Name: Mar Hernández
1. Tell us about yourself. What makes you tick?
My name is Mar Hernández. I consider myself a professional and vocational illustrator. I also work as a teacher and researcher at the Polytechnic University of Valencia in the Drawing Department of the Faculty of Fine Arts of San Carlos, Valencia, Spain.
My passion is drawing. I’m happiest when I hold a pencil in my hand and combine this activity with the teaching profession. I also give lectures, speaking about my work as illustrator, and I like to say “yes!” when I am invited to teach an illustration workshop in any city.
It’s been more than 6 years developing my work as a professional illustrator, leading my own studio: Malotaprojects. Thanks to my perseverance, all the hours spent drawing (and having fun doing it!), my restlessness and desire to do better each day — plus efforts to promote myself in media such as Internet or promotional books — I have worked for clients such as Private through the Argentine agency DonBue, and agencies such as Mccann Erickson Istambul, and Satchi & Satchi or SCPF, to name a few.
I am a responsible person. I place high demands on myself at work, but I know how to adapt to the requirements of each project. I consider myself a versatile illustrator. I have worked in many illustration areas — audiovisual, advertising, packaging, publishing — and I understand and know the requirements and peculiarities of each field.
2. How did you get started as an illustrator?
After several years working in advertising agencies as a designer I realized that the most enjoyable projects were those which had illustrations, so I decided to work on my own, looking for projects that have illustrations involved.
3. How did you find your style? Has it changed since you started?
In my opinion, the style of each person (and not just illustrators — also cooks, writers or anyone who simply selects his/her clothing) comes from the way we live. The style is influenced by each thing that happens in our lives, the books we read, the travels we make, the things that take time, the people we surround ourselves with, the things we eat. Our style is part of what we are, not something we cultivate in isolation. All these things influence my work and shapes my style.
My style has changed over the years, just as it has made my life. But despite these changes, there is an essence that remains and that is somehow also a reflection of who I am in essence.
4. Can you briefly explain your creative process, mediums, etc?
My creative process is to give more importance to the ideas above technique. The image is a language that helps me to convey certain messages or feelings.
The technique that I choose to develop each project is always conditioned by the idea that I want to transmit. Once I have it clear what I want or I have to tell, the choice of one technique or another is in the background and I always try to choose the tool or technique that allows me to tell what I have to tell in the best way possible.
Each technique has different graphics results, so in my opinion it is good to know as many techniques as possible. Know what graphics capabilities provide us and at the moment to choose one or another. Choose the one that visually enhances the idea that we want to transmit in a conceptual level.
I feel more comfortable or safe with those techniques that have worked before, but I love to discover and learn new techniques. These uncertain times where I use the fear of being wrong and randomness and errors, take great importance are indispensable in order to learn and grow as an illustrator.
5. How do you come up with new ideas? Do you have a process?
To find new ideas, I start a process in which I am not looking for answers. On the contrary, I ask many questions. Some are closely related to the topic to illustrate and others further away. The possible answers — and especially the mental exercise in which questions lead to others — is what sometimes makes innovative solutions emerge.
6. Do you ever have creative slumps? What do you do then?
Yes, of course. I’m very picky about my work. I am not happy with anything and sometimes what you want it doesn’t turn out, so you get frustrated. What I usually do is try to relax, think about other things, a walk, and then get back work.
7. Best / most fun part of your job:
When you feel proud of your work and feel you’ve learned a lot from it.
8. Worst / most difficult part of your job:
9. Do you have side projects you work on?
Yes, always. With personal work I allow myself to make mistakes without fear of not meeting a date. These are projects that allow me to learn more and investigate new ways of illustrating.
10. What’s on your horizon? Any current/future projects and plans/dreams you can share with us?
Being happy doing one of the things I love — illustrating.
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5 things inspiring you/your work right now:
Talented and creative people
3 constants in your day:
Long walks with my dog
Your #1 art tip or words of wisdom:
Have fun doing your work.
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Thank you so much for this interview, Mar! Your work is just stunning!