ARTIST OF THE WEEK: CRISTINA DAURAOctober 13, 2017
Barcelona-based illustrator Cristina Daura perfectly meshes the worlds of comics and illustration into a visual explosion of colour, wit and abstract shapes. Her work, inspired most often by music and stories, tells her stories through single images that capture every emotion and feeling she wants to express. We talk to her about Barcelona, how she got started in the illustration world and aesthetics…
When did your interest in art start?
I don’t really know when that interest started but I do remember that since I was a child I liked looking at images, books, photos (family photos, magazines, etc), cartoons on tv, movies and I also drawings and paintings. I guess that’s the start, being more interested in images than words although in the end words and images overlap.
What got you interested in illustration specifically?
I didn’t know that “illustration” as a term/profession existed until I was 19 when someone told me that I could be an illustrator rather than an artist, although I think sometimes an artist can be an illustrator and vice versa. So when I decided to start my career as an illustrator I put my eye on everything that sounded as illustration.
How would you describe your aesthetic?
I like to described as something very personal that can be seen as a comic and an illustration. That can explain you a story (or different stories) in one same image. I usually try to, when it’s a commission where the client asks me to do whatever i want, use personal stories, talk about people that are close to me, strange situations that I found myself in my life, etc. All these trying to use a very small color palette and usually very basic (red, blue and yellow).
How did you decide upon and refine your style?
I decided to unite two things that I truly love that is comics and illustration. I had enough working as illustrator for stuff that I hated and even made me detest drawing and one day a friend asked me to be part of a very nice project for the Town Hall of Madrid and told me to do whatever I wanted. That was, for me, my breakthrough moment and decided to send everything to hell and start to use and draw whatever I wanted. I found myself happy again and since it seemed that that was really what clients were starting to ask I decided to left my half time job (babysitting) and work as full time illustrator. That was two years ago.
What are your favourite materials to work with?
Now I’m happy working with my Cintiq mostly.
What’s the Barcelona art scene like and how does it inspire you?
I don’t know how I could describe the Barcelona art scene or at least the illustration-comic part, but I guess that it has different layers and you can find people expressing their work with very abstract, weird and fantastic images dealing with more common and commercial work. I guess both can live together. But what I really like is to talk to other illustrators, to meet in some event or presentation and just talk and relax.
Can you tell us about your creative process?
I usually start by taking a long shower or just looking somewhere where I cannot be distracted by other images, later on I usually put music and draw whatever comes first (related or not with the commission or whatever I have to do) and this process can take a lot of time. Music really helps to put ideas on paper. Then later I start by trying to figure out how to distribute the story, or images in the same illustration.
What are you often inspired by?
Music, any kind, and sordid stories.
Where do you like to work and why?/strong>
Depends on the process. If is just to get ideas I try to go to bars or cafeterias, ask for coffee and put music on, very loud usually. I like to do that because in this process I like not to look at the phone and not having screens helps to clear my mind. And if I can have a coffee between my hands it’s much better. In the process of working the final art I work from my studio.
How have you seen your work develop since you started illustrating?
Now I can say that it’s being progressing and making it more the way I wanted, more like I am so now I see it happy. Years ago, just some month after I graduated from university, I looked it like garbage and pure shit.
Do you have any projects coming up that you can tell us about?
Right now I’m working in two illustrated books that will come out in 2018, but nothing personal just illustrating the words of other people which is fine too. A part from that I’m working in different short projects but I’m really looking forward to have time and do something much personal.