When you can’t draw for toffee, seeing someone else do it for real is like a magic trick. Pat Carbajal is the modern day doyen of James Bond illustrations.
OPERATION: DRAWN TO BOND
I have been in contact with Pat for circa 3 years. Though guiltily, never thought to reach out to the man behind the pencil. Have never met him in person or spoke on the phone.
I’m nothing more than a voyeur as Bond would say. Lasciviously admiring his sketches, in awe of his prolific talent and beguiled by the ease in which he manages to capture the very essence of Bond.
Pat Carbajal, please introduce yourself.
Hello Peter, I’m Pat Carbajal, a professional artist, from Patagonia in Argentina. I started as a political cartoonist, doing jokes and caricatures, but then I moved on to portrait art, illustration, children’s books, comic books, and storyboards for commercials.
Practically anything that came my way!
Why James Bond illustrations ?
Bond has always been my favourite character. I was about 7 years old when I saw my first 007 movie, Octopussy, and I was hooked. I first saw a giant billboard of the classic movie poster with Roger Moore in his iconic Bond pose with Octopussy and her many arms with the knife and Faberge egg and all the action scenes. I fell in love with that art.
I asked my Dad what is that?
He said, Oh it’s the new Bond movie we should go see it! So the poster was what actually drove me in first into the world of 007. I clipped the poster art from a magazine and started copying and drawing Bond.
I tried to find any photos from the movies and those were the days of the VHS boom so the old Bond movies were released on tape. Naturally I discovered a whole saga before Octopussy and a lot of cool movie poster art, and I’ve been drawing Bond ever since.
Who is your favourite James Bond character to draw?
The Bond girls! I would love to just do pin up art of beautiful women! Followed by James Bond illustrations and then the cars.
I can’t say I have a favourite Bond to draw, or a favourite Bond actor, I love them all! But right now I do enjoy drawing both Daniel Craig and Timothy Dalton a bit more. They have very intense looks, which I particularly like.
Have you thought of releasing a coffee table book of all your drawings?
It is something that I always have in my mind and I keep postponing because new projects keep coming up, but I will eventually do a book compiling my artwork.
Do you accept commissions? Do people request you to draw any other characters from the Bond franchise?
Yes, I usually do take commissions. The last piece I sold was actually for a Timothy Dalton fan. It was a set of Dalton portraits as Bond and as Barin from Flash Gordon and as Rochester from Jane Eyre.
Is it easy to draw the clothes on James Bond? More so than the portrait for example?
Not exactly easy but as an admirer of suits, shirts and menswear, it is a very pleasant part of my work. It is a very technical process, I first have to do some research and choose some good reference images to be able to capture the right look and details of a particular suit.
Just like a portrait, the most important part is capturing the likeness of a person. Details that make them unique and try to make the art feel alive. Clothes are no different.
They must look like they have dimension, anatomically correct, well proportioned and with the right details such as size of lapels and collars and ties.
I also love to do Pinstriped suits, I still need to work on the Glen check design, that one is extremely difficult!
What’s the next big project you’re working on?
I’m working on several comic books at the time so that takes a lot of time. I have done humour, science fiction, superhero, biographical and crime comics over the years.
But like with all type of media, if you succeed in the horror genre, clients will ask you to do only horror. Subsequently I’ve been doing horror comics for the last few years and I love them!
I have no problem at all with being identified with the genre, I’m quite proud of it, actually. I’ve just finished a series based on the movie MANIAC starring Joe Spinell and Caroline Munro.
Finally I can put my portrait skills in a comic book, and also comics based on Italian Horror director Lucio Fulci with ZOMBIE and THE BEYOND. All published by Eibon Press.
More illustrations and James Bond clip art by Pat Carbajal can be found on his blog. There you’ll find links to his Tumblr and social channels. But click on any image to follow him on Instagram.
Readers of this blog might also be interested in the following article: