phati’tude Celebrates ¿What’s in a Nombre? Cover Artist Goñi Montes
Myself, Guest Editor Nancy Mercado and art director Lorraine Miller Nuzzo faced a dilemma: finding a cover that would best capture the spirit of the Latino community. We wanted something that truly represented the “look” of the community (men and women of different races) who call themselves Latino. In researching and reviewing artists’ works, everywhere we looked, nothing seemed to encapsulate the theme of “¿WHAT’S IN A NOMBRE?” Enter Goñi Montes. We actually stumbled upon his portfolio on the web and saw his piece, “Helix.” This youthful, colorful and eye-catching artwork grabbed our attention and we realized we were on to something big. The result is a great cover that has received compliments from around the country, so kudos to Goñi for allowing us to reprint his work!
Below is some information about Goñi and I encourage you to contact him directly if you have an arts project in mind. — G. David
BORN AND RAISED IN PONCE, PUERTO RICO, Goñi Montes did not discover art until his junior year in college. Up until that point he had very little drawing and absolutely no painting experience whatsoever. Shortly after studying fine arts and receiving his Bachelor of Arts degree at the University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez, he began his career at the Puerto Rico Sea Grantas as a scientific illustrator. After acquiring his Master of Fine Arts degree from the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) in Atlanta, he switched to editorial and advertising illustration, occasionally teaching classes at SCAD. Montes has certainly come a long way in a very short period of time to become one of the most sought after digital artists in recent years.
While Montes is building up a reputation as a digital artist, he also works with traditional media. Artists as diverse as Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Lord Frederic Leighton, Alphonse Mucha, Norman Rockwell and J.C. Leyendecker, have influenced Montes’ work. He also admits to having a heavy infatuation with old Korean prints.
Some reviewers have noted that “Montes portrays sceneries with impact. Very into the desaturated color palette, very French, yet Japanese too.” Montes is very open about his work and occasionally shares his process on his blog (www.goniart.com/blog), from sketches to final inking.
His work has 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.
Montes currently lives and freelances in Decatur, a nice little artistic oasis in the outskirts of Atlanta, Georgia. His website is at www.goniart.com.
COVER: “Helix,” Copyright © 2012, digital media