Featured Artist – Marta Antelo

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How and when did you know that you wanted to become an illustrator?
I studied Fine Arts and in my second year I saw that most of my personal work was small in size and that my visual language was very illustrative. When my future partner met me that year he told me “I’ll take your work to the Illustrators Association”. That is when I started to receive my first assignments.

Where do you draw your inspiration from?
In old magazines, children’s books and the art of the early 20th Century. I love paint, so colors are very important in my work.

What is your earliest memory of creating art? (or drawing as a child)
I suppose when I was a teenager. At this stage I was very perceptive with art, I was discovering it. But a little earlier, from when I was eleven, I used to carry a sketchbook and spend many hours drawing.

What type of environment do you prefer to work in? At home or in a studio?
I like working at home, especially when there is bad weather. I usually listen to music and the radio.

As a working illustrator, do you still find time to create art for yourself?
I have little time for personal work, but I continue to draw everywhere.

What type of transition needs to be made between creating art for yourself
and creating art that is commissioned?

Commissioned art is always limited by delivery dates, dimensions, the story… so I love having enough time to experiment a little.

When you are creating commissioned work, how do you take yourself out of the project and focus on the idea that needs to be conveyed?
I underline the most important ideas, like when I was at school and we did a text analysis. I write down those ideas and look for synonyms, then draw the ideas with elements or objects, seeking visual metaphors.

What type of artwork do you have hanging in your home?
Sometime I hang the last illustrations I have done with tacks to analyze them. I hang my favorites too, and work from other illustrators (printed or original) like an engraving I bought some months ago or art that friends give me as presents. I also display puppets made by me.

What accomplishment so far in your life stands out as most important?
I can’t choose one, I suppose there are many because I consider myself to be a lucky person.

Who was the first illustrator that you noticed and admired?
I was very impressed when I discovered Pablo Amargo’s work, with his book “No todas las vacas son iguales”. He is a very talented Spanish contemporary illustrator.

Are there any other current illustrators that you feel you identify with or
share a similar style?

I try to have an original style and I admire many illustrators, both young and veterans, with different styles. I think my style is ‘naive’ so I identify myself with naive illustrators.

Do you read criticism done on your work?
When somebody writes criticism about an illustrator it is because he/she loves it, so it is always good criticism!

How do you deal with negative criticism?
I would not mind it as it is impossible for everyone to love you. Each person has his or her own personality.

What is your favorite way to get out of a creative block?
Go for a walk.

If you had to describe your body of work in one word, what would that word


What magazines do you personally read?
Spanish Magazines like “CLIJ” (about children’s literature), “El País semanal” a weekly magazine about current subjects, and sometimes “eñe” about contemporary writers.

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