30 Jun 2016
We met Mercedes Bellido at Les Arts PRO 2016, and after listening to her views about the illustration profession, we just knew we had to intreview her. Mercedes is from Zaragoza, but lives at Madrid, where she combines illustration work with her own unique style, art direction for fashion firm Kling, and an intense activity on social media (specially Instagram).
Tell us a bit about yourself: How did the road began for you to get into art and illustration?
I decided to study Fine Arts at Cuenca and that was the igniter for me to take risks and devote myself to painting and illustration.
Where do you find inspiration for your work, and how do you melt your sources of inspiration to create a unique style like yours?
I get inspiration from different things and sources. I got clear referents like Henri Rousseau, David Hockney, Aleksandra Waliszewska or Giorgio De Chirico, but I don't get influenced only by painters or artists. I get inspiration from childhood memories, things that draw my attention during the day-to-day, or books I've recently read. The most important thing is to find the way to make these ideas real and make them your own.
Aside from your personal production, you also work as Art Director at the fashion firm Kling. Does it get difficult to alternate both worlds? What are your views on the relation between illustration and fashion?
It gets really difficult to get all the time needed. But with lots of effort, persistence, and good time management, it is possible to get everything done. The most important thing is a good motivation, it is impossible without that.
Illustration always has had an important role on fashion, from mannequins and sketching new clothings, to prints and patterns. I think illustration and fashion go really well together and results are always interesting.
You've got a strong social media presence. How much time do you spend managing your personal brand? Do you think the influencer phenomenom is a temporary fashion or will become a new profession?
I spend much more time that I'd like in social media. Social media is a powerful tool to spread your job and portfolio, but they consume an insane amount on time. It's not only posting stuff, but replying to comments and also keeping an eye on people's reaction to things.
I think bloggers, tweetstars and instagrammers will be fashionable until the next hot thing comes up. But right now, for me it is just like another job.
What good (and bad) things do you feel the Internet and the new technologies have brought to your field?
I think Internet is key to show your work and access content everywhere. A negative aspect can be that your work is more easy to steal, but that's a risk you take before playing the Internet game. The most important thing is to keep working and using Internet in an addecuate fashion.
And last, but not least: any advice for aspiring artists and illustrators just starting up their careers?
I guess my advice would be: lots of effort, set up your own little goals to prevent burn-out, and seek a personal style to be comfortable with.
Thanks a lot, Mercedes!
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