Until his last day Mordillo worked daily at his drawing desk, full of small coloured ink bottles as well as pastel pencils that reflect the colour intensity of his cartoons. However, the desk is not the location where Mordillo develops his ideas. Most of these come to him suddenly and unexpectedly. During daily routines, like walking in the streets or drinking a cup of cappuccino.
Once the idea was written down, Mordillo moved on to the second phase: the initial sketch. It was usually on a small scale and here he thought about how to put together the basic aspects of the composition. After the layout and size of the different elements had been decided, he moved on to a much larger drawing, where he worked on the details and the perspective, giving coherence to the space
“From afar, the first thing you see in any of my drawings is the character’s white skin. I’m aware that my black and white drawings don’t work in the same way. However my choice of colour isn’t random. For example, the hint of the rainbow and the intense blue create an atmosphere of nightfall. My idea was to mix planets, moons, stars and hearts in just one constellation. In a drawing with a medieval theme I put medieval colours, in the romantic ones I put red with orange and pinks, violent themes are in strong blues, stories about sport are better in greens.”
“ I’ve always taken a real interest in drawing materials and I’ve continuously tried new techniques. Problems sometimes come up, for example they stop manufacturing quality paper. Throughout my career, every drawing I’ve done has been to the maximum of my abilities at that time. A colleague (Jean Jacques Loup) once said to me: “you have to dedicate time to everything you do”. If a drawing demands two days work then that’s what I do. Just the same if it takes two weeks or two months. Maybe no drawing is ever really finished.”
Mordillo truly insisted on one aspect: the accuracy of the drawing.
“As Oski said, a millimetre to the left or the right and it’s already not my drawing. It happens to me too. It takes a lot of time and concentration. Sometimes I listen to the radio or put on some music, but as a rule I work in silence.”
Finally, he mentioned how demanding his work is and what keeps him tied to the drawing table:
“You have to want to do it. Oski, Sempé, Quino all said this, me too… Drawing doesn’t come easy to us, what we do have is desire. Because without desire nothing will come out right.”