Goni Montes

  1. general
  2. bio
  3. work process

Goni Montes was born and raised in Ponce, Puerto Rico. Shortly after studying fine arts in the University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez, he began his career as a scientific illustrator. Yet, after acquiring his MFA from the Savannah College of Art and Design in Atlanta, his work now tilts towards editorial and advertising illustration. His pieces have been featured in professional and student shows for both Society of Illustrators Los Angeles and New York. His recent client list includes Tor Books, Oz Magazine, and Work Style Magazine. Goni now lives and freelances in Decatur, a nice little artistic oasis in the outskirts of Atlanta, Georgia.

Client List

American Way
Architectural Review
BOOM! Studios
Canadian Business Magazine
Chicago Tribune
Draft FCB
Entertainment Weekly
Field & Stream
Golf Magazine
Guitar World
Label Mag
Ladies’ Home Journal
Leo Burnett
Lighthouse Catholic Media
The New Republic
The New York Times
The New Yorker
Oz Magazine
Pearson Education
Puerto Rico Sea Grant
Rolling Stone
San Francisco Magazine
San Francisco Chronicle
Simon & Schuster
Scientific American
Skiing Magazine
Society of Illustrators LA
Spin Master
The Village Voice
The Wall Street Journal
The Washington Post
Wizards of the Coast
The Work Style Magazine
Young & Rubicam

Every project starts with a brief. Some are safe and explicit, like a full article or a story, some are surprisingly short, sometimes down to a simple phrase. Like on most illustrators’ processes, this briefing leads to thumbnails.

I confess that there’s a lot more thumbnailing than I let show. You must only show ideas you’d like to finish. Most thumbnails are just fluff, necessary scribbles that open a path to something that actually works. Besides, I’ve yet to meet an art director that likes to sit through 20+ dud thumbnails. Spare them. They are busy folk.

It’s more natural for me to depend on draftsmanship than on (a lack of) painting skills. This makes the sketch stage a lot more complicated than thumbnailing. The tighter the sketch, the lesser the nightmares to come. When sketches and traced drawings are finalized, the ride is ordinarily smoother.

My main medium is digital, mostly a combination of Photoshop and a few Wacom products. This wasn’t a self-imposed choice but one that felt natural to me. By now, extensive experience with it has provided me with some speed. I’m also pretty allergic to a whole bunch of analog mediums anyway, so digital is more comfortable.

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