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Index

SPOTLIGHT | 20 MARIA WRIGHT

BE DIFFERENT | 24 Exclusive Interview with SAMJI

THE DESIRE THAT DEVOURS | 34 Author: Gloria RUIZ BLANCO | Illustrator: ANA SALGUERO

SET YOUR CLEAR GOAL | 40 Exclusive Interview with SANDRA CONEJEROS

SCRAPBOOK | 50

with MATEJA JAGER

IPEK & MILLIONS OF PLANTS | 54 Exclusive Interview with IPEK KONAK

AROUND THE WORLD | 62

DELICATE & METICULOUS | 64 Exclusive Interview with CATERINA DELLI CARRI

In This Issue of

cover : illustration by

To

Amalia R estrepo

a s k q u e s t i o n s a b o u t y o u r s u b s c r i p t i o n , p l e a s e e m a i l u s at: sub@brightnessmag.com

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© All Rights Are Reserved.

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WILD GEESE LADY AmaliaRestrepo

10 Art Director & Editor In Chief

Creative Director & Graphic Designer

Web Design

Hasmik (Narjes Mohammadi)

Sadegh Amiri

STUDIO BRIGHTNESS

International Contributors

Translator

Sales & Marketing

Concha Pasamar | Ana Rodriguez Ali Ghafele Bashi | Jen Yoon | MarĂ­a Wright Rita Tu

Darya Ghafele Bashi

Brightness Studio info@brightnessmag.com

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ABOUT US

PLEASE VISIT OUR WESITE: WWW.BRIGHTNESSMAG.COM EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEWS . EXHIBITION NEWS . ARTIST BIOGRAPHIES

ABOUT BRIGHTNESS Brightness magazine was founded by Narjes Mohammadi (Hasmik) and Sadegh Amiri in 2016 as a digital magazine to present exclusive interviews with experienced illustrators, whose wisdom and knowledge are treasure troves for young artists. We aim to promote the current works of popular as well as up and coming artists, so that people can be inspired by the beauty and effectiveness of illustration in expressing powerful ideas. For those who want to dive deeper into the wonderful world of illustration we present articles that give valuable insights into the creative minds of the world. We hope you enjoy reading our publications as much as we enjoy publishing them.

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We want to change the world with art and love...

BRIGHTNESS FOUNDERS

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Are you interested in submitting to Brightness? If you’d like the chance of being published in one of issue, get in touch via this page. Please note that we receive many submissions each day and have limited space in each publication. So please show us the work you’re most proud of or the work you especially enjoy creating.

Submission Info Email your submission to sub@brightnessmag.com with “ART SUBMISSION” in the subject line. • Submit images as JPEGs or GIFs • Submit up to 5 images • Image sizes should be at least 600px wide and no more than 1000px wide

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Amalia Restrepo

Wild Geese Lady Exclusive Interview With

Amalia

Restrepo “My illustrations are the way I choose to show myself to the world. This is how I translate what my soul wants to say.” Colombian illustrator Amalia Restrepo studied architecture before coming to the realisation that illustration was her true calling. She has a master’s degree in Illustration from the Savannah College of Art and Design. Amalia especially enjoys illustrating for children. Strong women are a recurring theme throughout her work, as are lush plants and playful animals. Her powerful female protagonists are her flagship for gender equality. She describes her designs as “Simple and fun illustrations that carry messages around the world”

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Exclusive Interview

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Amalia Restrepo

1. Tell me a bit about you and your background: where are you from/ where did you study? I am from Colombia; I have lived there all my life. I have a BFA in architecture and worked as an architect for a while. It was while working as an architect that I realized I wanted to be an illustrator. I taught myself a little bit of Photoshop and built a portfolio to apply to a Masters Degree in Illustration, it took some time and a lot of effort but it got me into one of the best schools in the US. I graduated last year from Savannah College of Art and Design with an MFA in illustration.

2. When did you start to dedicate to the world of illustration? To be honest, my illustration career is pretty young. After I graduated from Architecture school I went to Boston for six months to work as an intern at Boston Center for the Arts and went to night school at MASSART. I fell in love with my illustration class and illustration in general in spite of my lack of technique. It was there that I decided that I would start learning however I could and setting the goal of a Masters Degree. I started working as an illustrator five years ago, while doing architectures and kept working through my Masters Degree. Now it’s my full time job.

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,,

Exclusive Interview

I think illustration has to come from a very personal place. This is my personal take on the job. I put a lot of myself into the work I make.

,,

3. What are your top tools to work? I work in Photoshop; my work is 90% digital. The remaining 10% is for hand sketching, doodles, and pictures of textures that I incorporate in my work. Anything from a rock, to spilled food, coffee, sand, trees, anything really.

4. Does your work represent your personality? I think illustration has to come from a very personal place. This is my personal take on the job. I put a lot of myself into the work I make. I give it my all and then I set it free, there’s no use for me to dwell on past illustrations. They are pictures of my soul at some point, even when working with clients that have very specific briefs, my energy, my time, my imagination and my hands go into the drawing, so there is no way they don’t represent my personality and what I like. The colors, the patterns, the nature, the flowers the stretching and pushing proportions; that all comes from memories, from the place where I grew up, from what I like to see and smell and eat, from the people I love, the books I’ve read. The illustrations are what I build with the material I have gathered in life so far.

5. Where does an idea come from and how does it transform from an idea into a book? I feel ideas have lives of their own. Whenever I get a glimpse of one I try to take care of it and give it time to grow. Usually I get ideas from looking at the world around me, watching a documentary, reading a book, talking to my grandmother, going to a museum. But it’s more often that not that ideas come when I am working. So, usually the more I work the more ideas I get. Of course I get artist blocks and they last for days and weeks, this is when I try not to go crazy. I try to take it all very peacefully and give myself some time to rest. The idea becomes a book when I feel the click. It’s hard to explain but some things just click. It’s very important to me that the book tells the story with words AND illustrations. For me, the book does not work until the words work with the image. The words don’t say everything and the illustration tells very important parts of the story, its fun because you have to look closely to get some details, I love that.

6. Who are some of the other artists you take inspiration from? Anthony Browne is my favorite author and illustrator so I have studied his work quite a bit. Ethel Gilmour and Beatriz Gonzalez are two artists that I admire because of their content and message.

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Amalia Restrepo

7. What challenges do you expect in this job? I think the biggest challenge is dealing with my own self-expectations, and self-doubt. It’s a job that requires you to have thick skin because it’s hard getting rejected when the product you are making is so close to you. It tends to get very personal and that’s where you need to draw the line. What I mean is that, for me, the work has to be personal when you make it, you know, pour your soul, do your best, but it has to stop being personal when you deliver it. This way, nor rejection nor glory will kill you.

8. How do you define your illustrations? My illustrations are a way of understanding and connecting to my own reality. The majority of my work is an exploration of extremes, testing how much I can push an image in terms of proportion, scale, unusual combinations, and sometimes, nonsensical scenarios in order to deliver a message. I try to evoke dreams, magic, nostalgia, and a sense of strange familiarity, similar to the sense of returning to your childhood home, or a smell that transports you back in time.

9. What can you tell me about your publications or books? What are the latest? My publications are mostly children content. I self published a book in Colombia called “La Bicicleta” (The Bicycle) and it’s based on my story with my grandfather who I never met. I wanted to write a story about how to cope with losing a loved one and how they never really leave us. It’s not very explicit and the main character is the bicycle but it’s a very endearing story that tells children that they can have a spiritual relationship with the people they have lost. I also illustrated a beautiful book of poems by Maria Jose Ferrada, published by Tragaluz Editions, and recently illustrated an animated short film by Lulu Vieira, Colombian film director.

10. With what technique are you more comfortable? I feel comfortable working digitally, I have to be honest, I love traditional media when I am playing around and making a mess, but all the work I publish is digital.

11. Have you published outside your country? Not yet, but I’m working on new ideas, so hopefully soon!

12. How is children’s publishing industry in your country? Colombia has several publishers dedicated to children content. I have been extremely lucky to work with a company that, in my opinion, has the best children content in the country. I even dare say Latin America. Cantoalegre focuses on education based on music and they produce CDs, video clips, books, and class material among other things. Other than that, there are some other good publishers, but again, the industry is small compared to others. I wish there were more Colombian author-illustrators and publishers that would bet on our talent.

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Exclusive Interview

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Amalia Restrepo


Exclusive Interview

13. Is it very different from what is done in your country from other countries? What are your influences international illustrators? Although there are thins happening with illustration, I feel the industry is still very small in Colombia; it’s hard to earn a living as an illustrator there. I hope that I can help bring some value to the job and help people understand that illustration is powerful and valuable.

14. What do you hope people take away from your drawings? I hope that when they look at my work they feel something; they remember their childhood, or a really good day. I hope that I can make people think, about something, anything. But I love when my work sparks something in other people, an idea, a memory, a healthy disagreement, a smile.

15. Where do you see yourself in five years’ time? I see myself being a published author of many, many books, trying new things, maybe even working at a publisher as a designer. I love books, and I hope that eventually I can dedicate myself completely to them in anyway I can. I never want to give up illustration, I see myself evolving, creating a brand, and still doing what I love.

www.amaliara.com

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Amalia Restrepo


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Spotlight

Colour, spirit & power. These three words are my guides to my work. I like to inspire from the natural world, the visible and the invisible: creating colourful connections between botanical, animal, human and mixed cultural universes. I’m from Buenos Aires, Argentina. Since I was young, I studied drawing and painting and took a special interest in fine arts and art history. I graduated as a graphic designer at the University of Buenos Aires and worked in the culture environment. This path immersed me in the natural world, botanical and animal, and in literature and science. Those are really meaningful to my work, and a constant source of inspiration. I like to produce images that are powerful yet sensible, political yet poetic. Illustrations that talk about strong people, equal rights, feminism, the power of nature. Images of a colourful, mixed and intricated world.

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MARIA WRIGHT I l l u s t r a t o r


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The Creative Space Spotlight


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SAMJI

1. Hi Samji, let’s start about your background, where did you study? What did you study at university? I began my venture into the creative field first through animation. It was not particularly a successful stint. I then began doing a few odd jobs to keep myself afloat. I took up BFA in Applied Art as a degree course, although I had to drop out from that course in my fourth year, putting a full stop to my formal education. 2. Can you briefly explain your creative process, medium etc.? I started practising through the traditional way. Digital medium only came late into my illustration career. I first used a non-display tab. I felt uncomfortable using it because unlike the conventional way of drawing where the eyes and the pen-point focuses on one place, your hands will be on the tab and your eyes will be on the monitor. When I could finally get my hands on an iPad, it completely changed the whole digital game to me. It has been my constant companion since. I started my career as a designer and I later on realised it was not my cup of tea. When it came to illustration, I didn’t want it turning the same way. So I always make sure that I put myself into a good mood before beginning an illustration. If I need to develop a symbolic idea, I do mindmapping. I try to make a coherent picture out of the numerous detached ideas through mindmapping. It is also not the only way. I also start by scribbling something first, to kick-start the process and would then go with the flow and see where it leads me. Often, thankfully, it has led me to the right end-product.

to be so tight wound when it comes to being a perfectionist. I love that about him; how he defied the societal norms and enjoyed painting with freedom, not paying the slightest attention to what people would say and just enjoying the process of making art. That was such an influencing part of my life. 4. What type of illustration projects do you enjoy working on? From what little experience I have gained working as an illustrator, I have understood that there are always two types of clients: One who has an idea about the message the illustration should convey and gives me the full creative freedom to manifest that message, and the other who doesn’t have a clue what the illustration must signify and still gives me the full freedom to do whatever I want. I like the former kind of projects. It’s easier to give our skills a nudge here and a push there when you can streamline with the client about the result. However, when clients don’t know what they want, they tend to be discontented with everything we produce. That’s tedious and exhausting. 5. How is your commercial work different than your personal work? I pour in so much of my emotions into my personal works that I have always been shy about publicising my personal works. They have always remained locked up, away from the prying eyes of others. Commercial works are mostly done for monetary benefits, not for emotional benefits. You approach it through a professional lens. There is a detachment there.

6. How many times do you tend to draw a character 3. Who or what has been the biggest single until it is right and also how do you know it is right? influence on your way of thinking? It depends on the situation. Human anatomy That is a very tough question. My perspective is not my strongest suit. So I keep a dynamic was largely influenced by the impressionist visual in my mind and strive to reach that mental Claude Monet. I stumbled upon Monet and image. If I don’t see myself reaching that goal, I his principles while I was trying to perfect my would convince myself to push a little further. It fundamentals. Monet made me realise the has usually worked for me and I have ended up importance of letting down my hair and not with a satisfactory result.

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Exclusive Interview

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SAMJI

7. How do you think online design resources have influenced the art being produced today? I personally think all the online classes and free YouTube videos are a blessing for budding artists. I myself was benefitted greatly by them. It opens up a whole new world for struggling artists who cannot afford paid courses and tuition fees, but yet want pointers and professional guidance. I think it is great to see artists helping out fellow artists. Having said that certain apps and resources that provides templates, have made this whole process easier. I believe it does not throw many challenges into the way of someone wanting to learn these skills. I believe without challenges we will not get room to grow and explore. We would mindlessly consume what has been fed to us.

8. Do you ever have creative slumps? What do you do then? I do have creative slumps. When I get into a creative block, I stop the illustration work, step back, and will busy myself in other works. I would make sure I have completed everything there is to do apart from the illustration. That way there will be nothing left for me to do but the illustration itself. In commercial works, I also think about the reward, which will be waiting for me at the other end. I think that is a common way to outsmart procrastination, is not it? All those times when I have pushed myself despite reaching a saturation, I have found that I could produce some really good output. Now my mind is somehow wired to think that way. My mind will automatically push myself knowing that I will strike gold when I do that. That has definitely improved in reducing my creative slumps. 9. What would you say is your strongest skill? My endurance to push myself. My mind-set to keep going despite the odds is something I have always felt like a strong skillset. Developing it was not easy. It came from years of experience.

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Exclusive Interview

10. Do you have any superstitious beliefs or rules that you live by? I don’t think I have any superstitions. I do strongly live by one principle though: by creating a more positive mindset, by looking at things through an optimistic lens, we can control our emotions and bring it more in line within our control. We shouldn’t let the reign of our emotions rest with anyone else, it must be tightly knotted around one’s own hand. 11. 5 things inspiring you/your work right now? • The number of mind-blowing works that I see on social media. • Encouragement and appreciation from everyone around me. • I do find inspiration in the things that surround me. • When people come to me for pointers and they work on it with so much passion, improving their crafts, it inspires me to better myself. Seeing other work hard is always the best inspiration 12. Best/ most fun part of your job. It has never crossed my mind that this is a “job” and doesn’t everyone aspire to do earn from their passion. 13. What’s on your horizon? I would love to open up an online store for my illustrations. That’s one of the immediate goals I have right now. 14. Any future projects and plans/dreams you can share with us? My future projects are currently under the wraps right now. I will definitely let you guys know once it is the right time. My ultimate dream is to move from this frenzied survival mode to actually ‘living’ my life to the fullest. I want to be able to throw away the rulebooks and paint with no constrictions whatsoever, enjoying the freedom of expression.

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SAMJI


Exclusive Interview

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SAMJI


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Article

THE DESIRE ARTICLE THAT DEVOURS Sensuality and sexuality in the story of Little Red Riding Hood

Author: Gloria Ruiz Blanco Illustrator: Ana Salguero Little Red Riding Hood is another great classic fairy tale. There are several versions of this tale but we will focus on three. On the one hand, Perrault’s version from the 17th century, and on the other hand, the 19th-century versions by the Brothers Grimm and Ludwig Tieck. Perrault’s version In Perrault’s version, we find the story of a sweet little girl with a red cap who, on her way home from her grandmother’s house, meets the fierce wolf. The wolf would have devoured Little Red Riding HoodHad it not been for a couple of woodcutters who were around. The animal tricks the girl arrives first at her grandmother’s house, eats the old woman and lies down in her bed. When Little Red Riding Hood arrives, he tells her to undress and lie down in the bed with him. After a series of questions, the wolf ends up devouring Little Red Riding Hood. At the end of this story, Perrault includes the following moral:

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«Here we see that adolescence, especially the ladies, well made, nice and pretty they don’t owe it to just anyone to hear with pleasure, and it’s no wonder see that many of the wolves are the prey. And I say the wolf, for under his sheath not everyone is the same:


Exclusive Article

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Article

There are those with not a little skill, silent, without hate or bitterness, who secretly, patiently, sweetly they go after the damsels to the houses and in the alleys; Moreover, we well know that the smart-ass Of all the wolves, alas, they are the fiercest.» Perrault. Mother Goose stories. 1697. Perrault was the first author to write down this story from the oral tradition. The version so cruel that he himself wrote was peculiar since Perrault’s work is in the style of Louis XIV, where fairy tales stand out for their splendour and magical elements. On the other hand, in Little Red Riding Hood a story is told far from the splendour of Versailles and the court of the Sun King. More than a story, in this case, we are dealing with a lesson in which young girls are warned not to engage in conversation with strangers. In this version, the evil that is embodied in the wolf is victorious From a psychoanalytic point of view, authors like Lang claim that Little Red Riding Hood goes from being an innocent girl to a woman who lets herself be seduced and loses her honesty. Another point to highlight in this psychoanalytic perspective is the uncertainty between the principle of reality and the principle of pleasure. Another point to highlight is the colour chosen for the protagonist’s cap. Red symbolizes violent | 36

emotions, especially those of a sexual nature. In this story, we see opposite values in the protagonist of the story, Little Red Riding Hood, and her antagonist, the wolf: the beautiful (Little Red Riding Hood) and the ugly (wolf); innocence and evil; prudence and recklessness; confidence and doubt.

Ludwig Tieck’s version After the success of Little Red Riding Hood in France, a century later the story begins an interesting journey at the hands of exiled Huguenots* who carried the repertoire of Gallic tales with them. These Protestants arrived in nonCatholic countries such as England, Switzerland, the Netherlands, North America and Germany. Ludwig Tieck’s (1773- 1853) version dates back to 1800 and is a theatrical work. In this version there is a break with tradition since, apart from adding new characters such as the wolf’s confederate dog, the birds, the peasant and the hunter, dialogues and plots that had not existed before are introduced. In this work, the ending is tragic because Little Red Riding Hood dies without being able to get the help of the hunter who kills the animal. In this curious theatrical adaptation, Little Red Riding Hood represents the German youth who are attracted by the ideals embraced by the French

*Old name given to French Protestants of Calvinist doctrine during the wars of religion in the 16th century


Exclusive Article

revolution (the wolf). But, finally, she withdraws in horror at the barbarity of the revolution. At the time it was common to wear a Phrygian cap as a symbol of republican values. This hat was, like the cap, red. In this work the wolf is given a complex psychological characterization, unlike Perrault’s version. Ludwig Tieck was one of the promoters of German Romanticism and was a very active author in political life, so it is not surprising that his play Little Red Riding Hood is a work in key of the political situation of the early nineteenth century. Ludwig Tieck was one of the most distinguished authors of German Romanticism and was always surrounded by great authors and philosophers of the time. In 1817 he went to London and studied with Shakespeare, even translating some of his works. In 1799 he translated El Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes into four volumes and he is credited with one of the first vampire stories in the history of literature, Wake not the Dead. It is the third incursion

of the myth of the woman - vampire. In 1842 the King of Prussia commissioned him to direct the Royal Theatre in Berlin. The Brothers Grimm version The Grimm version written two hundred years later is undoubtedly the best known and most successful version. For their version they took as a reference the text of Perrault and the work written by Ludwig Tieck, «Leben und Tod des kleinen Rotkäppchens: eine Tragödie» («Life and death of little Red Riding Hood. A tragedy»). In this version the character of the woodcutter is already introduced. The Grimm Brothers write a more innocent version, with less erotic elements than the first one, as well as including a happy ending. This happy ending, the revenge of good over evil, makes this version more successful than its predecessor. The Grimm tell the story of a little girl who, before going to visit her grandmother and bringing her a | 37


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cake plus a bottle of wine, is warned by her mother not to get distracted along the way. The evil wolf meets the girl, takes the information from her, tricks her and goes to her grandmother›s house and devours the poor old woman. When Little Red Riding Hood arrives at Grandma›s house she is devoured by the wolf. In this story the figure of the hunter appears, who slits the belly of the beast and takes out alive Little Red Riding Hood and her grandmother. On another occasion another wolf tried to stalk the girl but she did not listen to him. When she arrives at her grandmother›s house, the girl tells her everything and between the two they make a trap where they kill the animal. From a psycho annalistic point of view, this story represents first of all the conflict of puberty that the young girl suffers as well as the attempt to understand the contradictory nature of the male gender that the story itself poses. On the one hand we have the seducer - aggressor who is the wolf and ‹on the other the protector - savior who is the hunter. In his work Psychoanalysis of Fairy Tales, Bruno Bettelheim points out that when the wolf is given a Caesarean, it does not die because it simulates the Caesarean that can be performed on a mother. In this case, both the grandmother and Little Red Riding Hood are reborn into a superior being.

as powerful. As stated by the author Paredes and Guzmán (2014), the story of Little Red Riding Hood is a tale of patriarchal violence, since in this story a system of oppression and violence by the wolf (the male) is reproduced towards the woman embodied in a girl who becomes a teenager and an old woman. A fact that I would like to highlight is the fact that within the home of the protagonist there is a matriarchy. None of the versions mentions Little Red Riding Hood›s father or grandfather, which suggests that the three women are alone. The first to identify the sexual meaning of the story was the psychoanalysts, Bruno Bettelheim and Erich From. Both argue that following the more literary versions of this story, these are the most affected by the Judea-Christian morality where the game of desire is punished with life; as opposed to what happened in the versions of the oral tradition Another interesting contribution from the world of psychoanalysis is that offered by Clarisa Pinkola Estés in her study, Women who run with wolves. The psychoanalyst bets on the integration of the wolf character as the wild essence of personality. The author takes over the proverb «If you are to dwell among wolves, you must learn to howl». Desire, sensuality and sexuality: central theme of the story And this is what Little Red Riding Hood is all about, adapting to the environment as the only way to protect oneself in the The sexual connotations of the story and the cap are already face of danger. mentioned in the previous sections. Whether it is a story that teaches young women not to have Within the symbolism of fairy tales, the forest, the place where sex, a play in code, or a story that tells girls never to disobey, the story takes place, stands out. The forest symbolizes in the end, the central theme of Little Red Riding Hood›s in the stories the change to maturity, the journey that all story in all its versions is desire. people must undertake. On the other hand, the garment of The first thing to consider in this desire is the gender the cap has a very complex meaning within the grammar of stereotype in which this story is framed. On the one hand, power. The head is a governing body and is closely linked to the female characters, Little Red Riding Hood and the the will and the intelligence which, curiously enough, is what grandmother are represented as weak, defenceless and the protagonist of the story lacks. clumsy in their intelligence. While the girl lets herself be As a final conclusion, prohibiting desire, confrontation, can fooled, the grandmother lets herself be fooled. keep us safe as well as fragile. Only the one who dares to On the other hand, the male characters are represented as cross the forest will obtain the necessary wisdom to survive heroes and the wolf is an intelligent being, cunning as well in it.

Bibliography Bettelheim, B (1994). Psychoanalysis of fairy tales. Barcelona: Drakontos. Casar, S (2006). Los estereotipos y los prejuicios. Cambios de

Author Gloria Ruiz Blanco

Illustrator Ana Salguero

w w w.b rig htnessma g.co m w w w.brightnessnews.com

actitud en el aula de I2. Revista Dialnet, 6, 135-150. Paredes, J (2014). El tejido de la rebeldía ¿Qué es el feminismo comunitario? Bases para despatrialización. La Paz. ASDI y RFSU. Pedrosa, JM. Símbolo del cuento y complementos básicos del vestido: del zapato de cristal a la caperuza roja. Actas del curso Folclore, Literatura e Indumentaria


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Sandra Conejeros


SET YOUR

CLEAR GOAL Exclusive Interview with

Sandra Conejeros | 41


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Sandra Conejeros

Sandra Conejeros Fuentes (1983) is a freelance designer and illustrator, from Chile. She has done illustrations for projects such as magazines, educational material, packaging, manuals, books, cover books, among others. Among her works highlight projects such as her first book as the author “Busco Encuentro, Cuántos cuento” (Ulla Books) and other projects like book “La Abeja Cristalina” ( Publisher Planeta Sostenible) and the large format illustrations for “Alicia en el país de Biblioniños” (Library Center of Puente Alto, Chile) . Her work has been exhibited in Chile, Argentina, Colombia, Mexico and Poland. And her illustrations have been selected in “VI Iberoamerican Catalog of Illustration”, “Latin American Illustración” catalogue and in 14th version of the “3 × 3 Magazine Illustration Show”, among others. Also, she has been awarded a “Silver Dog” in the “8th Salón Imagen Palabra BogotáColombia” and was a finalist in the Peru Design Biennial (2019), Digital Illustration category. She currently teaches and works as a freelance illustrator as well as with publishing houses, agencies and institutions.

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1. Hi Sandra, tell us about you and what made you want to become an illustrator or artist? Hi everyone! Well, I am a designer and illustrator from Chile. I was born in a small town in the south of Chile (in 1983), and at 17 ages I moved (alone) to the capital city, Santiago, to study Design in Pontifical Catholic University of Chile. While I was in university, studying Design, I had an illustration course and just got fascinated. There I discovered other illustrators, I learned techniques, I learned about the pregnancy of illustration, among other things. And confirm that the illustration was where I wanted to focus my career as a designer. Once I graduated, I made a blog with my illustrations and sent them to my friends, teachers, former colleagues and everyone who could. Thus and showing my work, my first professional commissions appeared. That was almost 12 years ago. 2. How do you define your illustrations? I think that my way of illustrating is very dynamic, with characters with shapes curved or rounded, where movement, colour and textures are of great importance to help me express the idea and theme that I should illustrate. It is very important for me to express emotions in my characters, that they don’t look “flat”. 3. What can you tell me about your publications or books? What are the latest? Last year I published my first book where I am the author of both the text and the illustrations. It is called “Seek & find, How much do I count” In Spanish: Busco Encuentro Cuántos cuento. (Publishing house: Ulla Books). It is a book of seeking and find, of classic tales (Little Red Riding Hood, Pinocchio, etc.) where I illustrated the characters in some particular situation, which does not necessarily appear in the original story, but which I think could have happened perfectly. As in the Little Red Riding Hood and the wolf, they are taking a break from their way to Granny’s house and illustrated them swimming and sunbathing, or Snow White reading with the seven dwarfs or Cinderella taking a selfie while trying the shoe. And in these situations there are hidden elements, so the readers no just enjoy the situation, then they can seek and find different elements. The best... it can be enjoyed to children until 99 years old (even older).


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Sandra Conejeros


Exclusive Interview

4. Would you explain more about your books. Do you prefer a philosophical story or fictional? I like good stories. Those stories who invite to travel, to dream, to live, to suffer, to cry or to joy with the characters. And that those stories allow me when I have to illustrate it, to tell with images what it tells between lines. It’s not that important to me if it is philosophical or fictional. In these years I have illustrated books with stories from others. For example “The Cristalina bee and other tales” In Spanish: “La abeja Cristalina y otros cuentos” (Publishing house: Planeta Sostenible). It is a book with animal stories, and I illustrate anthropomorphic characters, in order to better demonstrate their movements and emotions, and mix reality with fiction and fantasy. Illustrating other’s stories is a beautiful challenge because as an illustrator you must be very generous when uses your characters at the service of the text you are illustrating. And very respectful about the story you are illustrating. It is not a fight between words and images, but a compliment. My characters are usually on the move. I like to place a lot of natural atmosphere in the books, especially plants, because they are a symbol of life, of the passes of time. Last year I illustrated the book “How I am” In Spanish: (Cómo estoy) (Publishing house: Teraideas). It is a book about emotions and the characters are creatures, like a monster but nice, without gender, age. All this to enhance the emotion that was illustrating. 5. How many times do you tend to draw a character until it’s right, and also how do you know that it is right? It depends on the character. But usually, I draw it several times. First, I draw the posture. Rarely, very rarely, I draw a still character, so I start drawing it running, dancing, moving. Many loose strokes at the beginning and then clothes, face, emotions of character appear. When I look at it and feel that it looks at me back, that it has a story to tell, then that´s ok. 6. How do you overcome a creative block? I apply a couple of techniques to face “that” moment hahaha. For example, drawing something completely different from what I’m doing, just for the pleasure of doing it. Many times I drink coffee and I look out my balcony for a while or if I can, I go for a walk in the neighbourhood. Sometimes I read, other times I watch a movie I’ve seen before, just for the pleasure of watching it again. I mean, I try to clean my mind, have a relaxing time and then to start over. 7. What is your favourite piece of work in your portfolio? Why did you make it? It is difficult to choose only one. Usually, it is the last work what I am doing. Currently, I really like the flower-headed women that I am doing, because I started to draw it thinking that we, the humans, are like flowers. We are all different, but at the same time, we are all the same. Different shapes, colours, mood. Just like flowers. But we like this about the flowers, we like their variety, but humans, not always like persons that are different to us. I would like that we would see to us, as we see the flowers. Also like my illustrations of animals with leaf bodies, because they have allowed me to play showing a more emotional side of the characters. 8. With what technique are you more comfortable? I like to be constantly knowing new techniques: graphite, acrylic, gouache, stamp, collage, digital ... But I always back to watercolor. It was the technique I learned to illustrate and I am in constant learning. I still have so much to learn from it! However today, I love working digitally because it allows me a more efficient use of time. But today I could not illustrate with digital tools in the way I do, if I had not learned before to do it with traditional techniques.

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9. Have you published outside your country? Not yet, but I hope someday … no, so far! 10. How is children’s publishing industry in your country? In recent decades, it has been growing a lot, publishing different graphic styles, formats and themes. While I believe that as many illustrated books are not published as in other countries, everything indicates that here in Chile, this industry is growing more and more every year. 11. Is it very different from what is done in your country from other countries? What are your influences international illustrators? Jesús Cisneros, Carll Cneut, Elena Odriozola, Isabelle Arsenault and many, many others! From all of them I highlight the body posture of their characters and the use of the color they have. And, of course, the way that they conceptualize the images and how it complements the texts. 12. What do you think about e-books and apps like a new field of a job? I think it is always interesting to have new fields in which to develop a profession. It seems to me that eBooks and apps must continue to develop every day because it is a great platform for us illustrators. It is not a competition for books, but something that comes to complement the use of these. It is different. 13. how do you think online design resources have influenced the art being produced today? There is a great development in digital tools to illustrate today. Many software, brushes to download, tutorials, etc. That helps to many people dare to experiment and put aside “I am not good at drawing.” However, I think for the professional development of illustration, mastering the tool is not enough. It is also necessary to know how to conceptualize, to have a story that supports the illustration. If not, illustrations work it’s become a collage of different samples of digital brushes or textures. By the other side, there are some people who believe digital tools make all work by itself. Sometimes, some people ask me about what technique I used in some work, and I tell them that I used Photoshop or Procreate. So, they look me like if I pressed some button and “voilá” work its done. A digital tool has so important than any other technique. Maybe some times it would faster, but no easier.

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I like good stories. Those stories who invite to travel, to dream, to live, to suffer, to cry or to joy with the characters.

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14. Can you give some advice to any illustrators out there who may be looking to become a children’s book illustrator? Work. I mean, set a clear goal and work for it. If you want to publish but there are no clients yet, then develop a good portfolio to send to publishing houses, or make an instagram account that you can show as a portfolio. Classic stories or fairy tales are always a good excuse to create. You can take any story and develop it in 3 or 5 illustrations and whit that begin looking for work. That allows the editors to see the graphic language, what is your way of narrating, etc. And don’t compare yourself with others. I mean, admire the work of your colleagues, enjoy it, but don’t compare yourself. Each work and graphic language is different. Find your work´s strengths and maximize them. 15. Where do you see illustration going in the next few years? I hope to see it in many more media than now. That each day others understand the importance of illustration, publish many more books with many more graphic styles, formats, and themes. The Illustration can be an even more powerful tool to continue helping to inform topics such as climate change, inequality, violence, etc. My country has experienced great social change in recent months. And it has been very impressive to see how the illustration has served as an expression language both in murals, publications, and social networks. In future, I just hope to see illustration everywhere.

www.sandraconejeros.com


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Scrapbook

SCRAPBOOK

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MATEJA

JAGER I am a Slovene designer and illustrator, currently living in Sydney, Australia with my partner, my son and our dog. Creating, especially drawing, has been my passion for as long as I can remember, so pursuing a creative career seemed to be natural for me. I studied fashion and textile design in Ljubljana and have been working on various creative projects including fashion and graphic design for the past 20 years. In 2011 I had an amazing opportunity to illustrate children’s book of poems for one of the most amazing Slovene writers, Svetlana Makarovic. That’s when I fell in love with illustration and realised that there is nothing I want to do more. Since then I have been constantly improving my drawing skills and continuing to develop both my unique drawing style and storytelling ability. The more I do the more I realise this is a never ending process. And I love it! Every image starts in my head as a response to the world with the main objective of my illustration being to convey the feeling of that idea, followed by pencil drawing and once I am happy, I finish it digitally in photoshop. My dream is to turn Illustration into a full time job. Instagram: www.instagram.com/pinketycards

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Scrapbook


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IPEK KONAK

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Exclusive Interview

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH IPEK KONAK Graduated from Animation Department, Anadolu University/Faculty of Fine Arts. Focused on Concept Art and Visual Development, Illustration mostly. Working as an Art Director/ Illustrator recently.

www.behance.net/ipek_konak

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1. Tell me a bit about you and your background: where are you from/ where did you study? I am Ipek, I’m 28 and I was born in Turkey. Studied Fine Arts during high school and then studied Animation-Cartoon at the Faculty of Fine Arts, Anadolu University. Graduated in 2013, started working right away, worked with clients such as Google, Apple, Oxford University Press. And I’ve been working as a freelance artist for 4 years. 2. When did you start to dedicate to the world of illustration? Well, for me it was a goal as I started studying animation, I always wanted to be at the concept art-visual development parts of the animated projects and make illustrations besides that. During my studies, I had classes for different fields such as 3D Modeling, rigging, 3D animation, compositing, 2D animation, writing for comics, comics, illustration, concept art, character design etc. It helped me make my decision clear. | 56

3. What are your top tools to work? My top tools are iPad Pro, my MacBook Pro and Wacom Intuos Pro. Top softwares are Procreate and Photoshop. 4. How would you describe your illustration style? Does your work represent your personality? I think it does represent my personality, I try to use a lot of colours, different shapes, make clear statements and hope the viewers get the story behind them, sometimes they are very personal and I like seeing people getting involved and sharing their own emotions and experiences. It creates a connection and I really like that. 5. what would you say is your strongest skill? I think it would be my passion to explore and observe. I seek inspiration in everything and everyone. I try my best to be open-minded. 6. What challenges do you expect in this job?


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Exclusive Interview

7. Which one do you prefer, personal projects or ones for publishing houses and magazines? Why? I like them both because sometimes personal projects can be trapped in the safe zone and professional projects require you to take a step out of this zone. So they both complete each other and help me improve my work. 8. what are you currently fascinated by and how is it feeding into your work? I am currently too into watching cool music videos. I love music

and it has a big part in my life. And watching inspiring, artsy videos keeps me motivated and inspires me. It also helps me escape the art block I sometimes struggle. 9. How do you think online design resources have influenced the art being produced today? It had a big impact for sure. I think it helped art get even more global and universal than it already was. The artists are communicating through online platforms using online tools, producing their art at the quality they prefer via those online tools. Being up-to-date about recent events and products. This is a great ease for the art community. 10. Do you feel social media is an important tool for illustrators? Does having a social media presence really change an illustrator’s ability to get commissions? I think it’s one of the most important tools in these times. As the world’s focus is mostly on social media for many topics, art is one of them, too. It makes you available to work

I try to use a lot of

colours, different shapes, make clear statements and hope the viewers get the story behind them, sometimes they are very personal and I like seeing people getting involved and sharing their own emotions and experiences.

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Well, since I am working as a freelancer, sometimes I experience difficulties while trying to keep the balance between communication and the work itself. You have to basically run a company on your own; Connections, mailings, schedules, taxes, regular mails, meetings and the producing the projects of course. So it can be challenging as if you feel ill or you have a situation, all of these stop until you’re back in the game.

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IPEK KONAK

with the companies in the countries you have never been. Your artworks can travel more than you; it can be a book published in a country you’ve never been. Designs you made for an event in a different country etc. In my case, Behance and Instagram helped me get the most projects. 11. What are some trends or visual styles you appreciate in contemporary illustration? I like minimalistic but bold designs usually but the priority for me is the concept or the idea of the illustration. 12. Where do you see yourself in five years’ time? Hmm, I hope still freelancing but also having an online artsy merchandise store! 13. What is your dream project? I do not have a specific one, but ideally, I am always fascinated to participate in the projects involves a social message, especially about women’s, children’s and animal rights.

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IPEK KONAK


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Around The World

Heehyun @heehyun.ai This wine label design project is one of my school assignments. (I am currently pursuing illustration M.F.A at Savannah College of Art and Design) In class, we assumed that Divination Wine would be our client and created three wine label illustrations for different kinds of wine; Sauvignon blanc, Pinot Noir, Red Blend. The introduction for each wine describes each wine has a fruity or flowery taste. So I illustrate a goddess who blooms and nurtures the fruits and flowers. For this project, I focused on choosing the bright and mature color palette, and I am glad that it worked out beautifully.

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Carolina Godina www.carolinagodina.com

This works has been part of a collective exhibition named ‘The power in numbers 5’ that was held last February at the Nucleus Gallery in Portland. It is a very personal project in which I explored a new way of doing while remaining faithful to my personal universe. These type of projects are always interesting and enriching, because they allow you to go a little beyond what you usually do and get out of what is sometimes expected of you as an illustrator. Exploring new color palettes is a really interesting process that opens a new perspective of my own work and establishes the basis for continuing to deepening these new perspectives. The emotion is very important in my work and I love to see how can the colors helps to intensify or accompany certain emotions and sensations.

Anna Paolini www.behance.net/napao

Together with the publishing house Logosedizioni, I have initiated a series dedicated to women. The second issue, published in 2019, presents Giovanna Garzoni, a miniaturist from the seventeenth century. I wanted to pay homage to her poetics. Giovanna was able to conquer her space as an artist during a time when women’s freedom of choice was strongly opposed. She made a vow to pursue her art, which revolved around flowers slowly withering away. Hers was a reflection on the ever changing reality and on the sweetness of the passing time.

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CATERINA DELLI CARRI


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DELICATE & METICULOUS

Caterina

DELLI CARRI

E XC LUSI V E

I N T E RV I EW

Caterina was born in Puglia, in the south of Italy. She has always loved to draw. Since she was a child she invented stories and she put them on paper, she designed characters and she used to draw everywhere in her grandfather’s country house. She was enchanted looking at picture books to catch every little

detail. When she was 19 she moved to Rome and then Turin to study Visual Arts and Set Design at The Academy of Fine Arts. Caterina’s works are inspired mostly by nature, everyday life, old photos and childhood memories. She loves to take care of even the smallest details within an illustration. www.caterinadellicarri.com

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CATERINA DELLI CARRI


Exclusive Interview

1. Tell us about you and when did you decide to be an illustrator? My name is Caterina delli Carri and I’m an illustrator. I was born in Puglia, southern Italy. When I was 19 I moved to Rome to study Visual Arts and Set Design at The Academy of Fine Arts and then moved to Turin where I specialized in Set Design for cinema and television. Currently I live in Tuscany where I work as a freelancer for magazines, children’s book and illustrator for different clients around the world. My curiosity brought me to explore several kinds of visual art, however drawing has always been part of my daily life. This passion for drawing led me to illustration. I started by taking some courses in some important Italian illustration schools and then continued on my own devoting myself to it.

I don’t have a favourite technique, it really depends on what I have to do and how I feel about it. Lately, I work a lot in digital, it is a way that allows me to express myself well as if I were working in traditional. But I never stopped experimenting with different techniques and sometimes mixing them. 7. How do you prepare your work for production? All my works start from rough sketches especially in pencil drawn on notebooks or on loose sheets. Once I find the drawing I start to working on digital, defining the sign and coloring (which for me is one of the most amusing parts).

8. Which one do you prefer, personal projects or ones for publishing houses and magazines? Good question! I prefer cool projects for publishing houses and magazines! Seriously, I 2- What is your earliest memory of illustrating? would say both and I would say it depends on I’ve always loved to draw. Since I was a child the moments. There are times when I would like I invented stories and I put them on papers, to be able to cultivate more personal projects I designed characters and I used to draw and others instead I can’t wait to test myself on everywhere in my grandfather’s country house. commissioned projects. I was enchanted looking at picture books to catch every little detail. 9. If you’re working on a project and are falling behind, would you ask for an extension to refine 3. How would you describe your illustration your illustration or submit an OK piece of work style? on time? I’m not sure how to define my style. I could I try not to get into this. To estimate the timing say delicate and meticulous. Delicate for the before taking job, it’s part of the job itself. But if choice of subjects and for the choice of colors. that happens, I’ll get the chance to extend the Meticulous because I love to take care of even deadline and finish the job properly. the smallest details within an illustration. 10. What would you do if a client kept rejecting 4. What do you hope people take away from your all the drafts you present-ed them? illustrations? Once I found myself in this situation and I believe that if a client doesn’t feel in line with your style, For me it is important that people can find some maybe he just needs to look for something aspect of their life in my work, to be reflected different from yours. I would recommend a in the characters or in the situations that I’ve colleague more in line with what he is looking created. for. 5. What gave you the inspiration to start your 11. Is there anyone in particular that you would work? love to collaborate with? Actually there are so many editing houses and I have many sources of inspiration, illustrators magazines I’d like to collaborate with, but in and artists that I love, but it was precisely the particular one of my dreams is to illustrate a need to express my inner voice that gave me the cover of The New Yorker. most important push. 12. Where do you see yourself in five years’ time? 6. You have tried quite a lot of mediums and I see myself drawing! Learning and drawing! One techniques, and all of them are so lovely, tell thing that I’m sure of, is the constant curiosity us about your experiences. Which one is your and passion for this art, this will lead me to favourite? Why did you make it? explore new techniques and different projects.

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Profile for Brightness Magazine

Brightness Magazine No 18 - Digital Journal of Illustration  

Exclusive interviews with Amalia Resrepo Samji Sandra Conejeros Ipek Konak Caterina Delli Carri Please Follow Us on Social Media. #bright...

Brightness Magazine No 18 - Digital Journal of Illustration  

Exclusive interviews with Amalia Resrepo Samji Sandra Conejeros Ipek Konak Caterina Delli Carri Please Follow Us on Social Media. #bright...

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