Pedro aka. MadKobra talks about being an introvert, his analogues process of sketching on notebooks, consistently jotting down ideas and how MadKobra was born in ThreadLess.

Pedro Josue Carvajal

Pedro aka. MadKobra talks about being an introvert, his analogues process of sketching on notebooks, consistently jotting down ideas and how MadKobra was born in ThreadLess.


Achieving things takes time, effort, frustration and dedication, in fact one of the reasons that made me become a freelance.

Tell us a bit about yourself - our readers would like to get to know you!

PI am a Dominican artist born in 1983. I did a few studies in the National Art Academy back in 2003, which elevated my passion & love for visual art. I later started designing in advertising agencies in 2008, but it wasn’t until 2010 that I created Madkobra. It was actually inspired by the names of Madmax & Cobra the Space Pirate.

I am based in Dominican Republic and have become a full time freelance artist recently (March 2019). Now I specialize in creating my own vision of different realities that I explore, sometimes very personal and sometimes influenced by pop culture. Madkobra is very nostalgic -  I love retro gaming, the unknown, and of course fantasy and science fiction.

What got you into illustrating?

I guess since childhood I was very attracted to the machines, robots and any form of fantasy creature. I was very intrigued with how they looked inside, how they worked. A little by little each day, I would immerse myself in the drawing of robots and similar things.

I remember spending hours watching cartoons -  Daltaniuos, Albegas, Transformers, Jayce and the Wheeled Warriors and many others. I suppose that nostalgia is what motivates me most to continue reliving my childhood through my illustrations.

Your art identity is an interesting mix of detailed black & white sketches and colourful illustrations - which style would you say you prefer and why?

I must say that I am a mixture of different disciplines. I studied fine arts, graphic design and worked for many years in advertising agencies resulting in a diverse “style”. However, this last year I became a freelancer, which is what led me to explore deeper my way of doing things visually. I feel that I am still looking for my "style", meanwhile I try to have fun building my personal brand.

pen sketch illustration

What kinds of commission requests do you usually get?

Most of the time they are t-shirt designs, although lately my services have expanded a bit which has led me to focus my efforts on new opportunities. 

What work/project are you particularly proud of and why?

So far, it's been Wave Theory.

We noticed that you are on Threadless & Design By Humans. Tell us a bit about your success & exposure through these platforms.

I must say that this is where it all started -  Madkobra was born in Threadless. It was my first experience in illustration competitions, and it was the desire to achieve something good for myself that took me where I am now. Threadless was part of that in a great way, then I got to know the other platforms like laFraise, Design By Humans , Pampling, Redbubble and so many more. 

In general, achieving things takes time, effort, frustration and dedication. In fact, one of the reasons that made me become a freelancer weas these websites, and now I am grateful that I am doing very well! 

You have some amazing art on Behance. Where does your inspiration for these concepts come from?

I consider myself an introverted person at least a little bit, that somehow works as a storage system for everything that surrounds me - like nature and people. Also I'm always daydreaming of a surreal alternative reality full of colorful things - I felt that Behnce was an interesting outlet to come close to this. :)

What's your design process, and what tools do you use for your work?

I would say that my process is very old school - I always walk with a notebook and pen! Many of the ideas appear randomly, then I write them down, make a small doodle with some details to not forget it. The process is something like this:

  1. Random Doodle
  2. Shoot a picture on my phone
  3. Transfer to my computer
  4. Trace it Digitally (still as a doodle)
  5. Start my research of references
  6. Stalk a bunch of other artists
  7. Refine the line drawing
  8. Make several tries until I am happy with the result
  9. Repeat
MadKobra's Workspace

Would you like to plug in something for the readers?

so far my behance: @madkobra and instagram @madkobra

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