About Us

Hello Bears!!! This is HARTZAK and that's us, Bears like you!

 

But…What is HARTZAK?  Well, all this started with the origin of our talented Founder and Creative President Kike Areitioaurtena.  Kike comes from the Basque Country, in Northern Spain and there people speak Spanish and Euzkera, the original Basque language and in this language, HARTZAK means ´Bears´.

 

When we decided to create a brand name for Kike’s art work, we decided that it should be clear, simple, and easy to pronounce in more than one language and preferably just one word.  We then realised that what we really wanted was to have a strong, resonant original word that related to Kike´s work and to our audience.  We believe that HARTZAK is the perfect name for all these reasons, but also because it honours the origins of our Creative President.

 

Eventually, we would like to see our designs on all kinds of products in addition to t-shirts, mugs and phone cases and in the not too distant future, hopefully you will be able to find pictures, clocks, quilt cover and pillow sets, sofa cushions, school supplies and clothing – ALL bearing HARTZAK designs, together with the instantly recognisable Brand logo.

 

Kike launched his designs for the first time around five years ago and it was then that he realised they very quickly attracted a core of loyal followers and fans. Last year, we launched HARTZAK on Facebook and our fans rapidly helped the name to expand in popularity on the social network. Now, we are launching our own website and we hope that the support of our friends and fans will continue.

 

Besides the products and designs you will see on the HARTZAK website, Kike also creates personal, business and corporate logos, plus commissioned drawings and illustrations for friends and clients who like our Brand. We are now working on the creation of new designs, products and ideas that will hopefully wow all our customers, both old and new.

 

Kike Areitioaurtena - Partner / Creative Director

Enrique (Kike) was born in San Sebastian, a city in Northern Spain, right in the Basque Country.  He started his art studies there and specialised in painting, illustration and digital illustration techniques.

 

“Since I was a little boy, I´ve enjoyed drawing and my interest has been always centered in drawing people.  I imagined them as super heroes.  Science Fiction and comic books soon became my inspiration.  I cannot imagine my life without my drawings and without art.”

 

In the past five years, Kike has travelled between America, Spain and the UK.  During this time he lived in Miami, Atlanta and Los Angeles where he had the opportunity to meet and work with professionals in illustration and graphic design, gaining knowledge and experience.

 

“In my professional career, I have been lucky learning from fellow illustrators and graphic designers and working with a great variety of clients.  From advertising agencies, event organisers, film producers and publishers of educational books, children’s books and comic books.  Working as a freelancer sometimes could be difficult but I like the freedom I get from it.”

 

Now Kike  lives and works in the City of Bristol in the UK, with his long time partner Alex and their dog Phoebe.

“I consider myself lucky despite the fact that I am deaf.  I have a great family, friends and a husband that gives me support in my life and in my career.”  “I am very excited to start this new chapter in my life marked by the launch of my brand  and online business.”

 

Alex Galindo - Partner / Managing Director

Alex Galindo was born in Mexico City, where he finished his Bachelor of Arts Degree in Marketing and Communications at the Universidad Latinoamericana. Later he travelled to the U.S. searching for new opportunities.

 

Alex settled in New York City, where he started working for Telemundo Networks, Channel 47 as News Production Assistant. During his tenure, the Network moved him to Miami to work at Channel 51 as a News Segment Producer.  He left Channel 51 and his career took a fresh turn as he started working for a small PR Agency in Miami Beach. Whilst in Miami, he finished a Master in Marketing Communications at the University of Miami.

 

Later in his career, he got the opportunity to work for America Online (AOL) and then moved to work for MTV Networks, where he gained international marketing and PR experience. After working for MTV, Alex decided to move out of Los Angeles to work for the global agency WeberShandwick. Marriage brought Alex to Europe, where he continued his career in Spain working for WeberShandwick in Barcelona, later moving to San Sebastian in Northern Spain to work for Arista Publicidad, a national advertising agency. Whilst working at Arista, he got the idea of bringing his partner´s artwork to the next level and helped him establish the HARTZAK brand.

Steve Kay - Partner / Operations Director

Steve was born and grew up in Swindon in the English County of Wiltshire, before moving to the City of Bristol in 1997.

 

Over the last six or seven years, Steve has been a part of the Gay scene in the Old Market area of Bristol and has become a well-known face within the community there thanks to working in prominent venues The Bristol Bear Bar (BBB) and The Palace for two and a half years.

 

Since meeting Alex and Kike in 2010 when they arrived from Spain to live in Bristol, Steve was immediately impressed by the strong visual quality, vibrancy and sexiness of Kike’s art and has even purchased some pieces for himself!

 

Having amassed nearly thirty years of working experience in both the Insurance and Retail industries, Steve is thrilled to be a part of this new, exciting venture and is looking forward to embracing the challenges – and rewards – that lie ahead for the HARTZAK Brand.

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