Here’s the interview we did to Maroto, the illustrator who has created our 6th Madrid Lindy Exchange poster.
Tell us briefly about yourself: who are you? What do you do? When did you start dancing?
Hi everyone! Well, my name is Maroto (bambinomonkey on the Internet) and I am an illustrator who works for the world of advertising and animation. I started dancing three years ago when a friend of mine, another cartoonist, told me to try it because it was really fun. And that’s pretty much it… I joined in and I got hooked for what I hope will be many years (smiles).
What kinds of things usually inspire you when drawing?
Mainly all that is comical. I work designing characters and I like it when they have really exaggerated features (I love cartoon style designs). In fact, I always tell people that I draw potatoes! And also everything that is exotic, Japanese and is related to the space, Mexico… and wrestling! (laughs). But still, you can find inspiration anywhere. Many times, when I’m walking down the street, I look at people I think might be easy to turn into a cartoon.
Why did you offer yourself to collaborate designing the Exchange poster?
Because I wanted to contribute and do my part. All members of the association work incredibly hard and I hadn’t done anything yet. So I thought it could be a good idea to help out with something I know I can do. Besides, it has been an honour, I love this festival.
What crossed your mind when we told you that, for the very first time, we were going to focus on the figure of a dancer as the theme for our festival? Did you know anything at all about Norma Miller?
I actually liked the idea a lot and I thought it was a challenge; she’s a legend. Swing dancers are not really my forte, but I knew this one from a documentary I had previously watched. It seemed to me that she was a really intelligent woman with lots of energy.
Last year you won our “Best social dancer” award, did you expect it? What did you feel?
I freaked out big time really because I didn’t expect it at all even though I had spent lots of money bribing all the attendees! (Ha, I’m joking!). It actually felt like getting an Audience Favourite award; it was a very special moment. I’m not a very technical dancer and I guess it means that, regardless of whether you dance better or worse, people have fun swinging with you which, for me, it’s what really matters: having a good time dancing with your partner. So I felt truly grateful.
Can you tell us in three words what does the Exchange represent for you?
It represents exactly what Lindy hop means to me: community, amusement and friendship.
Lastly, can you send a message to encourage others to participate?
Join in! (Laughs). Lindy hop has allowed me to meet some extremely nice and good people. I honestly think it’s a very healthy community, and it’s up to everyone’s involvement that the different events can sustain themselves and that we can make them grow. So that’s it, join in and let’s dance some!