This Cartoonist Will Make You Laugh And Think One Drawing At A Time

Gabriel Sancho is a cartoonist from Argentina. At Good Manners, we are fans of his work and we had the chance to exchange a few words to know more about him. Gabriel developed a recognizable style made of minimalist, efficient, and funny cartoons. In our conversation, we ask how he started to draw, the creative process behind his artwork, and the advice and support he received from other artists.

Where are you from and how did you start drawing cartoons? 

I am from Buenos Aires, Argentina. I remember very well the moment when I started drawing because I had never touched a pencil in my life before. It was over ten years ago when I began drawing graphic humoristic visuals or at least tried. [smiles]

As a big fan of music in general, I used to visit record stores to discover new music, and one day I could not help buying an album of an artist I didn’t know. The artwork on the CD cover was a white cartoon, not acrylic, with small and simple black and white drawings and I immediately thought it was great. I could not stop thinking about it and a couple of days later, I felt the need to start drawing some jokes myself, first in secret, then on a blog. From those early prehistoric drawings made with pens and crayons, I went through various techniques and styles to what I am posting today on Instagram and on my blog. 

The funny thing is that after all these years, I realize the album cover I saw that day in that store was the starting point to where I am today. My drawings today do not differ much from this cover in terms of style and spontaneity.

How would you describe yourself?

I like to define myself as a creative person who is also very introverted or shy. People who don’t know me may think I am a very serious person.

We love the way you are able to point out a problem or express a thought in a minimalist cartoon. What is your creative process?

Sometimes, I am able to visualize it right away and in that case, I have to quickly draw it on paper. Most of the time though, I have a rough idea of what I want to express and the process is about finding the best and most humoristic way.

What you call minimalist cartoon, or what makes my drawings recognizable today, arose from my own limitations as a cartoonist. One day I realized that certain details or characters that I couldn’t draw (and that made me so frustrated) weren’t really necessary. The important thing was the idea and then, my new challenge was to express my ideas or my jokes using as few elements as possible.

Ideas can also come up during the day while I’m doing something else or driving my car for instance. It can be an image, a dialogue, or the memory from a song or a movie. When this happens, I write down the idea and then try to take it to a drawing with an uncertain result. Many times, the final drawing is far from its original idea. What I enjoy the most is the creative process made of multiple paths and decisions, ideas that are discarded, and shortcuts. A lot of Shortcuts!

What cartoon are you most proud of and why?

All of them. However, Taxi and Glass are the two illustrations that I always keep in my mind because it was the beginning of simpler drawings for me. I still use colors, but it was the transition period where I started to do more minimalist drawings as you mentioned in your previous question. [see more drawings here]

And which one is the most popular on Instagram so far?

According to Instagram insights, the most popular remains “What I say what I feel”. Although there is “Flowers”, a drawing that I have on Instagram but was originally published on my blog and on Facebook where I have very few followers. It was shared by the author Paulo Coelho many years ago, and a few years later it became the cover of the magazine Süddeutsche Zeitung Magazin in Germany.

How do you manage your time between your creative freedom and your commissioned orders?

Since I’m not a professional cartoonist or designer, I don’t make that distinction. There’s always creative freedom in the commissioned orders I get. Basically, my work is my ideas, and there I have total freedom.

Where would you dream to see your art?

Everywhere! [laughs] I’m trying to make my work more tangible and I think a compilation book would be a good start.

What does make you happy?

Besides my family, art, in general, makes me happy whether it is music, films, or books. From David Lynch to Radiohead, Monty Phyton, Alanis Morissette, Douglas Coupland, or Patti Smit. That gives you a good idea. I also love discovering new and original artists, such as cartoonists, musicians, writers, etc.

Is there any band or artist you would dream to collaborate with?

Working with musicians would be great. As a reference to the album I mentioned at the beginning of our conversation, collaborate with Jason Mraz would be amazing!

How would you illustrate good manners in a drawing?

cartoonist Gabriel Sancho for Good Manners
Good Manners illustration by Gabriel Sancho

What is the best advice you’ve ever received?

I can’t just pick one piece of advice. I have received a lot of support from other artists when I contacted them and was asking them some questions. Especially on Instagram when colleagues share my cartoons, I am very grateful to them. 

A book named “Ignore Everybody” by author and cartoonist Hugh MacLeod has been very helpful in my beginnings when I didn’t really know what I was doing.

What would advice you give to someone who wants to make a living from a passion or a talent?

The usual answer to this question would be to say to not give up and to insist. However, I would advise those who have a passion or a talent, or both, not to ignore it. Life is very short.

Who should we interview next?

You should interview Gervasio Troche. He is an Uruguayan illustrator and he’s a genius!

Our editor recommends: A picture is worth a thousand words [/mepr-show]


Romain Wawrzyniak is our Editor-in-Chief. His enthusiasm and kindness make his guests feel comfortable creating intimate conversations and priceless insights.

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