Fixed images with movement

Every day our world is becoming more and more digital. If we take a look it is all around us and is making an impact in different areas of the world that surrounds us. In design, specifically in illustration, there is a new trend adopted by many brands and artists making creative compositions with what is known as GIF´s (Graphics Interchange Format). In Barcelona, Not Just Fashion Magazine found a brazilian illustrator passionate about them.

Keep reading and get into the world of a colorful Marina Esmeraldo.

Tell us about you and your education in design.

I’m from Fortaleza, a coastal city in the northeast of Brazil. I studied architecture and the built environment there as well as in Italy, France and Spain. After graduating I realized I was still very much into my childhood passion of drawing so I ended up studying art and painting in Barcelona. Eventually, I fused my background in design with my renewed interest in art and found my way into the freelance illustration world where I am incredibly happy.

Always design? Or did study something else before design?

Always. Albeit in many different forms.

What do you like the most about design? Why?

I like the pragmatic nature of design – of solving problems, answering to briefs and prompts. That said, I like the philosophical nature and creative freedom in art. I’m happiest in the middle ground between both, I think.

What or Who inspired you to make a career in design?

I used to draw and make things since I was a little girl – I was quite shy and it was my favourite way to communicate. When the time came to choose a path of studies for university the art programmes were very limited in my hometown. I’d always enjoyed reading architecture magazines and felt like I wanted to learn those skills so I went to school for that. While I was there I learned about graphic design and graphic arts. I ended up graduating architecture school with a multidisciplinary skill set, and eventually realised that my passion lay in the visual arts. I never looked back.

Why illustration?

For me, it’s the perfect middle ground between art and design. An illustrator, by definition, must enlighten a certain concept, respond to a certain brief. Yet to do so you must draw from your own personal universe of visual language enabling you to put yourself in your work in a beautifully creative way. I really enjoy that balance.

Where do you get your inspiration from?

Music, cinema, fashion, literature, art and museums, patterns, swimming in the sea, a walk by the beach, palm trees, mid-century artists and makers… more often than not things outside of the industry and design itself.

How would you describe your style as a designer and illustrator?

My work has been described as bold, graphic, bright, and tropical which I enjoy because it means I am getting my point across.

Regarding your experience which work did you like the most?

I’ve been lucky to work with amazing clients and it’s a difficult thing to choose, especially because when I finish a project I’m already looking towards the next one however much I’ve enjoyed it. I’m especially fond of my personal projects, because they allow me to evolve and expand my visual language and professional practice.

If you could live in one of your illustrations, which one would it be?

I’d like to spend time in the Book Club illustration I made for The Debrief.

You create a lot of GIF´s. What attracts you about them?

I love creating simple animations. Since a lot of the work I do is in digital, it’s a way of bringing compositions alive. Print brings visual work to life as well, but in a different way. So why not explore all the possibilities of GIFs? I’m also glad that brands are catching on to it and commissioning a lot as well!

Do you like more totally illustrated GIF´s or those with real people in them?

I enjoy both. It depends on the concept or the brief, really. The art directed ones with real people are quite special to me because they reflecta a very particular vision.

Digital Illustration or Hand-made illustrations? Why?

In architecture school our education was a bit flawed in the sense that we were not making many physical models, rather we were working digitally from a very early point in our academic careers. In the end, being so comfortable in the digital environment has definitely formed the way I approach illustration. I love the speed in which you can visualise things in digital. Working with your hands actually makes your brain and body function in completely different way. It’s like being in a trance. I really love that too.

A place to get inspired.

I like finding ideas in the places I’m already in but often that requires a shift in perspective. I particularly like to do that by walking. It allows me to think and process things in a way I normally wouldn’t. I love travelling. Getting outside of yourself, be it physically or mentally, is always a good way to refresh the ideas.

Your next projects.

I’m really busy, thankfully! At the moment I’m working on a piece for a book and exhibition, a book cover and more GIFs for a couple of brands; one illustrated and one art directed. I’ve also opened up my shop to accept custom portraits so if you’re looking for an unique Christmas gift I’d recommend to go and take a look!

Keep the good work, Marina!

Learn more about her work.


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