12 Nov 2014
We are back with our interview series with more great artists from our home city, Valencia. This time we had the great pleasure of interviewing Laura Pérez, in our humble opinion one of the most important figures in the spanish illustration scene, who works regullarly with clients such as The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal o National Geographic (among others).
How did you get into the world of illustration? Was it what you wanted to do in the first place?
Everything started with me getting in the Fine Arts Degree at University (my other option was psychology). Being there I saw clearly that drawing was what I could do best. I learned more about color theory later, and illustration was the field where I could combine both subjects. I had found what I wanted to do!
I decided to send my work to a lot of free and paid platforms on the Internet, and on one of them the Anna Goodson Illustration Agency (Canada) did notice me, and I haven't stopped working since then. I also work with Pencil Ilustradores (who are based in Spain), so I can mix work from Spain and abroad, as well as personal projects.
I just didn't know whant I wanted to do, just drawing, but I didn't know how this passion would become a profession. It looks it did!
You have worked for clients in UK, USA, Canada.. Are there many differences between those markets and the Spanish market? What is the best way for illustrators to reach this kind of clients?
The main differences are budgets and deadlines. Most companies from USA have really long instalments, so the artists can develop better their work. But there also spanish companies working this way now. I used to generalize more in the past, but now I see good and bad things in all markets. Organization and planning is key to make everything work as good as possible, wherever you are.
The best thing an illustrator can do is to internationalize her portfolio (english is better) with topic variety (but not style variety). And always be aware of the trends out there.
What qualities does a client and project need to have for you to feel comfortable and motivated?
It needs to "click" with me, the ideas I have to express have to be aligned with what I would do. Coherent instalments and deadlines are very important to make me feel comfortable.
Early this year you organized Valencia Illustration Circuit first edition. How did it all start, and how was the experience? What new things are coming with the next edition?
It all started small with a collective exhibition, and then it all grow quickly to other venues. The results overexceed any expectations I had, and this year we've got a lot of novelties coming: the team behind is bigger and the agenda will be broader. More news coming soon!
What good (and bad) things do you feel the Internet and the new technologies have brought to the illustrator profession?
With the Internet you can reach any place if you are really determined to. Emails, links, access to information: it's so huge that is very easy to reach but very difficult to get focus.
The negative side is that the huge overload of information can be overwhelming for some: it can block your imagination rather than inspiring it. You have to use it as a tool to reach your objectives, and not a time-wasting black hole.
And last, but not least: any advice for aspiring illustrators just starting up their careers?
Don't give up if your are really passionate about it. If you are tired from drawing and it gives you more pain than joy, then give up. The passion is really what makes a difference.
Thank you Laura!
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