“I really dig wild theories about aliens and the origin of the Universe”
One of the highest ranked artists between artists. Among his followers: trendy musicians, illustrators, tattoo artists, fashion designers… and it’s not chance. Behind his seemingly naive vignettes, hide the most striking critical statements on politics and society. Only for the quick-witted. Mario de Santiago, aka Yime Is Great and usually mentioned as “oh he’s good man, you gotta follow this guy”, has single handed illustrated our winter season Fanzine. We’re sure it won’t go unnoticed.
What got you into the project?
One day my girl brought your fanzine home, the issue illustrated by Sawe and I just said: I wanna be in there too!
Well, you’ve definitely done our liveliest cover so far. You really got a little chaos going on around our food. What was playing in the background?
Yeah, well it’ really is a bit of a mess isn’t it? Well my playlist at the time was a bit eclectic, from my next door neighbors fights to Lil Pump. I also put on some of Broncano’s interviews or even podcasts on the mysteries of the old world. Man, I really dig wild theories about aliens and the origin of the universe.
Trap and aliens, sounds like fun. Which would you say are your referents when it comes to your work?
Well I have to begin with Andrés Lozano, who’s been my dad in the illustration world. I’ll also mention Roberta Vazquez, she’s killing it right now. A brief list of artists I follow: Nuria Riaza, Cristina Daura, Tiago Majuelos and Sawe.
What was your first project as a pro?
I had a few, but the project that really put me “out there” was my work with C.Tangana for his comeback in 10/15. We did some animations that blew everyones mind off. Just look where the guy is at now, all thanks to me, hahaha.
Tell us a bit about your achievements since then.
When I did this project, I just finished my master’s degree on illustration at UPV and I was living in London, working my ass off in a pub. Since then I’ve worked with Zara, Starbucks, Autodesk, El País and Fnac, among others.
Photo by Claudio Oca @claudio_oca
The way I see it, one of the hardest challenges an artist faces is to know when a job is done. There’s always a thing or two you’d like to change or improve. Does that happen to you?
To be honest I work really hard on the composition in the first draft, so everything is pretty straight forward from the beginning. To me, the hardest bit is picking the right colour, I always change it a thousand times before settling for the right one.
Moving on. Where do you see yourself in the near future?
My aim is to keep getting paid to do what I like, but I’d like to branch out at some point. I’m really into fashion and I think I’ve got a funny persona, so I’m reaching out to create a fashion brand and a talk show. I’m not hundred percent positive this is gonna materialise but I’m definitely gonna give it my best shot.
You’re known to have an irreverent sense of humor, (very much needed by the distracted and numbed minds that roam the land these days) and at the same time dressed in an “easy to digest” format. Have you ever been censured for not being politically correct?
I wouldn’t say so. Sometimes I’ve been told off for my content being too “badass”, but I think at this point everyone knows what kind of content I make, and they come after it. Plus, I don’t get it, I’m a good kid not a badass. Hahaha.
A good badass, what’s your favourite meal?
“Arroz a la cubana”. I’m a basic bitch.