Soccer Superheroes

Rafael Mayani’s Animations Show Super Dynamic Poses from Some of the 2014 World Cup Stars

‘Chunky- flowy superhero style’ is how Mexican illustrator Rafael Mayani describes his drawings of the 2014 World Cup players. Each of his illustrations capture the men in beautifully poised, dance-like movement.

Rafael, who currently lives in Barcelona, creates cartoons that are more than just caricatures. He explains: ‘I like to think that I draw like a 26 year old guy with the perspective of a 10 year old kid. I don’t mind getting proportions and colours all wrong.’

His series features several players, some of which were suggested to him by the Behance community users, the platform where the illustrations first gained popularity. However, his favourite character to draw was Drogba. ‘His pose, for me was one of the best in the series,’ Rafael tells us.

His main racket is illustration, but he also works in Art Direction and Photography. ‘There are way too many people who inspire me,’ says Rafael, ‘but as you can tell by the work on my website, Disney is a great inspiration for me.’

We spoke to him about how this project came about.

The Plus: What inspired you to start this project?
Rafael Mayani: It started as a simple exercise on dynamic poses but I started to get really into it as I shared the illustrations on Behance. I asked people what their favourite players were and the series kept growing.

TP: Tell us about your artistic process. 
RM: I really like working on projects, not just stand alone illustrations. This makes me work a lot more, because I always have more stuff to do for each series. So I like to think of themes that will allow me to keep adding new stuff to it. After I think of the right theme, I start thinking of the style that I want to use.

TP: Who do you think will win this year?
RM: Of course I’m supporting Mexico. I think it would be nice if Germany won this year. They’ve got a great team.

TP: Any exciting projects coming up?
RM: The project that I’m more excited about is a picture book that I’ve wanted to do for quite some time.

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