Marcela Gutiérrez is a 32 year-old artist originally from Guatemala, who now lives and works in New York. In the eighteenth year she discovered the miraculous power of the pen and paper personified in the drawings and illustrations. She studied architecture, but her creativity is focused on fashion, without which today she could not live. In her free time Marcela mostly line models or reflects to us the well-known editorials.
WANNABE MAGAZINE: Your illustrations are the reflection of all that you learned over the years since you in the fashion world. How did you start that you do the illustration?
MARCELA GUTIERREZ: It was a natural transition. I studied fashion design and realized that my strength was drawing so I decided to pursue this as a profession.
How did you develop your style?
I think it has been an unintentional transition that has happened over the years. I am influenced by many things and I think you subconsciously adapt these influences and make them your own. It has been the fruit of working constantly. I think my style is still in evolution. Every time I draw something changes and improves for the best.
Describe one way of illustration creation.
I first need an inspirational image. I am usually drawn to an image by its composition and color. I then sketch it out in pencil and lastly I go crazy with the paints. I try to be as spontaneous as I can when it comes to putting colors into an image. The key is not to be scared, even making accidents part of the finished piece.
What we notice in your work are the various shades of colors. What tools do you use to create your illustrations?
I use gouache, ink, watercolors and very good quality paper.
Artists are often inspired by the simplest things that make their living. Where you find your inspiration?
Mostly in fashion photography. But I am very aware of my surroundings and for example when I see someone on the street with an interesting combination of colors I go home and try and recreate that combination.
What is the difference between making an editorial photograph and illustrating one?
An editorial photograph consists of creating an image with a collaboration of several elements. The photographer usually has a direction for the photo shoot and recreates his inspiration with the help of a model, a stylist, clothing, lighting, etc. An illustrated editorial is usually based on already existing photographs.
You worked and collaborate with Alexander McQueen and John Galliano. Can you tell us more about that experience?
Both experiences where probably the most relevant in my career. They gave me a glimpse of what happens behind the scenes. It also taught me to work against the clock and to push myself to the limit. I found out how hard I could work.
You often assume that the praise and compliments regarding your work. What is the greatest compliment you received?
Finishing my last project in record time. I had to do 9 very big illustrations in 7 days!
Your style and preferences of clients. How do you get of your style when you create for others?
To be professional I think it is always very important to follow a brief to meet the client’s needs. At the same time you have to always be true to your style. When you get hired for a job it is usually because they want your style.
Who are some contemporary fashion illustrators that you admire?
I love Julie Verhoeven and I am also a very big fan of Christian Schoeler although he is a painter not an illustrator.
Is there much space for personal style in fashion illustration?
Absolutely, personal style is what sets you apart from everyone else. I think it is very important.
What tips do you have for those looking to illustrate as a career?
The only way to stand out is to be an expert at what you can do – Practice makes perfect. Drawing non stop and pushing your limits makes you improve, do not let your own creativity impress, always looking for the best in yourselves.
Plans for the future.
Continue drawing and see where that takes me.
Little note for Wannabe Magazine’s readers.
Its important to put your heart and soul and your biggest effort in everything because everything you do is relevant, even if you do it for yourself or for a job. Wonderful things do happen if you have conviction and believe in yourself.
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