Asun Amar, architect and illustrator, Bryan Stepwise Blog

Asun Amar, when Architecture and Illustration merge in the same language

Today we have the pleasure of sitting down to talk with Asun Amar , an architect and illustrator based in Seville.
We met her at the Madrid Design Market where both brands were exhibiting our work.
We were "neighbors" during that weekend and it was wonderful to get to know his work, his universe and the magic that comes from his personality.

With a technique based on black ink on horse, square and bevel paper , Asun is able to open and recreate exquisite corners.
A unique and non-transferable style that is in perpetual contact with another of his passions: Architecture .


Illustrator and architect. We would love to know more details about your
trajectory. Were you always clear about what your two passions were?

It is impossible to deny that the verb “build” has always accompanied me.
My grandfather and father were carpenters, and I spent my childhood
accompanying them is their workshop.
While they worked I made sketches and built wooden chairs and tables.
And when I reached maturity, it was clear to me that I would be an architect. Illustration,
It goes hand in hand, therefore I cannot separate one from the other.
I am equally passionate about both.

In all careers and professional paths, there is always a milestone that marks a before and after. What would you say has been yours?

An important moment was going to work alongside Héctor Ruiz Velázquez in his studio.
I learned that we are Architecture, we live in Architectures.

If we do not take care of what we build, adapting to the ways of life of each region, culture and climate, our way of living is directly affected.

Regarding illustration, a crucial moment for me was participating in the drawing and illustration salon “Ilustrísima” in 2017, organized by the ABC Museum .

How would you define your illustration style?

Balanced, organized and aesthete. I really like perspectives, and the graphic elegance that makes up many spaces that I draw.

They are drawings made with ink, where the proportion of each element plays a very important role. Where to place a piece of furniture or a chair totally changes the harmony of what I am illustrating.

In one of your illustrations you show your studio, which you call “the inspiring studio.” Do you consider that the space where you work is everything for
inspire you?

I love that illustration!

Yes, yes and yes, the space that surrounds us conditions everything that happens there.

When it comes to our workplace (and depending on the job) that there is balance, calm and order is super important.
Of course then natural light, optimal temperature, noise level come into play...
Every detail counts to create an inspiring work atmosphere.

When I can't control some of these aspects...I draw my ideal study! When I'm drawing I feel like I live in those spaces, so for a brief time I work in an office, imagined, perfect for me.

“Places where I would like to live” , for us, a work of art, a union
between two professions such as Illustration and Architecture,… A small book to show, as you yourself point out in your latest posts, your dreamed, drawn and imagined home. What led you to start this project?

 Thank you very much for that wonderful compliment.

“Places where I would like to live” is a reflection on how I live, and how I would like to live.

Currently, I jump from one rental apartment to another, always looking for a place where the level of habitability is in line with my personal moment.
But, due to the impossible prices, finding a place that meets my requirements becomes impossible.

At the moment, I like to imagine spaces where I would like to live in the future. Stays with connection, magic and a studied and practical purpose. Where usability and design logic prevail, and where my quality of life is optimal.

Your waterproof notebooks are a work of camaraderie with all your “guild” buddies. Any anecdotes to tell that led you to sell waterproof notebooks?

The origin of these notebooks is full of female entrepreneurship.

I met Sara and Elía. Two students from LEINN University, who two years ago discovered stone paper, and started their Aedrea Notebooks project, where they produce waterproof notebooks, and collaborate with illustrators for the designs of each notebook.

Stone paper notebooks are ecological, waterproof and recyclable. Ideal for architects to draw at the edge of the pool without fear of our ideas being ruined by the water!

Your illustration is full of women, many of whom we can find repeatedly in several of your illustrations. What women are hidden behind your characters?

My strongest references, my roots are feminine. I like to illustrate them, it gives me joy and confidence.

There are many women who inspire me, but to put references that accompany me in most of the illustrations I would say Lina Bo Bardi , Frida Escobedo , Maija Isola or Marta de La Rica.

And in October 2019 my first illustrated biography of Zaha Hadid's life will go on sale. A children's book, written by María Isabel Sanchez Vegara and published by Alba Editorial.

Having illustrated Zaha Hadid, who is another of my references, has been one of the best things that has happened to me so far in the world of illustration.


Exhibitor at the Madrid Design Market in the June edition, will you participate in more editions or more markets?

I usually participate in several Markets a year. I really like the personal treatment I establish with the client. It is super special to know that your work is liked, and that people value the entire creative and artisanal process that an illustration has.

Furthermore, the client is very sincere , and you also know first-hand their tastes, and which products they like the most, or which illustrations are most popular.

In the summer I stop my Market activity, but starting in October I will return with new things.

How would you say being an architect affects your writing, your stories? 

It's funny to me, because when it comes to writing, everyone who sees and reads my handwriting tells me: “You have the handwriting of an architect.”

It is not something I do on purpose, nor is it a way of writing that I have developed during my studies. But, it is true that I take great care of the aesthetics of my calligraphy.

It's like he illustrates each word. I write everything. I really enjoy writing by hand.

My stories talk about ways of living. Of architectures that change lives, and improve them.
Being an architect is almost a way of life. Really. I don't know how to not be an architect.
You sharpen an extra sense that always accompanies you.

The value of design , the magic of things well made, craftsmanship , technology , fashion , photography

Now I understand why no one wants to travel with me! I stop at every corner because many, too many things catch my attention. 

A woman who inspires you

My grandmother Doro as a champion.
And Kazuyo Sejima for being a brilliant woman, a genius. And give an exciting value to the word architecture.

Your Guilty pleasure/s 

The bookstores.
Illustrated novels. Monocle Magazine. TASCHEN books.
And the lemon ice creams from Freskura, the best ice cream parlor in Seville.

If you could only listen to one album for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Heartbreak Warefare, by John Mayer.


Potato omelet with or without onion? 

With onion! My grandfather makes it with onion and 12 eggs. A championship omelette, finger-licking good.

You have successfully subscribed!
This email has been registered