Many thanks to guest poster Joanna Fallon.
Montreal based Carolina Espinosa is a great example of an Illustrator who thrives on keeping busy. Outside of creating her beautifully composed collage illustrations, she also manages to work as a Graphic Designer, Art Director, organise collectives and recently added being a mother to her list of activities! Inspired by her proactive approach after meeting on an Illustration forum, she kindly agreed to share her process:
Where do you get your inspiration from?
One of my main sources of inspiration is from books; when I read a story, I always imagine the atmosphere, the characters, the action as an illustration in my head. I see ways to illustrate metaphors and many of my books are full of post-its to mark ideas I want to illustrate. Words are also a big influence.
I always start my illustration from a concept, then I just brainstorm around that word trying to make new associations and ideas. Also, since I collect a lot of images for my collage, I often feel inspired by them. I see a certain image and I just know what I want to create with it.
What attracted you to using collage?
I had initially always been attracted to drawing, but with my Art Director background, I had a tendency to change my illustration style to match the look I thought the Client should have. Collage forces me to stick to one thing. And by sticking to one thing, I was able to really develop a personal style.
How do you create your collages?
I use a lot of old images. I really like the old Victorian engravings, which I’ve been collecting for over 6 years now. I have lots of binders and books with all sorts of images. I also love paper in all its form, so have a collection of origami papers, chinese papers, wallpapers, etc. which are great for adding pattern and texture.
I do my backgrounds by hand to get a more textured look, so I keep a stock of gouache, ink, watercolors, acrylics on standby. I even have some backgrounds made of making tape! To put everything together, I recently purchased a Xyron sticker machine – it’s great! You put your cutout image in one side and it comes out a sticker.
I also use a 0.05 micron pen to draw in all the extra elements and gesso or white gouache to fade out or remove some elements of the collage images.
What are you working on at the moment?
I’m currently finalising my zodiac series – only 2 signs left to do! After that, I want to start an alphabet book. With the recent birth of my daughter, I have been surrounded by baby things… and they have started to inspire me to make some of my own.
I’m also working on the launch of a new art collective called Alinea, due in February 2011, and that’s pretty much it. With illustration, graphic design contracts and a 5 month old, my life is pretty busy right now, but I love it that way.
ⓒ Carolina Espinosa 2010