Leo Espinosa
on drawing
Nuts and Bolts
As I mentioned in my previous post, last month was bananas between driving out west to our new home and the amount of work that fell on me. One of the most complex but VERY fulfilling projects was the design and art direction of a TV spot that just aired on national television in Colombia over the weekend.
My good friend, (director) Mauricio Pardo, asked me if I was interested in designing the overall look and characters for a commercial commemorating 60 years of Colombia's biggest oil company. The challenge was to show how much the client cares about education, progress and the environment using some sort of loose mechainism the Ad Agency had in mind. Timing was tight, but I thought that my use of color, simple shapes and character design could really work well with their concept and agreed to it. What I didn't anticipate was  that the same look needed to be carried over to the print campaing and that I would need to illustrate the ads in record time.

Long story short, two weeks of solid work, many cups of coffee, a few all-nighters and all the graphics were done. Then came the collaboration with the director, the creative team, the animation studio and the sound designers. They all did their magic (with a lot more coffee consumption I must guess) and the campaing was finished up and delivered to the public!

One of the main constrains for the TV ad, was fitting in all the ideas that came from the agency, animated at a reasonable pace. All my drawings were already done but not all of them made it to the final cut. Like the frame you see above, which was meant to be the closing of the spot
This was one of the illustrations done for print. The look needed to be as close as possible to the TV spot but with a little bit more detail, texture and volume

These are some background and characters, both from print and TV, that will be featured in a 60" version of the commecial. I had a kick designing the little critters!
The short 35 sec. version of the ad!
PRODUCTION HOUSE: Colombo Films DIRECTOR: Mauricio Pardo ART DIRECTOR AND DESIGNER: Leo Espinosa POST PRODUCTION: Dr. Pepe ANIMATORS Dr. Pepe: Catalina Noriega PRODUCTION Dr. Pepe : Camila Robayo EXECUTIVE PRODUCER: Nathalie Burnside ASSISTANT DIRECTOR: Andres Cortes SOUND DESIGNER : Sonica AGENCY: Sancho/BBDO CREATIVE TEAM: Sandra Murillo, Dario Rodriguez CREATIVE DIRECTORS : Juan Gomez, Andres Maranta R&TV: Maria Mercedes Medina
A Song for Japan
A Song for Japan is a postcard book featuring the work of 30 Colombian artists, put together by PechaKucha Night Bogotá & estudio ph3 to collect funds for the reconstruction of Japan through Architecture for Humanity.
Many thanks to Nobara Hayakawa and Jorge Restrepo for selecting my contribution to be the cover and the title of such a thoughtful project.

Many moons ago when I made the switch from design to illustration, I only did the minimum sketches necessary for any given assignment but rarely drew for fun. I don't think I even had a sketchbook for years. Luckily, that changed with time and I embraced drawing as a daily ritual.
I started teaching this semester to a mixed group of illustrators and designer and drawing has become the perfect common ground from where we start every single project. I keep remind them about the importance of drawing constantly. Drawing without thinking and drawing with a lot of thinking. Drawing uninspired and drawing with a muse. Drawing fast thumbnails but also complete concepts. Drawing to spark strong ideas instead of spending hours and hours clicking the mouse around waiting for ideas to happen. Here's a few recent editorial jobs and some of the doodles I do (for fun) in between assignments.
Pictured above, a piece about young hackers and their mighty power for Wired magazine
An illo on how bad 3D video games are for little children for Baby and Toddler magazine (left) and a fast sketch inspired by a cool kid I spotted at the airport in Atlanta (right)
This one was for The Atlantic, for an article about robots that have been programed to answer people's tweets... hah, and you thought someone was actually interested in how special your cat is!

Doodles on scrap paper
A piece about retirement and dangerous investments for Plansponsor magazine
And last but not least, some small details from a couple of commissioned pieces that started as personal work from my sketchbook.
Flying South

Megafono #3

Megafono is a terrific publication about illustration, design, photography (and music too, track 2 is amazing!) put together in Barranquilla, Colombia.
I'm very happy to see the magazine has made it to its third issue, and more than that, honored to be featured in it along with such a talented group of artist and friends.

Many thanks to Luis Hernandez (the ink), for his kind invitation and endless patience.
Megafono #3

Megafono is a terrific publication about illustration, design, photography (and music too, track 2 is amazing!) put together in Barranquilla, Colombia.
I'm very happy to see the magazine has made it to its third issue, and more than that, honored to be featured in it along with such a talented group of artist and friends.

Many thanks to Luis Hernandez (the ink), for his kind invitation and endless patience.

My friend Jim Plukart and I are having a small show this coming Saturday down in Bogotá, Colombia. All the artwork will be created during the day but we'll save our best energy to do some live painting during the opening. I've enjoyed collaborating with Jim in the past but it has always been sending files back and forth through e-mail and I can't wait to see what we can come up with playing with real paint and brushes.

Mi amigo Jim Plukart y yo tendremos una pequeña muestra este sábado en Bogotá. Todas las piezas serán creadas durante el día pero reservaremos la mejor energía para pintar durante la inauguración. Siempre he disfrutado las colaboraciones que hemos hecho vía e-mail con él pero me inquieta saber qué saldrá de un trabajo hecho con pintura y pinceles de verdad.  

Visitaciones / Espinosa + Plukart / Expo + Pintura en Vivo. Sábado Octubre 9 de 2010 / 7:30 p.m. Espacio 101- Calle 20 # 5- 18 (101) Bogotá, Colombia.
Moving Pictures
I recently moved to Providence, Rhode Island and sketching has been a great way to get used to a new place. Here's some simple stuff I've been doing in between jobs, trips to IKEA and unpacking boxes.
Everybody here has a story to tell... and the time to tell it.

There's a dog park a block away and Elliot has been busy. At the end of the day the guy's cooked.

People seem to suffer from leaf-blowing syndrome. Fall is going to be loud. Brrrmmmmm!!!!!

From my bedroom window I saw a squirrell having a heated argument with its own shadow. Nuts!
Bicentennial Pop
The XIX century meant freedom for Latin America and today many of its countries are celebrating the Bicentennial of their liberation from Spain with cultural events and art festivals. I was recently asked by El Malpensante, my favorite literary magazine from Colombia, to do a piece for a show/publication titled Bicentennial Pop, in which 20 illustrators were commissioned to re-interpret portraits of famous patriot heroes.

Undoubtably the best part of the assignment was that I got the chance to recreate a miniature painting done by José María Espinosa, an ancestor of mine who besides documenting with his work many battles of the independent war, also fought with the patriots and became a national figure.

Pictured below, José María Espinosa's miniature painting over ivory of General Nariño and my interpretation of the same piece. Espinosa taught himself the miniature technique by studying the work of European artists from the XVI century and became a master at it.

I added little happy faces all over the General's uniforme as a tribute to Espinosa's cartoons he did of local characters. I have a decent collection of those and I'm in the process of scanning them and cleaning them up for a most deserved second post about the artist.
Thanks to Mario Jursich for the invitation. This one was a treat!

A great compilation of Japanese inspired kawaii art has been put together by my talented friend Charuca in the recently published book, I♥KAWAII.
The term Kawaii (Japanese for cute) represents a whole movement of popular culture that started in the seventies in Japan and has become one of the most iconic and recognizable graphic phenomena in the world today.
To me, the most beautiful thing about this book is that through a vast array if styles, one can see how the movement has been visually translated into different cultures that have assimilated its essence without doing a mere copy of it.

I'm honored to be included in this fantastic group of artists and friends, including Aranzi Aronzo, Bubi Au Yeung, Catalina Estrada, Charuca, Devil Robots, FriendsWithYou, Laura Osorno, Mari-Chan, Meomi, Mizuka, Peskimo, Superdeux, Tado and many more!

I♥KAWAII is available online HERE and worldwide in the next couple of months.
If you are interested in getting a signed copy + a super cute pack of postcards by Charuca, you can contact her directly.
Thank you, Charuca + Monsa!
cover illustration © Charuca
Back from Buenos Aires
Well, kind of. It happens every time I go back to South America, my body returns first and my heart takes a liiiittle longer... with really good reasons for that this time! The trip to Buenos Aires was just a fantastic experience filled with old friends, new friends, art, wine and the magic of discovering a city that breeds beauty and nostalgia.

My gallery show, Gitango, easily exceeded any expectations I had. I put some good hours preparing the artwork here in my studio and about a week setting up the show down there with the help of a terrific group of talented friends. There were long dinners and great conversations and laughs woven in between painting and building.

Here are a few pics of the pieces I created for the exhibit, mostly drawings and acrylic on paper, masonite, old fabric and canvas. Sorry for the titles in Spanish but they're a little tricky to translate.

Many thanks to Juli, Ramiro and DOMA collective, Orilo, Mariano, Julian and especially Matias, none of this would have been possible without your priceless help and kindness.
Pictured above, the making of 75 hand-crafted humming birds that are still "flying free" all over Gallery Turbo. (photo by Adriana Mosquera)
Amante flameante + Danza que no
Danza que no (detail)
Amante flameante (detail)
Si pudiesemos permanecer
Vendrá + Desde lo absoluto
Refugio + Llego,Parto + Estancia
Casiopea atemporal
Fosforesciento + Retrato de una vez
Persuación (this one's a funky mix of charcoal, acrylic, watercolors and film)
Entre más cerca (tryptic)
Fuimos todos (limited edition silkscreen)
Opening Sale! Think Argentinian Pesos :)
One of the walls inside Turbo. Between the humming birds, their shadows and the trees Matias helped me painting, I was able to create the mood I wanted. Actually, even more dramatic than I thought.
The fireflies looked quite real at night!
The translucent layered wings of the humming birds created a nice movement effect. It kind of looked like inside the gallery time had stopped.
Beautiful and talented Argentinas: Fenanda Cohen, Laura Varsky and Juliana Pedemonte.
Nate Williams was in the house! Glad you and Claudia made it, Nate :)
Silkscreen live was fun! People brought tees, jackets, boards and paper to get printed. Matias showed his chops!
Our very tough curator payed us a visit to the space to see if everything was in order. Ramiro, cutest baby south of the Equator!
At the beginning it wasn't so easy, but after a couple of hours climbing up and down the scaffolding I was in heaven!
See a whole set of the making of the show
Buenos Aires is full of great characters always willing to have a conversation. I spent some time with this eloquent gentleman who told me about his bicycle-knife-sharping-machine.
See a whole set of my photos of Buenos Aires
En el aire
I'll be heading down to Argentina in a couple of weeks for a solo show I'm having at Galería Turbo.

All the pieces, mostly drawings, small paintings and a few three dimensional objects were inspired by a conversation I had with fellow Dragweroid Robert Saunders during a party, in which he described to me the gypsy burial ritual of burning the caravan of the person who dies (Rob, plays Gypsy Jazz and knows a lot about the subject).
That simple image of flames over the traces of one's existence sent me straight to the sketchbook and I did tons of doodles related to freedom and detachment: Freedom from pain, freedom from feeling stuck in the same place, freedom from loneliness, freedom from fear of tomorrow, freedom from the material and the unnecessary. To my surprise, all of them looked more like a celebration or a moment of meditation rather than tragedy or loss.
In an effort to tame the vector monsters that still makes me do things too tight, I'm allowing more improvisation here and there, getting messy with colors and shapes as I render the finals. Not easy though, but I'm happy with the results I'm getting.

Before I leave I'll post pictures of the process, sketches and a little more about the theme but for now this is the end of the midnight break, back to Piazzolla and work. I still have a lot to finish...
I ♥ Haiti
Nobara Hayakawa presenting the project during PechaKucha Night. Photo by Nicolás Bright.
I ♥ Haiti is a limited edition postcard book featuring the work of 31 Colombian illustrators, designers and photographers, created to contribute with the reconstruction of Haiti through Architecture for Humanity.
The book was launched last Saturday, February 20th, during the PechaKucha Night worldwide event as the first editorial project produced by PKN Bogotá in collaboration with Wonksite. I'm honored to be a part of this beautiful project.

For more information and a complete list of artists go to PechaKucha Night Bogotá (sorry, Spanish version only)

View the whole book
A man sets out to draw the world.
Last week we were at a party and my eight year old daughter, Sofía, had a very interesting talk with Eric Scott Nelson about people with disabilities and what she had learned in school. Scott was blindfolded with a friendly panda bear mask (which made him intriguing and approachable at the same time) and was holding a walking stick. however, Scott wasn't blind. He had been traveling around Europe, Asia and other US cities doing his very personal art form and decided to come to Boston for the first time with his eyes covered. He had been here for 10 days prior to the opening of his show never removing his mask and experiencing the city in a very unique way.
The opening was last friday at MEME gallery and my wife and I attended. It wasn't a regular opening by any means. It was a quiet walk through some sleepy areas of Cambridge following Eric as we traced the word SEE on our path. People took turns holding his arm and he asked each of us to describe what we would imagine was happening around us. When I had my turn I told him that the houses had faces and were very amused to see a group of humans walking pleasantly in such a cold night... also that there was no electricity and that we were walking guided only by the moonlight... I caught a little smile under the mask.
The map we had indicated that the word SEE had been completed and by then we were standing in front of the Lucky Corner deli. Scott took the time to thank us and then removed his mask and slowly washed his face. What came after was a festival of joy; He came really close to every single face saying "you people are so beautiful!" over and over again. His face was glowing of happiness and there was a sense of discovery among the group.
This unexpected event (for as simple as it might sound) was very meaningful to me and helped me reflect all weekend long about the things I take for granted, about my own handicaps, but also about my strengths and my love and respect for the human spirit.

This post goes out to Eric, thanking him for such a wonderful experience and to Zimm in the 4th anniversary of Drawger.
I've been messing up with photography lately and I'm fascinated by the endless graphic possibilities that I get once adding illustration to the equation. A whole gallery will be up soon. In the meantime three collages I did this weekend.




Rosa succesfully failed

We See You
Beautiful Ashes


Thinking of Chet

I'm all over his albums today

Let's beat it!

go go go go

Anatomy of a Slam Dunk

In your face, Veruca!


Just Sing!

For the children, from the children
Title: The fat guy is bugging us with all that jumping
Title: The book
Title: Pirate girl.
Title: A very stressful rutine
Title: Why?
These are five stories written by kids from a really poor area of Bogotá, Colombia, I was asked to illustrate for a book that would collect funds for Bella Flor, an organization that runs art programs to keep children off the streets (and serious danger). The stories are different, sometimes sarcastic, very clever and quite connected to these kids' reality. The last one is perhaps my favorite: it was only a single line that said "Why countries, if I don't have a Visa?"

Besides feeling really good about helping the children, these pieces have brought immense satisfaction and make me feel like I've grown as an illustrator while creating them.

Many thanks to fellow illustrator Francisco Villa and Diego Contreras for inviting me to participate.

dance me to the end of love
On Personal Work
I question the real purpose of illustration when the art created is purely personal. Yet again, personal work has been getting more recognition in our field due to the fact that illustration has been embraced again in other arenas like fine art galleries, the toy and fashion industry, and animation & film to name a few. I'm really glad to see that happening because I'm loving the creative process that emerges out of little sketches like the one you see above, soon to become a limited editon self promo print. Would you call it illustration?
Queens, NY

Can't stop drawing these days. I draw the news, the books I read, the articles, the movies, the songs... there's a sketchbook everywhere... . I guess it's a good thing...

Pay Us tHe Price And We'll be GonE

A line from Anne by John Frusciante


Between La Cienaga and the Magdalena river

killing Mister Pixel UPDATED!

This is the beginning of "The Poet", a piece I'm working on with the whole idea of going back to basics and embracing limitations: no computer involved and a two color pallet to start with, but also with the biggest limitation of all, using a new technique while learning printmaking. It is a very interesting collaboration we are doing with some local artists and illustrators, including Rob Dunlavey, Richard Goldberg, Suzy Pilgrim Waters, Alan Witschonke, Raul Gonzalez, Annie Silverman and Julia Talcot, who is kindly playing the role of teacher and host at her studio.
For a lot of artist this is piece of cake, but for a person who has become so dependent on the computer, it feels very strange and a little intimidating to think about working without pixels, magic blurs and commandZ; At the same time dusting off my brushes, inking drawings and carving on wood while listening to Tom Waits singing Chocolate Jesus feels really, really good :4)
I'll be posting new images of the process and hopefully you'll see the group's final result in a couple of months.
Peace Out, kids.
I just added a new pic of something that was generated from this morning's exchange of ideas with Zina. I think I just ran into a happy accident and I was able to duplicate the lapel/mountain/balloon effect inside his beard. He became kind of transluscent... Agggghhhh, I'm itching to ink the plates!!!!
One day left. Please Vote!
Hey kids,
I submitted a tee shirt design called Britpop Drummer Bunny to to be voted on and hopefully printed. Needless to say, If I get enough high scores the shirt will be printed and sold from the site!
Now there is only one question: Can this master of rhythm and style count with your vote?
Thank you, Citizens of The World!
Leo Carrots
Life on Mars

Seu Jorge + The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou

vida em marte

The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
I was late to see Julian Schnabel's marvelous movie from last year, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, but I was so moved by it that I had the urge to illustrate it. One of my oldest friends is loosing his battle to brain cancer and recently has lost the ability to talk; His only way to communicate is by moving his right arm. I wonder what's going through his head, I wonder what happens inside when he giggles or when he stares at the people around him. Time to read the book to know what Jean-Dominique Baudy has to say about life.
This one is for you, amigo Lucho.
would it ever come back?
Plukart+Espinosa Take2
One more experiment done with Plukart. This time I started it and he finished it up. Collaborations this loose and fast are turning into a great way to keep the pencil and the brain sharp. Draw!
paper bag wrestler

Here's a small collaboration I just finished with Colombian artist+designer Plukart. This was fun, bro!

Fa Fa Fa Fashion

No story behind this one. It's only fashion

Radiohead With Guacamole
Pencils from Limbo
Dos damas capitalinas / Two ladies from the Capital (sold)
 It has taken me a few days to post about the opening of Limbo (my first solo show) because besides some serious sleep I needed to catch up with, I had to devote some time to reflect and process the whole experience. One of the most satisfying things I created for the show was a series of color pencils that were placed in a very small room adjacent to the main gallery. Since they had a different feel and texture from the rest of the pieces, I was very curious to hear people's feedback and what I heard was quite inspiring, thoughtful and supportive. Here's the whole series of drawings and a new gallery with some pics of the Making of, The Opening and The Afterparty of Limbo.
Las cosas que me traen de vuelta / The things that bring me back (sold)
A veces / Sometimes
Imposible de cambiar / Impossible to change (sold)
Subsueo / Subdream (sold)
Distancia / Distance
El Super
Unas cuantas palabras / A few words
Meu leozinho / My litte lion
Save the Date

Hola kids! I'm having my first solo show in September here in Boston and I really hope many of you can make it, if not to the opening on September 12th, at least to the exhibit, which will be up until November 30th. I've received confirmation that the great Hanoch Piven will be coming from Barcelona and I'm thrilled!
I'm also very happy that  The New England Gallery of Latin Arts is located in the heart of East Boston (the barrio latino of Beantown) because that creates perfect synergy with the content and meaning of the show.
I hope to see you there.

About LIMBO:

Through a variety of mediums, including prints, paintings and sculpture, I am considering the concept of Limbo as a state of mind affected by social and geographical events.  These works focus on change and all that it encompasses: new directions, waiting, feelings of being uprooted and in limbo between two worlds, the passage of time, and a sequence of coincidences that I experienced and am still experiencing.  As an immigrant from Latin America who has lived in a different society and culture for many years now, I have come to accept this state of mind as a new country; one without a physical form but a psychological, more complex one; one that provides identity.  Limbo is a place that is not really a place; it is an intermediate idea that is at once temporary and permanent, a transitional and imaginary moment.

Leo Espinosa
My Own Private Icon
I'm waaay too far from New York and ICON5 right now and it makes me a little sad to miss all the good friends I won't be able to see (and dance with) but the alternative is not bad at all: I'm down in Colombia doing an Illustration/Music project for kids that I'm itching to show you... but.... grrrr... I cannot yet.
I forgot how nice life is here. People work really hard but there's always time for friends and family. Moving around the city of Bogotá is kind of a challenge too and kind of an adventure in a way because so many areas and rules have changed since I left that I feel like re-discovering the place I grew up in.
Pictured above, Flash, The keynote speaker of My Own Private ICON. Who knew the guy was so knowledgeable in illustration
This is the Bookstore, which is conveniently placed at the bar. I found a copy of El Malpensante magazine with the cover I did. I snatched it right away.
The shops and boutiques around the area where the conference is taking place have everything:
From plush dolls to your favorite cigarettes and bubble gum.
Hands on during the road show... ¡Otra cerveza por favor!
One of the lectures with master designer Lucho Correa.
And the accommodations: Pencil fiesta, day and night.
¡Adiós chiquitines!
We're not there yet, but my oh my what a game last night!
Go Celtics!
Kevin "elastic man" Garnett!!!!
The game is about to start, I'm freaking out, I'm freaking out! Agghhhh!!
No, wait... is not Thursday yet
Sometimes when this place gets kind of empty
Friday Pencil Fiesta
All the entries from the First Pencil Fiesta have moved to it's own spankin' new venue. Next show will be held on May 30th. Until then!
Friday is for pencils

 I opened my mouth + you ate my tongue
La Petite Morte
2008 Studio Espinosa
My dear amigo Dunlavey just got my brain going thinking about an animation... I'm on the storyboard but here are the main characters I did this morning, El Señor Amor & Doña Muerte (or is it El Señor Muerte y La Señora Amor?)
2008 Studio Espinosa
From Rob Dunlavey:
Thanks Leo. I'm happy to take a small measure of credit for your creative endeavors.
Now, these characters and their situation: I like that Death and Love appear to be fairly equal in status and strength --as people. Death looks like a hard working stiff who can only rise so far up the ladder. He gets pulled down by his need for Love and the requirements of his vocation. He is fatalistic and his ambition only rises so far. Love, on the other hand, is dreamy and light on her feet but is also inevitably realistic and earth-bound. So maybe in your treatment they have one fantastic go-round to try to escape the clutches of fate and class. Maybe they transcend this story --which is an old old story. Good luck.

What's that GREAT Gilbert and/or Jaime Hernandez graphic novel? "Love & Rockets: Life of Luba" where Luba goes to the city alone and takes up with a man but she has a secret thing going on with Satan. It's a page-turner.
Computer Art
I love when computers take over and do unexpected things with my artwork. The example above happened while tinkering between Illustrator and Streamline when I was creating the illustration of Dice-K for the Boston Globe. The computer gave me about five random versions and this one was my favorite. it was like the machine was presenting me a round of sketches for me to pick from.
While staring at the bizarre results I remembered something I wrote years ago:
"In today's world humans and computers have merged so close together that it would be absolutely impossible for us to live without them; Without the humans."
What If
2008 Studio Espinosa
I need some feedback before an important move, kids:
Since I first started in this field I've been solving editorial assignment in a very tight style and I guess it's because the use of Illustrator and also because I was educated as a Graphic Designer and not as an illustrator. I feel I want to leave the vector look for my licensing ideas and have for editorial+advertising something with the very personal look of my Sketchattack gallery.
I have a portfolio almost ready to upload at Illoz but any word of wisdom or suggestion before I do so, would be appreciated.
My Colombian War
Today, as thousands of Colombians protested in marches organized all over the world against FARC, the terrorist group that under a fake mask of socialist ideologies has killed and kidnapped innocents for more than four decades, I felt a little more at ease with my own self.
Wait, that sounded kind of dense so let me back up a bit:
For the past couple of months I've been reading My Colombian War, A journey through the country I left behind, a very haunting book written by Silvana Paternostro, a Colombian-born journalist based in New York, who's articles have appeared in The New York Times, The Paris Review and Newsweek. Her book, a great source of history and political information (not to mention an eye opener to the brutality and violence that has become everyday's bread in my country) was also a mirror to my own identity -or my lack of it- since it shows Colombia's situation from the point of view of the expatriated, the critical and annoyed expatriated that has managed to put him or herself in a very uneasy limbo that doesn't allow a sense of belonging here nor there.
Half way through my reading I had the idea of drawing something on the cover and then later send it to the author, but I didn't really wanted to illustrate anything specific from any chapter. The need  to do something on the cover grew stronger and stronger but I forced myself to read slowly so not to miss a word.
Right after attending the demonstration here in Boston, I got home, read the epilogue and drew without thinking. The image that emerged from my pencil was of a fertile, fertile but wounded woman laying on the ground, seen her children, the children that she cannot feed or take care of, kind of floating around her. I got the acrylics and painted over my drawing as fast as I could, swallowing tears but with an enormous positive feeling: There has to be an end to every sickness and this one cannot be stealing more lives, there has to be an end to suffering and change should take place. Today, although I know that change could take a while, I felt faith.

Seven new images in the Sketchattack gallery.
My Pantani Mid Winter Ride
A doodle from 1998 when Il Pirata won Le Tour de France
Today's temperature: Brrrr!!!!!

Marco Pantani and I were born the same day, January 13th 1970. Sadly Pantani died four years ago of a cocaine overdose; I'm still pedaling. Since I don't feel I can blame our fragile human condition for its addictions I still consider him an inspiration and decided to do a ride in his honor every year on this date. Today's ride started at 5:30 am and for more than half of the time it was pitch black and insanely cold. The water in my water bottle froze along with my toes and my forehead but my heart remained warm for the entire trip. happy Birthday Marco.

PS: And happy birthday to my illustrator friend Laura Osorno, My brother-in-law (also Leo), my buddy Karl and Annette in Barcelona.
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