I think very chaotically and I’m not great at making decisions

Marina Fernández

ART  .  November 1st, 2019

Can you please introduce yourself?

I am a Spanish illustrator currently living in Seville.

How did you become an illustrator?

I’ve always liked drawing scenes from made up stories and was obsessed with picture books and animations. But when I went to Fine Arts in Seville I didn’t know what to choose, I wanted to try too many things. Illustration wasn’t an option and I started focusing on painting, then sculpture, then stage design and theater costumes and finally printmaking, which brought me back to drawing, what I enjoyed the most after all.

How was it to graduate?

I graduated in 2011 and I felt a bit lost, like I didn’t know what was next
I didn’t have a planned a path or anything, I knew I liked printmaking so I spent another 2 years focusing on that. Then I worked in other things and in 2016 some friends and I decided to set up a screen printing table and try to get into some illustration fairs.

What are the best tracks to listen to when drawing?

I don’t always listen to the same but, to say some, I quite like this ones
Helium album by Homeshake
Faking Jazz Together by Connan Mockasin
Mary Always by Khruangbin
Nina by Crumb 

Where do you like to sketch?

Anywhere that is calm.

What happens in your head when you’re drawing?

I wouldn’t know how to answer to that, I guess that if I’m sketching I let my mind wander and I think about concepts or stories and when I have a clearer idea of what I want to represent, I concentrate on layouts and color combinations that reflects those ideas or moods in a more or less interesting or personal way.

Can you tell us about your process?

My process is not always the same, but most of the time I work on compositions with ideas and sketches from little notebooks I keep. Sometimes I do that on paper, sometimes directly on the computer. After doing a linear rough, I start applying colors and working with them in separate layers. I keep the main structure in the drawing but I move the elements around as I go, adding and taking down bits.

What inspires your colors?

To me colors are very important to set a specific mood or atmosphere, but they are also influenced by the riso inks available in the studio or sometimes special palettes I want to try.

What catches your eye when you walk around in the street?

The weather, animal cuteness, plants, some buildings and sculptures, torn down houses when you can see the room divisions, shiny things, murals, graphics and signs, something unusual on the street and I guess anything out of the ordinary.

What do you talk about through your work?

It depends, but it’s often like an inner dialogue that can involve ideas from current daylife scenes, basic physical reactions and emotions or just personal wonders about things.

How would you name these?


“Saturn”, song by Ghum


Animalito piedra (“little animal”)

Your work tends to be a little trippy… How does your imagination work? How are your dreams?

I don’t know, I think very chaotically and I’m not great at making decisions. When I think about something there’s always more than one story coming from it, and in my work I let them be. So normally there’s a few ideas or narratives sharing a space. Regarding dreams, I only remember bits but I think they look pretty standard, sometimes happier and sometimes darker, but a bunch of images from things I’ve experienced or just seen no matter when, organized with no apparent logic and where odd things happen. When I draw, I like connecting ideas and images in a similar way.

How do you work on the textures of your illustrations?

I use textured brushes, mostly a couple that look like pencils or pastels and a few airbrushes. Also, I throw some grainy textures and overlay a differ pattern on top if it’s going to be digitally displayed or printed. But if it’s to be risoprinted I don’t add anything else because the machine already does a better job.

How much are you involved in the process?

I have always worked with Ultimo Mono so far and they always do a great job. We share the studio space so I get to be there all the time if I can make it. I try to help because I enjoy the process, but I don’t do the printing myself.

What other artist do you think someone who likes your work would like too?

Among contemporary artist I like are Blexbolex, Aidan Koch or Icinori.

What’s your favorite graphic novel/comic book?

I like many, in this specific moment I’m going to say Flower Dust by Cory Feder.

Thank you Marina!

Marina Fernández is a Spanish illustrator, you can see her work on instagram.