Art supplies, models, tools, works in progress: This photo gives one glimpse into the studio of Senior Artist Fernando Baptista, at National Geographic’s headquarters in Washington, D.C. I’m writing about Fernando’s work now because there’s so much of it in this month’s issue: The cover art for “Gladiators: Ancient Rome’s Fight Club.” Eight pages of infographics showing how these warriors fought and lived. And, for our story on southern Africa’s Kalahari, an explainer about animals’ adaptations to heat.
A native of Spain, Fernando was the director of graphics at El Correo in Bilbao—a newspaper renowned for its visual journalism—when National Geographic called. “They offered me a job, and I thought, Why not?” says Fernando, who moved to the United States and joined us in 2007.
His art has won every kind of honor—more than 200 awards, medals, citations, you name it—from every major group that judges illustrations and graphics. He’s even been nominated for two Emmys, for his animation work.