Talented graphic illustrator Júlia Solans presents her 3 latest splendid projects

I can’t help grinning from ear to ear while marvelling at Júlia Solans‘ illustrations. At first glance, they’re really fun and nice to look at. Then I start realising it – the simple and rough aesthetic works as the perfect disguise for the underlying meaning(s). Every shape tells its part of the story and every colour ties them all together perfectly. The harmony is brilliant.

Before I know it, I’m bewitched. I contacted Júlia, and have the honour of having the artist herself present her latest work here. Get to know her inspiration, and indulge in the fantastic visuals of her world! Also keep an eye out for more on her website, Behance, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook.

“Hi, my name is Júlia Solans, I live and work from the lovely and sunny Barcelona. I define myself as graphic illustrator who works for commercial art. My background comes from graphic design but my passion and all I want to fight for is illustration.

I took the decision to be an illustrator when I was working as a ticket vendor at a cinema (not glamorous at all). Between sessions I had a lot of spare time, too many books to read and a pencil. At the beginning I read a lot. Then I started feeling too intellectual. I took a ticket and drew a face behind. After that I did a lot of faces and I realized that drawing was something that was warming up my blood. 

It took time working for advertising agencies and learning a lot to make myself a professional. It’s been three years now since I jumped to illustration and I’m really happy with that.”

Project #1 – “Maderfackards”

“Last year I started a project called “Maderfackards”. “Maderfackards” are greeting cards but with a slight difference: “Maderfackards” are made for haters.

I was sick of so many happy messages, so sweet and candid as “Today is the best day of your life… whatever”. I was not in that mood because outside was raining and unicorns don’t exist.

With that idea, I create this project with a touch of bitterness and a touch of evil laughs. This summer I was working in NY and I decided to translate them into English. You can see the process here.” 

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Project #2 – Embrace reading

“I’m very attached to this second project I made last year. I enjoyed working on it so much! It was a campaign for public libraries in Barcelona to promote children’s reading. I love it when you are so deeply concentrated on a book that it seems like you are living inside the story you are reading. So I took this idea and I invited the children to become the characters of their story.” 

Library

when I'm reading I'm a Giant's foot

Text: “When I’m reading I’m giant foot”

when I'm reading I'm a Queen

Text: “When I’m reading I’m a queen”

when I'm reading I'm a whale

Text: “When I’m reading I’m a whale”

when I'm reading I'm a Wolf

Text: “When I’m reading I’m a wolf”

Project #3 – “Love is far away, above the clouds” 

“I love planes, because when you are flying above somewhere, probably someone from that somewhere is looking at you. But none of you can see each other.

If I’m on the plane, I can’t see anything down there. And the person looking at the plane can just see a little machine crossing the sky.

Serendipity doesn’t exist then, lovers never find each other. I wrote this little comic called “Love is far away, above the clouds”.

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This post was first published on Kuvva blog.

Talented graphic illustrator Júlia Solans presents her 3 latest splendid projects

Interview with Mandy Smith about her incredible journey and aspiration as a papersmith

I walked into Mandy Smith‘s workplace on a sunny morning in late October. It was a sturdy desk filled with countless models, pieces of papers, knifes and glues. It’s a true battlefield of a creative mind and raw materials. Then I saw Mandy. I immediately understood how those tiny paper flecks could turn into marvellous visual pieces (check them out on her website, Vimeo, Instagram, or below). Her enthusiasm and passion for the craft is enormous. By the time we sat down, Mandy already properly informed me about her current project and her obsession with perfection. She would bite the bullet and make everything over again rather than settling on an ok-but-not-quite option. Considering the time it takes for shaping everything by hand, it’s incredible.

Read our chat below, get inspired by Mandy’s tremendous endeavour, and feel that gentle encouragement to pursue what you want in life.

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What made you stop at paper illustration and think “I want to do this”?

I didn’t even think of anything else. I only thought of paper because I always used to make things when I was little out of papers. So it was the first thing I really tried. Also because there was a good paper shop near where I was working. They had lots of papers there, way more than in the shops I knew in London. I just thought that it could be something I could do at my desk. It didn’t take up a lot of space. With paper I can cut really tiny little details and put all that together. So it felt the best fit for what I was wanting to work with.

So you wanted to work with your hands on something really detailed.

Yeah, the first thing I made was that white one on my desk.

I just wanted to make lots of details because it’s really pleasing. It’s like meditating to work out how to build something that big. Then I just stuck with it. Because it was so versatile as well. There hasn’t been anything that I couldn’t make with paper. It’s not like “I reach the limit now”. I’m still learning new techniques to make bigger things, or small things. I made something that was 4 metres, and something that was 2 metres and a bit. So far it’s pretty good.

How long did it take you to make that first thing?

I did that while I wasn’t busy with my old job. It took me a bit longer because it was the first time I tried to work with paper since I was like 8. I just really wanted to get a feel for it. So I really laboured over different things to work out other things. Maybe I did it for a couple of 3 weeks, 4 weeks, or like a month.

Could you describe a typical process of making a commissioned paper illustration? After the brief, did you make a sketch in Illustrator and send it to the client?

Either in Illustrator or Photoshop. It depends on what I’m envisioning. I don’t really do sketch by hand. I used to be really good at drawing and really good at painting but I haven’t honed those skills for a while. So therefore, at least when I do it digitally, I can erase things and I’m not screwed.

That makes sense.

I just do basic things in Illustrator or Photoshop and write the treatment. So I find references, I find a colour palette, then I send them off with a basic sketch. If the client likes that, I’ll take things to the next level. A lot of things I’ve kind of worked out a little bit as I go.

Yeah, you can never know exactly from the beginning.

Noooo. Because the pink I’ve said worked in Photoshop. But when you buy a paper, you can’t get the exact colour and sometimes you’re like “oh I said it’s going to be pink, and the pink that they have is just slightly the wrong hue but it’s not quite working.” And also think about the light difference. I mean, you can spend time creating a proper 3D rendering – lots of time you hear – but that’s a full-time job as well. So sometimes if I’m building things out, I have to really get a feel for it, and then be like “oh that isn’t quite how it looked when it held the flat colours together once I’ve made them into a 3D sculpture.” There is a little bit of research and development in every job. Then I make slight alterations and send them back and get them approved and then the thing takes off.

So there are constant iterations back and forth between you and the client.

Yeah, subtle changes can make a big difference. It’s the most amusing when you’re going to the paper shop, and you don’t even think of a colour, and then they have this really gorgeous colour. When you see it, you’re like “oh that would really work!” Then you can take a photograph of it and send that off and say “oh I found something else. What do you think of that?” It’s good just to keep going back to the paper shop as well. Sometimes you’re just really stuck and think that the samples you’ve bought are all you have. Sometimes my samples aren’t quite working, then I just have to remember just to go back to the store because there are probably something else in there. Don’t just get locked in to what you’ve already purchased. Go back and find something else and fix that solution. Paper shop is good.

How long have you been working with paper?

5 years, maybe 6 years. But there were a couple of years where, just for personal reasons, I had a lot of self-doubts about things. Bad relationships and whatever. You can just loose faith in what you’re doing. It’s quite a leap of faith to be a real illustrator. So a couple of those years I wasn’t really motivated and doing what I was supposed to be doing.

How did you get out of that?

Change the relationship. Simple as that really. Now it’s really good again. Because with this type of work, you have to work 12, 14, or 16 hours a day. Sometimes you can’t plan holidays. “Oh great! I’m free now. Let’s go away for 2 weeks.” That’s how I work. But people are like “Let’s book something now 3 months away,” and I’m like “No, because I might get a big job. I can’t time it now.” So you have to be around the right kind of people, I think, just to keep motivating you.

So the problem you had in the past was only personal, and nothing in the work itself?

It reflects into your work. If I want to talk about an idea, I’ll feel encouraged or really excited. And if you’re speaking to people and they aren’t excited and they don’t want to hear and they’re kind of like “Why are you doing that?” Then that effects your thought process and the whole thing.

Right, it’s all interconnected.

Yeah totally. I think art, if you really love it, is not a job. Some people are like “It’s just a job,” and I’m like “It’s not just a job, it’s my everything.” It makes me so happy. If I couldn’t do this, I don’t even know what I’d do. I think the first time when you first start something, you don’t really know where it’s going. Then you really get into it and now after 5 years, I’m like “Holy shit!” Before I was like “Can I survive doing this?” and that was my priority. And now I’m really like “I can survive doing it,” but also “How can I make this more of a business? How can I survive for longer, not just like a really quick flash in the pan kind of thing and then nothing?” So that’s what I’m trying to work out and just take it a bit more to the next level. It’s really exciting because it uses both parts of your brain. It’s not just like “Oh this is pretty”, but you really have to think “how do I?” It’s pretty mathematical. There wasn’t really any other job that I was using both sides of my brain.

So it’s all positive for you when it comes to doing paper illustration? Even if you don’t have the right paper colour?

I do get obsessive with that. I’m lying in bed going “It’s not working!” and then I feel sick because it’s not working. I have to fix it and make it work. I’d never submit anything that I wasn’t happy with. You pour your heart into something and if it’s not working, you don’t want to give it to somebody who’s paying for it. It has to work and it has to be perfect.

What do you do with the models you don’t send to clients?

I just store them. I’ve been carrying my houses around since I made them 5 years ago. I’ve been moving them from location to location. Then I can’t keep them anymore and I started to just get rid of them and recycle them. Also maybe my friends want something. Once I made some monkeys for a job that is coming out recently and I kept only one. The client wanted a couple of it and my friends gave them to their kids to pin on the wall.

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The journey to where you are now is hard.

It’s hard because you don’t know where the ladder is to climb. It’s not like I can get hired at this working for somebody. If there was a full-time paper-making company, I’d love that company. I’d go in, I’d work for them, then I’d just climb the ladder and I can grow being there to be a CD one day or be whatever. But there wasn’t that kind of structure with this stuff.

Would you make your own company now?

I don’t know. I wish.

What kind of advice would you give someone who has to go through the journey of being an independent artist?

You’ll have to be kind of blind with self-belief. If you don’t have that, which was what I was losing at one point, you can’t do it. It takes a lot out of you, I think, to do something that is exhausting both emotionally and mentally. So it has to really be a passion. It can’t be just a job I suppose. Because you have to use your personal time as well as your normal working time. And if you have that, and you know that you want to do it, you’re there.

About the self-doubts during the way?

You can ignore them away, and think of the next project. When self-doubt creeps in, just think of something else to do. To think of another project, that is a positive thought.

The first thing you made was the white house, then a stop motion. How did you decide what to make next?

This is what I’ve learned while I’m on a job: to always have another idea of the next thing you want to do. Sometimes you work so many long hours and you give everything. If you don’t have something to move on to next, you can just be really tired and emotionally drained. It’s not just the job, you’re not just giving normal job hours, you’re giving everything and you’re so tired. Then you need to have a little bit of excitement back in your life again. I think the only way I’ve learned to do that is going “Ooh I can make this now!”, then I take a few days off, ground myself again, and I can get excited because I know what I want to start making and I’m working towards that. Now I’ve got a journal where I have a list of all the things that I want to start doing – 4 personal projects. I’m good now.

I can see that thinking up the next projects helps, instead of finishing one assignment and wondering what will come next.

Exactly. I did that for a while. It’s hard to find inspiration when you’re struggling for inspiration, whereas if you confidently keep thinking then you keep the momentum.

After the stop motion, why did you decide to send your work to a production company?

Not many people were working with paper at the time and I thought paper would be good for stop motion. And there wasn’t a load of paper stop motions around. That’s why I invested in creating a bigger stop motion. That stop motion was pretty big and I was just in my living room as a one-man-making band. People shot it and I was so lucky to have a good production company just finish it off, which was amazing. I thought it was good enough to talk to some people. There was an amount of companies and not lots of people got back to me. But just the right person has to get back to you and give you a job and it’s all worth it.

So you just keep knocking on doors until the right one opens.

Yeah exactly, because if you don’t knock, they’ll never open.

Here comes the last question: What is the wildest thing that you want to make with paper?

I think making a full functioning guillotine is pretty wild. I don’t know if I can ever go more wild than that really. I think it’s pretty out there. This film about Amsterdam is weird. I love to make things that are a little different, more complicated, and have more ‘wow’ factor. So I want to keep making things slightly difficult for myself. If I make a replica, I find it boring because it’s really simple. A few people can have a similar style to me, but I think the best thing to do is trying is to stay more unique and weird.

Not until recently do I realise what my strength is while remaking my website and going through stuff and I’m like “Oh I need to add that type of work again.” It’s good to review yourself and see “What was the most successful? Why was that successful? Oh because I did really put all that effort into making that super unique instead of just trying to churn out work and trying to compete with people.” This is what I’ve only just realised this year. You always have to keep living and learning what your strength is. Now I think that my portfolio is looking ok now. I think it represents who I kind of am and the direction I want to go in. So now to take it further, I need to just keep grabbing that essence of what I’m doing before. I’ll still keep being weird.

I know how to build a lot of things, but to not know how to build something and then to learn how to build something, that keeps me enthusiastic. I set a rocket to the Stratosphere last year.

That was pretty cool. We put that on a weather balloon and they just went out there in the atmosphere. It survived going 35000 feet! I never thought that I could send something paper through the clouds that would totally survive. I’m really hoping that I keep getting more collaborations like that – scientific or weird. That’s what I think I want to keep being in an essence, not just being an illustrator but being more storytelling and finding more interesting ways to use papers in unexpected ways. Things like that excite me, things that are just unexpected and that I can learn from. I love learning.

Thank you Mandy!

Scroll down to see the absolutely gorgeous paper artwork Mandy has made:

“Tonkatom” – Mandy was invited to create a sculpture using the magazine as inspiration for an exhibition with a variety of paper artists including Ingrid Siliakus and Richard Sweeney. The dress itself is made from over 650 cocktail umbrellas that are covered with sections of the magazine to create an intricate coral like dress.

“Actimel” – This visually exciting piece was to showcase all the good things that can be found in Actimel. The art direction was to be exciting, and dynamic to show off the new recipe of Actimel. Mandy had to mix lots of different textures and colours to highlight every unique ingredient and capture their own personality. All was brought to life by photographer Sam Hofman.

“Paper Cuts” – This is an interactive paper sculpture that invites people to experience the world’s most recognizable instrument of death, head first. This experience brings a new twist to this infamous apparatus while arousing people’s natural fascination for the macabre. It will transform a powerful and oppressive symbol of death into a thing of beauty. Delicate, inviting and something people may even line up for. Voluntarily this time.

And every time the paper blade falls a camera will be triggered to capture the expression of the those who have put their neck on the line for an art experience like no other. Each fearful facial expression, forever immortalised on the PaperCuts-Exhibtion.com.

This piece is the first collaboration between artists Mandy Smith and Hal Kirkland. What began as a simple creative sit-down in an Amsterdam bar eventually manifested into the 3.8-meter behemoth it is today.

Mandy had always been disturbed by the idea of capital punishment since she was young and had begun to play with the idea of creating a series of deadly devices while juxtaposing them with the fragility and beauty of paper art. Hal suggested creating one at full-size, transforming the piece into a sculpture that allowed paper art – an art form usually too delicate to touch – to become inherently interactive. Both artists unified their craft, interactive skills sets and before long Paper Cuts was born.

“Gramophone” – A personal piece showing the alternate end to the played cartoon notes.

“Sand Paper” – In a twist to break away from conventional paper, Mandy chose to work with a paper more familiar to builders and DIY enthusiasts – sandpaper. Working with photographer Bruno Drummond, they brought to life all the textures to make this series into slightly uncomfortable creations. Innocuous everyday objects took on a new sense of menace in the series that balanced a playful sense of humour and a slightly sinister undertone.

“The Move” – the first stop motion Mandy made. Inspired by moving house in Amsterdam.

“Glass Worlds” – This is a personal piece to explore the idea of repeated paper animations. The whole project was crafted by hand with the little men’s sizes range from 2mm in the octopus scene to 6mm tall in the kite scene. Each world has it’s own contained repeating story and looping soundtrack.

“Velvet” – This is a stop frame animation made out of paper, toilet paper and tissues. Each layer was lit with different green acetate to create the rich green gradient and each layer was hand cut to create 9 layers of separate animations that were hung and shot. This piece is part of a two part series, all can be found on Vimeo along with the making of.

“Toyota – Stories of Better” – This was a very exciting job with hundreds of replacements and props built to bring this epic stop motion to life. Finding the right papers to make realistic, accurately shaped Toyota cars but keeping that handmade style was the biggest challenge. The piece was to be played as their central brand film for the Paris Motor Show. So getting a sleek car feel without being a graphical interpretation was important. Having strong dynamic shapes and colours and with everything shot in camera shows the versatility of the medium to create such a strong piece of branded content.

“Kelloggs Storybook” – Collaborating with pop-up book engine David Hawcock, Mandy created a an ambitious paper craft construction for Kellogg’s first master brand campaign for the UK, showing “seed to spoon” story in reverse. Director Yves Geleyn wanted to create a book with intricate moving parts and characters to create rich worlds springing from the pages from start to finish.

“Oddka Frocktail” – Vice asked Mandy to produce a dress of odd and imaginative art direction to launch the story of Oddka’s Milkshake vodka. She dreamt up the solution by telling the story of “Oddka Production” through layers of a live animated storyboard. Each layer showcased a different stage of the “Oddka Production” process from strawberry eating cows, to a milking carousel, though to flavour infusing windmills. To bring the dress into a 2m tall, 250 moving part reality, Mandy teamed up with production designers Herbert Luciole.

“PNC Georgia – Russian Dolls” – The world of banking receives a charm filled make over in the form of a ATM Russian dolls stop motion animation.

“De Volkskrant – Verboden Boeken (Forbidden books)” – Using stop motion and animating up to 80 individual elements of 2mm thick, Mandy meticulously brought to life the fitting book titled “Franz Kafka’s Metamorphosis” and reversed the act of censorship in an eerie and stand out TV spot for the national dutch newspaper, De Volkskrant.

Translation: De Volkskrant presents (“the people’s newspaper presents”) forbidden books. The 20 best books you were not allowed to read. They caused havoc and controversy because they shocked people in a political, religious or erotic sense. Part 1 by Franz Kafka comes free with tomorrow’s Volkskrant.

“Special K – The Box” – Mandy art directed this stop frame animation that was released to celebrate Special K’s first recipe change in over 30 years. It was a product of literally spending hours folding paper to try and find new ways paper can animate, combined with traditional origami patterns. Mandy even got to bring to life and recreate the famous Special K lady with the classic red dress, out of paper. The animation took it’s shape through intricate folds, creases and pleats to symbolize Special K’s transformation.

This post was first published on Kuvva blog.

Interview with Mandy Smith about her incredible journey and aspiration as a papersmith

Núria Madrid shares her neat & dazzling 3D illustrations

“I’m Núria Madrid, a freelance designer + art director born and raised in sunny Barcelona. After working for several years in advertising agencies as an art director, now I try to focus more on 3D illustration.”

Núria told us, and we’re sure happy that she did. It’s jaw-dropping to see Núria’s 3D creations. Anyone would’ve wondered: “Is that real?… Or 3D renders?” They just look so flawlessly fabulous and gorgeously convincing.

Each model is so carefully crafted with great attention to details. Núria’s ability to juggle with different materials and let them interact with each other through reflection, shadow and lighting is pure genius. It gives the viewers an tremendous satisfying feeling. Some makes you think “this is real”, while some is “too beautiful to be real” and you’re just happy that it’s there for you to see.

So we’re super excited to have Núria Madrid talk about the behind-the-scenes of her latest splendid 3D artwork. Enjoy, and don’t forget that you can see even more great work on her website, Behance, Instagram.

Project 1 – 3D Alphabet

“I decided to participate in this year’s “36 days of type”. I think it is a very interesting project (made by Nina Sans and Rafa Goicoechea) that challenges you to make a type every day and tag it on Instagram. It was great to follow other artists’ types and see how everyone gives their particular view on the different signs in our alphabet.”

“I decided to make it 100% with 3D softwares because it’s a way to practice and try lots of techniques and ideas. By that moment, I hadn’t used a lot of 3D illustrations in my work, so that project encouraged me to practice. Sometimes I thought of an idea and executed it within the same day. Other times I thought of an idea for a letter and began to sketch it out for a few days. I made the sketch directly on 3D softwares because I didn’t have much time.

Some days it was hard to participate and make something awesome, because at the same time we all have our regular job. But a lot of great artists made the effort to post lots of stunning types.”

Project 2 – “Kyoto”

“My project “Kyoto” is part of a workshop about Cinema4D. I made it because I liked the teacher’s work a lot. So I thought it could be fun and inspiring to try. I visited Japan years ago when I was 21. I loved Kyoto, it was my favorite city for its blend of traditional and modern Japan.”

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“I wanted to do some illustrations in isometric perspective and full of details and objects. I found a lot of reference images in that point of view, so I started to sketch the elements and the main geometric structure with easy geometric pieces. For the colors, I made a color scheme that I liked and decided to use only 3 or 4 simple glossy and sticky materials.”

Project 3 – “Economia” Mag September

“I was commissioned to make the September’s cover and interior feature about this year’s rich list on a British magazine called Economia. I was given complete freedom to compose the images. The only requirement was to show the areas where all these rich people made their business (aviation, football, industrials, hotel, technology). I wanted to do something fun and flashy to contrast with the seriousness of the magazine.”

“First I modeled all the elements that I had in mind and then built everything around the headline. I spent most of the time making the composition, then deciding the color palette. First I used lots of colors but it looked a bit muddy, so I narrowed down to only three colors. This project was a collaboration with Cristian Malagón.”

This blog was first published on Kuvva blog.

Núria Madrid shares her neat & dazzling 3D illustrations

Meet MARTÍN AZAMBUJA and his cordial illustrations

We’re soo excited to feature the gorgeous set of wallpapers by Martín Azambuja on Kuvva! Check all of them here if you haven’t. The artwork are minimal with a compelling touch on the details. Maybe it’s the pattern, the texture, the composition, the colour, etc. It can go on and on, you can’t pinpoint why, and your eyes are still transfixed. That’s what great artwork does, that’s what a talented illustrator can make. Martín Azambuja is one as such. So we knocked on his door and had this opportunity to have him share the details of the love of his life.

Hi Martín! Please tell us something about who you are and what you are passionate about.

Hello! My name is Martín Azambuja, I am 27 years old and I work as a designer and illustrator based in Montevideo, Uruguay. 

From childhood I was attracted to drawing. I remember several times I drew without doing anything else for hours. I liked sketching things I saw and drew pencil portraits of people, always with pencil. I enjoyed playing with shadows and strokes to get different tones. I remember my parents were surprised at how I could spend hours just drawing a house, a tree, a landscape, etc… I really enjoyed it. 

When the first computer arrived at my house, I remember I illustrated many things in the classic program called “Paint”. At that time, I drew with the mouse anything close by like album covers, book covers, etc. I don´t have these files anymore : (

When I was growing up, I always thought about studying architecture. But then I was introduced to graphic design profession through a one-day workshop, and I chose this career. No doubt it should be a career in which illustration is important. Right now most of my work is illustration stuff.

I’m lucky that my parents have encouraged me to do what I want since my childhood. Their support to me is very important in order to go through 4 years of design college.

Could you share some insights into your current illustration style?

Since I’m interested in graphic design and illustration, what always catches my attention is Swiss design and the designers of that era. Many things resolved with few elements, but the composition was always excellent thanks to those invisible grids. Until today I still like many designs from that time, and I think that subconsciously I introduce them to my work in terms of simplicity in form, items and composition.

I do not think I have a very personal style or super identifiable as other illustrators, but I always work and think with the same parameters and try to make the same choices when it comes to work: grid, geometry, clear and orange, always orange! haha. I have flexibility for different types of work while keeping certain basis, which I believe to improve the final design or illustration.

Could you describe your illustrating process?

Anytime I am contacted for a job, I try to know well the situation and what the client is looking for to send an adequate and well-detailed budget. After that, I also have some questions (similar to a brief) that sometimes I send to the client to get more information. This is good because it forces the client to become more involved in the project and to provide information that sometimes is impossible to get since I’m not in the physical place or in his head. 

After the work is confirmed, I start researching a lot about the project, seeing things that the client has done before, similar things from other brands, who is the target audience of the illustration or design, which is to be used, etc. Without doubt, this is one of the most important parts because you’re filling your head with some information that consciously or unconsciously you’re going to use. It also serves to learn new things that in some cases you wouldn’t get the chance.
 
After obtaining this information, I move to the step-by-step sketch. My pencil sketches are pretty basic and even sometimes I’m embarrassed to show them. I think this also depends on the client. Sometimes the basic sketch can confuse people, so I prefer to send a little more advanced vectors showing the process I made to get that solution. Then if it is approved, I move to a final phase in which I work in details of the illustration and sometimes I even make small changes to get to the final version. Always I work with Adobe Illustrator and sometimes I make some final touches with Photoshop but honestly, I work 99% with Illustrator. I like the clean shapes and I feel comfortable with that program.

How do you think being featured on Kuvva platform will help you?

Since I saw Kuvva, I like the illustrators they have and also how the platform works. It’s great to be part of this list and I also want my work to reach a diverse audience and elsewhere. I think every platform can help your work if you use it the right way.

And last but not least: do you have any future project in mind?

Right now I’m doing a lot of things based on my city. I want to illustrate the place where I live and to give a different point of view. These things include maps, stamps and other local things. I am also working on a project with the friends from Lost Type, hope you can see something soon!

Thanks Martín!

Scroll down to see all the wonderful artwork Martín has for licensing on Kuvva! You can see more of Martín’s great artwork on his website, Dribbble, Behance, Twitter, Instagram.

“Deer”

“Plane I”

“Plane II”

“Music I”

“Music II”

“Dinner Is Ready”

“Kitchen Shapes”

“Cocina”

This blog was first published on Kuvva blog.

Meet MARTÍN AZAMBUJA and his cordial illustrations

The splendid illustrations & their making by Brian Miller

Brian Edward Miller, the awesome illustrator at Orlin Culture Shop, based in Colorado (USA), started out and worked as a graphic designer for more than 10 years. But he eventually rediscovered his love for illustration and stories and went for it.

We’re so glad he did. The professional illustration Brian has produced is utterly mesmerizing. It’s a killer combo of masterful lighting, super rad textured brushes, fresh, clean shapes, and vibrant colours. Everything composes a perfect harmony.

His work may look like a vintage advertising poster and that it was crafted by traditional tools. But except for the sketching phase, Brian works 100% digitally in Photoshop using a Wacom Cintiq. He has a particularly diligent and dedicated approach to his illustrations. Knowing this process is extremely helpful for aspiring illustrators. Let’s dive in Brian’s world with the 2 projects below. Then see more of his great work at his website, Twitter, Pintrest, and Tumblr.

EDITORIAL ILLUSTRATION – “Field & Stream: First Hunt”

“The story I was asked to illustrate was written by Rick Bass. As a father of children who are growing way faster than I want them too, I was very moved by Rick’s story. It was inspiring and really helped get me in the right mindset to create a piece that feels as much a tribute to my daughter and I as it does to Rick and his daughter. I was given the brief by Russ Smith. My wonderful agent, Deborah Wolfe, helped lock in all the details so I was freed up to create.”
 
“After reading the story and understanding the size of the article as well as the estimated placement of the article title, I did a few sketches using my trusty Col-Erase blue & red pencils on cheap printer paper. I find cheap printer paper ideal for sketching because it prevents me from being overly concerned with wasting materials as I search for my ideas. Here are the two ideas I came up with:”


“Even though I could most likely use my thumbnail drawings to send to my clients, I like to tighten my rough sketches up in Photoshop and figure out placement of elements digitally. I always enjoy this transition from paper to digital so its a step I do more for myself. The more I enjoy the process, the better the results (usually).”


“Once Russ approved the sketch, it was time for me to produce the final illustration. I’ve enjoyed working in black and white initially as part of my process for some time because it allows me to focus on a few elements at a time: composition, lighting, texture, etc. Since I’m working 100% digitally in Photoshop, I can control the color and placement with ease, making minor adjustments as needed.”


“The black and white version helps to set the overall mood of the piece, but color is what helps draw out the tone and emotion in a more vivid way. Because color is so powerful in eliciting emotion, I like to focus on it exclusively in its own step in my process. Here are the two color options I developed for the story:”


“I left the final decision to Russ and with that, the illustration was completed.”

COMMERCIAL ILLUSTRATION – “Banana Boat”

“Early in 2015, I had the distinct honor and privilege of working with the fine folks at JWT on “The Great Big Family Reunion” campaign for Banana Boat. The project was so much fun and entailed a banana boat load of work, ranging from a fully illustrated website, 20+ custom characters, and 70+ spot illustrations which would be animated by Transistor Studios.”

“The Great Big Family Reunion” Website:

“Working on the website for this campaign was a lot of fun. The idea was to create a single, stretching scene which users would transition from a fun day at the beach to an afternoon in the backyard simply by scrolling. Working on these kinds of sites is always a great joy for me because it lets me work in a unified palette and story tell using the strengths of the web medium.”


“I put together 2-3 thumbnail sketches to get my ideas on paper and then moved to digital pencils in photoshop to lay down the composition. Below are the 2 thumbnail sets I did just to get the ideas down.”

Characters

“In addition to website, I was able to design 20 characters which would be used throughout the site and animated spots. I really enjoyed designing these characters and am pleased with how they came out.”

Content Videos

“The last step of this campaign was to illustration over 75 spot illustrations which would be used in the content videos animated by Transistor Studios. Check out the videos here. These kinds of spot illustrations can be a lot of fun, and even though the turnaround time was quick (4-5 days!), I’m happy with the results.”

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This blog was first published on Kuvva blog.

The splendid illustrations & their making by Brian Miller