Born in the Philippines, Alden Viguilla grew up watching Bioman, Maskman, Jetman and Kamen Rider Black. After moving to the United States, Viguilla became a fan of Power Rangers: In Space and LostGalaxy as well as various anime, like DragonBall, and gaming, such as Street Fighter.
Fans can also follow him on Twitter (@ald3nv) and Instagram and purchase his silkscreen prints perfect for any space.
When we were at Designer Con, you mentioned you were inspired to create art because your uncle was an artist. What kind of medium did your uncle work with? Did he have a specific subject he enjoyed?
He is an architect now based in California. I think he outgrew a lot of this pop culture stuff that I’m still into. He’s a practical artist. My uncle jokes that he has passed all of that to me, haha.
What or who most influenced your specific art style?
I loved manga artists like CLAMP (Magic Knight Rayearth) and Masashi Kishimoto (Naruto). Video game artists from CAPCOM or SNK. And comic book artists like Joe Madureira, Ed McGuinness, and Adam Warren. I’m also really into tokusatsu art done by Shotaro Ishinomori and a lot of the design work for the tokusatsu shows.
But there really is so much to name. There are so many amazing artists out there that influences and inspire me— whether is the use of color, or line work, or shape and proportions. Everyday is a point of discovery, specially with social media and going to shows/ cons/ festivals.
Do you have a favorite medium to work with?
For some time back, I went back to old school inking with nibs and brushes. Now, I usually draw digitally with Photoshop. I love to handprint with silkscreen, which is a great, old school printing process that takes a lot of effort to complete.
Can you walk us through when creating a piece?
My process begins with a finished illustration on Photoshop, where I have literally separated my colors into layers- white, blue, red, yellow, and black. Sometimes with another color or so. I print each of these separations as black on tracing vellum. Once I have my separations, I “shoot” the image into a screen coated with emulsion. Each separation will need its own separate screen. Once those are ready, then I can print. Then all these steps are repeated until you complete all the colors for your print.
They get silkscreened- white first, then blue, red, yellow, and black last. Silkscreen is a process where you can only print one color at a time. But you can overlap 2 or more colors to make new colors. Example, if blue and yellow overlap, I get a green. They are not always perfect colors but the process is just so much fun.
It is a very tedious and repetitious process. I can usually only make an edition up to around 30-ish because it tires you easily. And if you look up silkscreen prints, they’re usually not cheap because they are very labor-intensive. But I do love making them.
What was the biggest reward you gained from attending your particular art school? Would you recommend it as a path to those who are interested in going into the arts as a career?
I went to the School of Visual Arts in New York city for animation but veered off a few years after graduation to another direction– printmaking and indie comics. Now, I’m actually trying to go back into animation.
I don’t know that I would recommend my path to anyone. My path was kind of a self exploration-thing as opposed to a planned-thing, if that makes sense.
If there’s anything I would recommend, it’s to follow your own path. I’m sure for some people getting “there” would be easier and some harder. Do your best and you’ll get “there”… eventually.
As an artist, what is the biggest reward to attending and exhibiting at show and conventions like Designer Con?
Meeting new people to admire, new artists to be inspired by, new audience to showcase my work to, and new friends to connect with.
Social media is certainly a great way to reach a wide audience, but being able to talk to someone face to face and do the spiel about my work is just so great. They can hold your work in their hands. I can see them get excited as much as I do with the process of creating.
For awhile, I only did shows close to me (I’m based in New Jersey) in New York city. But the more shows I do, on a new city, the more new people discover my work or slightly/kind of recognize my work from the year before. Each new show and each new city brings a different crowd from the previous show.
I also got invited to do awesome art show because of the people I meet through these events.
Do you have any projects you’re currently working on that you’d like to share?
For the last few weeks I’ve been doing a lot of fan art for my silk-screened Character Mini Prints. I started with tokusatsu characters and then more superhero/ popular characters. They were really fun to make and those prints are usually what attracts people to my table on shows.
But in the new year, I’m focusing more on creating my own characters and stories again… for something. Stay tuned. Also, hoping to be invited to do more art shows as well.