Raúl Soria is a Spanish illustrator based in Berlin. His works are mostly conceptual, simple, and colorful. At the same time, they show the lives of the characters in an intriguing way.
Raúl chose our oak fronts for his first kitchen, we fell in love with his works. That is why we visited him in his apartment in Berlin and asked for a visual, original interpretation of the phrase “curated kitchen”. This is how an illustration of 3 different, but equally colorful kitchens that are full of life was created.
How did your adventure with graphics start?
Well, like most creatives, I drew a lot as a little kid and kept doing it on a daily basis at school and up until my late teens. There the drawing stopped because I had other priorities, mostly of social or romantic nature, and I just lacked the time and the motivation. It came back years later when I first arrived Berlin in 2004. I saw that people here seemed to be able to make a living out of creative jobs, a thing that in my hometown just didn’t seem to even exist back then, so I started seeing that as a potential career option for myself.
I got my first small commissions while I was studying, mostly flyers for parties or portraits that people gave away as birthday presents (I hated those). It took me ages to get my degree, then I started getting proper assignments, very slowly at first, which was exasperating. Then things got better. And in the end it all worked out well.
How would you describe your style?
Simple, colourful, clear, lighthearted but not too much, and somewhat conceptual.
Who are your favorite creators?
There are a lot and I had plenty of time, so I’ve made you the longest list: María Medem, Gabriel Alcalá, Ruohan Wang, Ardhira Putra, Holden Mesk, Simon Hanselmann, Tato Coco, Timo Kuilder, Anna Haifisch, Paul Waak, Rose Wong, Jackson Gibbs, Ruth Mora, Jay Daniel Wright, Andreas Samuelsson, Myungsik Jang, Cristina Daura, James Clapham, Stephan Dybus, Igor Bastidas, Eva Cremers, Lasse Wandschneider, César Pelizer, Nadia Hafid, Jacco Bunt.
What’s your favorite spot in Berlin?
Atm, it might be the Tempelhofer Feld (that huge park that used to be an airport). It’s great for socialising and perfect for the dog. And I live right next to it, which makes me feel very privileged.
Where are your works created?
It all happens on an old and huge Wacom Cintiq which is connected an old and huge iMac, both living in a small studio that I share with Christine Rösch, a very talented illustrator whose work you might want to check out too. The studio is close to home in Neukölln.
As you work on illustrations and the deadline is approaching, what is your way to relax?
Sometimes I do yoga and I also meditate, if still not yet on a regular basis. Also, I try to be careful not to take in too much work at once and also to clearly separate work from leisure time and from home, in order to avoid things from getting too stressful in the first place because I absolutely hate stress. Stress is the worst.
What role does the kitchen play in your apartment?
It’s a medium-sized kitchen, the biggest I’ve ever had and the first I’ve ever had the chance to set up myself almost from the scratch, which was really tough. It’s obviously the place where I cook and eat my meals and store my food. It’s simple and functional enough for myself and also fit for small dinners and a cozy hang with friends. It’s also the room I do all my video calls from when I’m at home because it provides the sexiest background by far. It’s my favourite room.
Why did you decide to choose natural oak fronts for your kitchen?
The kitchen has a very old and absolutely gorgeous grey terrazzo floor, so I thought that it needed a lot of wood and that that wood had to be warm and not too dark. I liked very much how your oak fronts looked on the pics on your website.
What do you like best about FRØPT?
It makes my kitchen look and feel awesome.
Also, your customer service is really good. You made the entire process very easy for me.
What does a personal kitchen mean to you?
To me, my kitchen feels like a reward. The whole apartment does but the kitchen does more. I moved here last winter after renovating the whole place by my own means while emotionally recovering from a personal crisis, which was a titanic task and ended up being a cathartical experience. The kitchen was the toughest room to renovate, now it’s the nicest one. It kind of works as a reminder of how hard things used to be and how well I managed to cope with them, heal and start growing again.