Sr. Reny: ‘I love the satisfaction of overcoming each challenge, even the smallest ones’

Spanish illustrator and designer Javier Ramirez, aka Sr. Reny, reveals how his talent for creating intriguing and eye-catching designs is continuously evolving and where his inspiration for his 100 Days. 100 Commissions piece aptly named ‘cat’ came from.

Tell us about yourself.

I’m Javier Ramirez, and I work under my brand Sr. Reny in Vigo, a city in the northwest of Spain. I’ve worked as a full-time freelance illustrator for some time now, but before that, I worked in advertising agencies as a graphic designer.

What’s the story behind your brand name Sr. Reny?

When I was younger, every year in my city, there was an event where a lot of people met to paint graffiti to create a mural that stretched for almost a kilometre. I must have been ten years old when I first attended the event, and I was shocked by all the shapes, colours, and textures that people depicted on the walls. It was from that moment I knew that I want to try to do graffiti to experiment with what I felt. From then on, I started to paint with my friends and became interested in art.

I needed a name to paint graffiti and Reny was the one I chose; it didn’t mean anything, but I liked how it sounded. Over the years, I became educated in illustration and graphic design, my goal was always to work as a freelance illustrator and what better than to use the name that started it all.

How would you describe your approach to design?

The main focus is the challenge that you’re posed with when you receive a commission. I love the satisfaction of overcoming each challenge; even in the smallest ones, I try to give the best of me to turn it into something big. I think it is the base of design, to transform something small into something big and recognised and it is very gratifying when you achieve it.

Talk us through your cat piece commissioned during our 100 Days. 100 Commissions campaign.

At first, I thought to send in a project that I was working on that had been cancelled as a consequence of the pandemic, but I decided I wanted to do something more personal.

I wanted to create a piece in which the idea and the composition didn’t limit me; it must flow. Many times, the needs of each commission and project can limit your creativity, so every so often I enjoy working on personal projects which bring me the opportunity to try new things and give me a mental refresh. What I like the most in this work is when you start with an idea or composition, and you finish it with a different and unexpected result which surprises you because it isn’t where you started.

In this illustration, I tried to highlight that everyone has good things in their personality and conscience, however small they are, but many times we put on a mask to seem harder and bigger than others to defend ourselves from the unknown or what we don’t understand.

100 Days. 100 Commissions. artwork by Sr. Reny What do you hope people take away from your work?

I love to create a reaction, to make the viewer capture a message or wake up their curiosity or

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