Jordi Longueira is a passionate 26 years old artist, most of that time he has spent watching cartoons, reading comics, playing videogames, but above all, he has been drawing and constantly trying to improve his technique. Let's know more about his story.
Jordi: The first memory I have is from 1992, then I was 5 years-old and my father gave me a Nintendo NES. I remember exactly how some delivery guys came home, installed a 17 inch TV and plugged a NES to it. In that moment I had no idea of what was that machine, I thought it was some sort of a VHS player, that device used some weird tapes. The first one I saw in movement was Super Mario Bros and my thought that it was a horrible cartoon... until they moved the character and it blew me away. I loved all kind of cartoons as a kid, and videogames were the most awesome extension of cartoons ever, those were ones you could manipulate at your will!
Jesús: So your father was curious about games and decided to buy a console overnight? Are games also a family hobby at home like happens in the case of Lourdes?
Unfortunately not, nobody in my family plays games, only my sister played a little when she was little, I was the one who got deeply hooked. After seeing I couldn't stop playing, I think my father repented of buy a NES console. My family is very traditional, my father has a restaurant and still works there during like 12 hours a day, my mother has been a housewife during all her life, but also helped my father at the restaurant. Both of my parents have no distractions or hobbies, they have seen videogames as a waste of time and toys for kids for a very long time.
Wow! So in your specific case, get to work on videogames within such a discouraging environment has been a big achievement.
I have to admit it wasn't anyway easy, my parents didn't appreciate my passion for videogames, cartoons, or drawing. They kept telling me this was useless, that no way I would make a living out of it. But didn't care about what they could say, in particular about drawing, I simply loved it and couldn't stop doing it. Was particularly obsessed with drawing, did that all day long, even at school, where several teachers sent letters to my parents complaining because I wasn't paying attention to their lessons.
Remember I spent the whole day sketching at school: He-Man, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, The Flinstones, Evangelion and many more. Drawed everything I watched in all the cartoon series, even at the same time they were moving on the screen! (sometimes I had no time to finish the sketch because the character -logically- moved, and was a bit frustrating). But I have to remark a cartoon series that captivated me, that would be Dragon Ball and Dr. Slump.
Why Dragon Ball and which of their characters did you like the most?
Dragon Ball and anime in general was a huge fenomenon for the kids in Catalonia in the 90s. As happened with Dr. Slump I loved that innocent humour of the first era when Goku is a kid, I even spent the few money my parents gave me in buying Dragon Ball comics, the white and red series.
For me the most charismatic character is Vegeta, also I love Majin Buu because of his excentric personality mixing extremely stupid humour in the middle of the more absolute chaos.
Can you tell us about where you were born and how was your education?
I was born in Terrasa, a city close to Barcelona, where I'm still living with my mother. I was to a very conservative school, where you had to talk to all the teachers like they were eminences. Drawing for me turned also into a way of showing my rebelliousness against that educational system. It may seem contradictory, but my most hated subject was Plastic and Visual Arts, I had to deal with geometry or geography but never had to draw anything! The most useful thing I take from that time at school were the many Dragon Ball drawings I sold to classmates. And with that money I could rent my favourite games!
Which games did you enjoy the most during your childhood and adolescence?
I'm a big Nintendo fan, maybe its all due to being NES the first platform I played on. Since then I purchased all their systems. So being such a big fan of the big N is very much caused by Super Mario Bros, that was the first game I ever played and the one that would end up hooking me to the medium forever. The game was hard for that time and for my age (5 years old), but instead of discouraging me when I got killed, it managed to animate me and keep trying and trying.
In the NES I also discovered the first Zelda game, that was even tougher than Mario! I was lost all the time, with no idea of what to do or where to go, until ten years later I ended up beating it (without using any guide!). Nowadays I can proudly say I beat all the Zelda titles developed by Nintendo except the ones for DS, simply because I cannot stand the touch controls.
I loved two player cooperative games because I played them with my sister. In the NES era I cannot forget to mention Chip'n Dale: Rescue Rangers. And for SNES I very much enjoyed Donkey Kong Country, that cooperative mode and pre-rendered graphics impacted me like nothing else I ever saw before. Also the second part was devilishly hard!
If Mario made me love videogames as a gamer, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time was the title that made me dream with the possibility of one day becoming a game developer. It had really epic and memorable moments, characters that you took very fond and a dark atmosphere without needing to use blood or gratuitous violence. Ocarina of Time is, without a doubt, my favourite game since then.
I also had a Playstation One, where I played the sublime Final Fantasy IX. The seventh installment of the series was great, but I liked this one much more. I loved its ambience that took back to the origins of the saga and some of its characters (specially Vivi and Steiner) are the best I have ever seen in the saga in regards to design and history. The only complaint I have about the whole game is the final part, I wasn't satisfied with it since it went too far from what the initial story purposed.
The last game I will remark is Pokemon Blue Version, it had a huge amount of creatures to capture and train, attacks, evolutions...I never learned the names and dates at my History classes but I managed to learn the 251 Pokemons with their level evolutions. Also, spent countless hours with my link cable, exchanging creatures with my classmates.
You can get in touch with Jordi on Twitter, he is @JordiLongueira
Link to Part II.
Interview done by our Community Manager /PR @JesusFabre