little bit of kindness to yourself and to those around you can have incredible effects on one’s creativity and success.
You can learn more about Montes’s work by visiting goniart.com, or @montesgoni on Instagram.