Artist Interview: Mostasho on Blaming the Internet and Finding Community Anywhere

After the great response to his first collection, The Estate, we were incredibly excited for Mostasho to create another animal-themed collection for NeonMob. Here, he shares with us on his process for creating Jungleton, how he's been so successful in such a short period of time and what he's up to next in his career. 

First thing's first! Your given name is Rodolfo, though you go by a pseudo-name, Mostasho. What does it mean, and where does it come from?

Mostasho is my nickname. I created a brand to sell art on t-shirts and products, and I decided to use a pseudo-name to represent the brand. I had a big mustache at the time, so I modified the word "mustache" to create the name "Mostasho." Later, when people would ask for my products, they didn't know my name and would refer to me perosnally as "Mostasho." That beat out "Rodolfo," and I decided to play along. 

You're currently 27 and began illustrating just four years ago. Yet, you've already seen a considerable amount of success and have won a number of awards. Tell us how that come to be and what the process of becoming an artist relatively late in life was like.

I blame any of my successes on the internet! The internet is a tool that allows you to reach all of the world, such as San Francisco, for example. The internet gave me a considerable amount of reach, which is how I managed to spread and share my work so widely in a relatively short period of time.

My process is always to be working so that I constantly have new art to share. 

What goals do you have for your career and your work?

I have an illustration studio called Skinpop with my partner Raúl Urias, an incredible illustrator and friend. We want to be the best illustration studio in the world.

Tell us about the concept from your latest collection, Jungleton. Where did it come from?

"Frederic," a very rare print from Jungleton.  

"Frederic," a very rare print from Jungleton.  

The concept was developed by bouncing ideas around with Mike Duca, CEO of NeonMob. The direction was simple: create a cast of animal characters with a James Bond twist - heroes, heroines, villains and more.

I started by looking at the enormous diversity of animal families and narrowing it down from there to just a handful of families. For each family I chose, I had to think of each group as one -- what would its personality and characteristics be like? From there, I assigned different variations of each of those personality profiles to individual animals.

I created the collection in Photoshop and Wacom, and it took a little over a month. 

This is your second collection on NeonMob (the first being The Estate in 2012). Were there any takeaways from your first collection that was helpful in creating Jungleton?

Definitely! I had a whole backup gallery of animals from The Estate that I had previously researched. That helpful because I was already familiar with the anatomy of the animals when starting Jungleton. 

"Pin," a print of a strategically named character from the House of Canine.  

"Pin," a print of a strategically named character from the House of Canine.  

What's the artist community like in Mexico? Where else do  you find community?

The artist community in Mexico is amazing... more so with street artists than illustrators, though. It's growing with every day, and I'm honored to be a member of it. Outside of my immediate city, I can find community anywhere. It's just a matter of looking for and recognizing that everyone has an incredible amount of talent.

You can find Mostacho on NeonMob here.