Monday, 6 August 2018

Welcome to the Plum Family, Laia Arriols!

We're very excited to welcome Laia Arriols to the Plum Pudding Family! Read on to get to know her a bit better:

Where do you live/work?
I live and work in Reus, Catalonia. about 100 km south from Barcelona.

What do you like about living there?
Although Reus isn’t a (very) beautiful town, it is where I was born and I like it!  It’s a medium town with a cinema, theatre, live music, shopping centers, museums, beautiful local festivities… and it’s located in a very good place between the beach and the mountains. Also, you can travel to Barcelona within an hour! So, that’s perfect for me :)

What do you love most about being an illustrator?
What I love the most is be able to express my feelings and my inner world and share it with other people. Drawing is also a really great way to self-knowledge, and helped me to grow and heal some soul wounds.

How do you work – what are your techniques?
Now I’m 100% digital and I used to work with a Wacom Intuos pro. That improved my eye-hand-drawn skills because in the past I used to only draw with the mouse by creating different geometrical shapes to compose an illustration.

What is your favourite thing to draw and why?
I have some repeated themes and characters: Space themes, fruits and fairies. And I really don’t know why, ha ha ha! I also love to draw children, especially my daughters, nieces and nephews, and my friend’s children.

Do you have a favourite illustrator?
No, I can’t name just one… I love lots of illustrators from all times and styles: Miroslav Sasek, Lauren Child, Rose Capdevila, Cesc, Tomi Ungerer, Oliver Jeffers, Dick Bruna, Quentin Blake, Alain Glée, Marc Boutavant, Coco Escribano, Beatrice Blue, Jean Jullien, Blanca Gomez, Susie Hammer, Toru Fukuda, Rebecca Green, Marc Sardà… and many many others! I can’t stop! 

How did you get into illustration?
I started by drawing my daughters so as not to publish photographs of them on social networks. I started in 2009 (aprox) when I was 33, so I was a (bit of a) late bloomer :)

What or who are you most inspired by?
Firstly, my daughters. Also my family and friends. Cartoons, comics and children’s books in general, movies, tv series, and music. And many other things related to the children’s world: from fashion to toys or crafting.

Do you have a particular favourite character that you’ve illustrated?
Yes, Ballerina. It is a drawing of my elder daughter Joana when she was 6 or 7. She is dancing under a cloud (it was her ballet debut and it was cancelled because of the rain, so I decided to draw it). I’d never liked ballet and I’d never imagined that an illustration like “Ballerina” could have opened a door for me to a new profession: illustration!

What do you like to do in your spare time when you’re not illustrating?
Do anything and go anywhere with my daughters, photography, going hiking, listening to music, watching tv series and reading books, comics, or children’s literature.

What are your three top tips for aspiring illustrators?
Lots of practice, lots of patience, and endless curiosity for any artistic form (like graffiti, typography, photography, sculpture, ceramics, gardening or textile design).

What were your favourite books when you were younger?
Comics: Tintin, Mafalda, and Peanuts were my favorites. Also adventure books like “The Famous Five” by Enid Blyton and, as I grew up a little, Agatha Christie’s mystery novels :D

What was the last book you read? What did you think? 
Instrumental by James Rhodes. A very hard and sad story of the pianist and musician but also a life lesson of overcoming.

What are your aspirations for the rest of 2018?
Start a new stage in my illustration career and develop my drawing technical skills :)

What’s your ultimate dream?
To publish a children’s illustrated book :)


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