Tell us a bit about how you got the idea to start creating these maps? What was it about the neighbourhoods of Madrid that inspired you?
We started this project in 2013, with the Malasaña neighbourhood (the coolest area in the city at that time). Me and my wife Deira just moved to Madrid in 2010, it was a good excuse to discover the city and getting involve with the illustrators and the creatives of Madrid.
Walk With me now has over 20 maps spanning three cities: Madrid, Barcelona and London. Why these three cities?
We started in Madrid as it is the city we have been living in the last seven years. Then we did Barcelona as we're both from there, and then London as we lived there 3 years ago and they knew the product will fit well into the City. Our next goal is Paris, we haven't lived there but we love visiting the city, so we will see :)
How do you feel London life differs to city life in Spain?
London is a massive city, a metropolis full of life and dozens of great neightbourhoods to be mapped. We started with these seven areas as a starting point, but we will carry on doing new areas of this amazing city. I guess the great thing is that every neighbourhood in every city has its own uniqueness. Cities in Spain are smaller so they're probably easier to map!
How do you choose the illustrators for each specific map? Do you have an idea of how each neighbourhood should be represented visually?
Our main goal is to collaborate with local illustrators to illustrate their own neighbourhood. This is the only way to be genuine and local. The illustrator uses their own experience of living in that neighbourghood. We do not want to fit an idea of how it should be. We do a lot of research to find local illustrators and then we literally give them freedom to develop their own style. Our unique premise: all the streets should appear and it needs to be geographically accurate. But that's it.
You now produce a diverse range of products related to city living, what’s next for Walk With Me?
We have been developing a full new range of bags and backpacks. We are the couple behind Alegría Industries (a Spanish brand where we design and produce on our own workshop bags.)
We have been working side by side for almost three years, but have only just realised how close our projects always were.
Deira has been working in our Madrid workshop, designing and manufacturing Alegría Industries bags, backpacks and accessories. Inspired by the Mediterranean lifestyle, every Alegria bag is handcrafted on site. Meanwhile, Pablo has been working on Walk With Me, creating stationery products, collaborating with illustrators to create maps of London, Barcelona and Madrid, and developing pocket guides to discover each city’s hidden gems.
It’s been an amazing journey, growing our companies, and developing the products that we thought the world was missing. From ideas, to sketches, to real-life objects.
So this year we are joining forces. From now on, Alegría and Walk With Me are on the same path, and we'll be launching a number of these products in the UK this year.
A selection of Walk With Me Maps are available to buy from our online store.