The Menorcan illustrator, Ivan Triay, designs the Christmas card and the APB 2024 calendar
Ivan Triay knows the secret of Mediterranean living. In fact, a well-known brand of beer entrusted him with promoting one of its summer advertising campaigns. Indeed, summer and the Mediterranean are a constant theme in the work of this painter, illustrator and graphic designer who was born in Menorca, where everything happens at the speed of his drawings. The APB has commissioned the artist to design its 2024 calendar and Christmas card on the condition that they feature the five general interest ports and several lighthouses, while giving particular prominence to the port of Maó.
-Why is it always summer in your work? Have you accepted irreversible climate change?
-I've never thought about it... but it's true, it's always summer; I didn't even realise. I suppose I associate summer with holidays in Menorca. I've lived in Barcelona for more than 20 years, and I usually spend a good part of the summer in sa Roqueta recharging my batteries, and I suppose it's also where I get the most inspiration for my work... which is why I tend to draw people in short sleeves and lots of sea... Climate change, unfortunately, is already with us, and I think it's here to stay.
-The Mallorcan guitarist Joan Bibiloni wrote Una Vida Llarga y Tranquila. Does this title resonate with the existential objective of your characters?
-Without a doubt, it's the "good life" as we say over there. It's the summers of the past, those endless holidays... And let's not fool ourselves; it's the best way to live, and I would say it's not just the life objective of my characters; it's everyone's.
-You're already very familiar with the landscapes of Menorca and Barcelona. How did you find drawing Palma, Alcudia, Eivissa and la Savina?
-Honestly, it was quite a challenge. I've never been to any of these places, and I don't know them, which makes drawing them a bit tricky. Luckily, you advised me well, and with the help of some pictures I found, I think I've managed to do a good job.
-How well do you know the port of Maó?
-Very well, although I'm from Ciutadella, I spent a lot of my childhood in Maó. My mother was a nurse who worked for many years in the old hospital, and one of the things I remember are the views of the port from that building. Later, I ended up studying in Mahón. I travelled there every day from Ciutadella. I know the city quite well, and also its impressive port.
-And the lighthouses? What do lighthouses represent for a Menorcan like you?
-They're the guides that lead us to a safe harbour. They represent safety and the fact that you're nearly home... For me personally, there's one in particular that reminds me of my childhood, sa Farola, the lighthouse at the entrance to Ciutadella port. There’s a little beach next to it and some landings where we spent half our lives... I haven't drawn it in the calendar because it's the one that has appeared most often in my work, and I wanted to draw some of the others.
-How did you approach the APB calendar and Christmas card assignment? What did you look for in each port?
-I decided to do something different from anything I've done before. I started experimenting with a program called Procreate for digital illustration and found that it produced pretty good results. I've approached both the ports and the lighthouses like a set, a background landscape, giving centre stage to the characters and scenes, which, in turn, interact with the backdrop. Like a kind of self-nourishing cycle.