A lovely interview with one of our new illustrators Eva Sanchez Gomez! We hope you enjoy a little look into Eva's world...
Where do you live/work?
I am currently living in Barcelona. I have been living and working in Lisbon for one year and in Manchester for two years and I came back just a few months ago.
I work at home and my office is a big desk in front of the window in the living room.
What do you love about working there?
I love being surrounded by my colour pencils and working materials creating the perfect shell to focus on the new story that I am working on at that moment. The quietness of the soundtrack that I am free to choose for each project. And the intimacy and the freedom of a place that is in the end my home.
I also like the multiple environments I can find in the city: homely neighbourhoods, ancient markets, hidden cathedrals, big parks or lots of different architectures coexisting (Gothic quarter, modernism of Gaudí, functionalism and Bauhaus of the Mies Van der Rohe pavilion and so on). Barcelona is a cosmopolitan city fulfilled with cultural inputs, from the museums and theatres to the wide diversity of cultures and people living here.
What are your dislikes?
Too much cars and bright nights without stars.
I am from a town in the Pyrenees and I would love living surrounded by nature.
But one can always travel to take the best of each place.
What do you love most about being an illustrator?
I love the feeling of freedom. You can make anything possible trough drawing, and being an illustrator let me spend quite a lot of time with a pencil on my hands.
Illustrating is telling a story and I do believe that books and stories are powerful instruments capable to change our world. They give us new horizons, expectations or the opportunity to live other’s life, even an impossible or surreal life. Spending mine trying to be involved on this feels really challenging and exciting.
How do you work- what are your techniques?
I do enjoy the stroke of the pencil, is the technique that feels more natural to me.
I usually work with watercolour and pencils. Using both stain and stroke I keep playing trying to find the right balance. I also keep trying and experiment a little with new techniques or different ways to use the same materials.
What is your favourite thing to draw?
All kind of animals!
Are there any tricky parts to being an illustrator?
Being an illustrator also means for me accept an economy which won’t let me have luxuries or the calm from knowing that I will be paid a fix quantity at the end of each month.
This pressure can be an extra injection of energy to keep working and seeking for projects, but also could be tricky when I must decide on which projects I should invest my time. When the kind of personal projects I’d love to do and I have in mind are not commercial I must learn to find the right balance between the time I invest on those ones and the time I spend on commissions I know for sure that will be paid for and I also like to do. It is tricky because it’s very easy keep postponing the personal projects.
In any case, I think that what really matters is keep working and trying to find my own voice and world whatever the project is, so I could learn from each one. And reject working in a project that I can’t believe on.
What or who are you inspired by?
I get inspiration from films, dance, books and other illustrators that I love like Arthur Rackham, Lisbeth Zwerguer Lorenzo Mattotti, Andrea Serio, Willimam Grill, Emily Hughes, Juanjo Guarnido, … to name a few.
But foremost, from daily life and own experience. I think that inspiration can come from everywhere. The place I have grown in, my family and friends, the people I’ve known, … Every experience makes me who I am and influence the way I look at the world and so on how I illustrated it.
What do you like to do in your spare time when you are not illustrating?
Baking cakes, watching films, go trekking, learning how to dance, scubadiving, …
How did you get into illustration?
I like drawing since I can remember, that was the main reason to study Fine Arts. I already was interested in animal and naturalistic drawing and while I was studying at the university I signed up for a short course about “Drawing applied on ornithology”. It was a short test of scientific and naturalistic illustration and I loved it. I met there a friend who was also studying children’s illustration in “Francesca Bonnemaison” School and I realized that it could be an amazing career to explore. Once I finished Fine Arts I studied Illustration in the same school and it was there where I really discovered this amazing world. I am very grateful to these years on the school, to my colleagues and the coordinator of the course and illustrator Ignasi Blanch, who get us involved in many activities such exhibitions or contests and pass on his passion for illustrating and the importance of discover our own voice and personal universe. Thanks to one of those contests I published my first picture book “Onades i flors” by Noemí Pes. It was amazing go ahead through the whole project and I just wanted to keep doing that for a living.
What are your three top tips for aspiring illustrators?
Never give up
Don’t forget the passion on what you do no matter what is the project or commission you are working on.
What’s your ultimate dream?
Me on my 90’s drawing on a beautiful studio full of natural light coming through big windows through where I could see the mountains, surrounded by my colour pencils, watercolours, perhaps new materials that I don’t know yet, the people I love, all the characters that will have accompanied me through all the illustrated stories and hundreds and hundreds of good life memories.