I love two words that I learned from a Japanese friend. SHINRIN- YOKU means to visit the forest for relaxation and to improve your health and TSUNDOKU is to buy a book and leave it unread, piled with other unread books.
Where do you live?
I live in Madrid, Spain. Madrid is a beautiful city, it has extraordinary art collections and museum, restaurants, food and wines from all parts of Spain; parks and libraries, etc. and lots of interesting people coming from different villages and countries. Only I miss the Cantabric Sea!!
Where have you lived?
Montreal, London, San Sebastian (Spain).
What medium do you use?
Collage, watercolor, screen-printing, stamping, rollerballs, pens, textile dyeing. I like to learn new techniques and mix them. And I love to buy old books and work with them.
How do you stay inspired?
Traveling, reading, browsing old books, walking in the city (or in the beaches of Galicia, in the Navarre oak woods)! Walking helps me think. Searching beautiful things gives me inspiration.
Where do you buy your art supplies?
I like to buy special art supplies when I travel to Italy (Phase, Bati, Zecchi, in Florence, Fabriano, Vigano in Milan) France (Loisirs & Création, Esquisse, L’Atelier des Couleurs du Quai, Magasin Sennelier, Paris), UK (London Graphic Centre, Cowling & Wilcox’s) and USA (Michael’s, Flax, Blick). Every where I go, there is always something new to work with, from hand made cotton papers to a hand leather sewing mini machine.
Do you work traditionally or digitally?
I work both by hand, with water colors, pens, rollers, pencils, cutting, pasting and digitally, especially to make designs work for rapports and repeats. I rarely start at the computer. I learned the traditional way of pattern design with a extraordinary textile designer in Lyon, that worked exclusively for years for the designer Yves Saint Laurent, And I do them by hand some times, but only when I have commissions of very big repeats for fashion textiles or home textiles. But mostly I make the designs (hand painted, collages, etc.) work as repeats digitally, because is it is time-saving!
What color combination are you most excited about right now?
I love to work with nature. I take tones of close-up images and play with extracting colors. I always find new combinations. My latest are about greens and reds during the pomegrande maturation, greens and yellows in the crithmum maritimum (fenoll marí), a plant that grows in the rocks near the sea, and the pinks and yellows in the white peach skin.
What blog(s) do you read?
I wish I could have time for them. My favorite are DIY blogs, or any place I can learn new things. I also try to visit swissmiss, print and pattern, creature comforts.
Why do you like being an illustrator in 10 words or less?
It’s a way to share aesthetic enjoyment and research.
If you weren’t an illustrator, what would you be?
A Botanic searching for new plants and giving them names, a chemist searching for new plant-based therapies, an industrial engineer (as my father was!), a schoolteacher, a university teacher, a museum conservator; a forest engineer, a worldwide traditional art techniques researcher, a garden designer, a researcher or grower of whatever.
Name something you do in your spare time.
If that happens to me, I love to play and talk with my son, share time with my husband and family, read, walk, cook, invite friends, learn new things, browse old markets and antique shops.
What are you reading now?
I have now 3 books started… one about traditional Russian folk tales (Russian Folk Belief ), another about Lebanese recipes (Arak and Mezze: The Taste of Lebanon) and one about antique lace (Antique Lace: Identifying Types and Techniques).
What recent book do you recommend for a good read?
The Natural Order of Things, by António Lobo Antunes and La selva del lenguaje by José Antonio Marina.
Where would you like to travel to next?
Bulgaria, Laos, Birmania, Burma, Kazajstán, Uzbekistan…
What movie have you seen several times?
A Room with a View, (James Ivory), Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility…
Who is your favorite cartoon character?
Rolie Polie Olie
What is your favorite cheese?
Cheese! Torta del Casar, Serena, Manchego, Idiazabal, Cabrales, Gorgonzola, Parmigiano Regiano, Fontina, Burrata, Provola and Caciocavallo di Bufala, Pecorino Toscano, Brie de Melun, Fontina, Chevrotin, Camembert de Normandie, Brie de Melun, Stilton, Cheddar WCFC, and I am always ready to try more!
If you could name a nail polish, what would you name it?
ladybird red, cream caramel
Do you wear shoes when you do art?
candy colored ballerinas ( I have a growing collection!)
What do you listen to while you work?
Depending on the work and the mood! From Renaissance and Classical, to blues and dance.
What’s your middle name?
I have 2: Yolanda and Vera
What do you wish your middle name was?
Yolanda, Vera and Julietta
If you could eat only one food, what would it be?
Wild Raspberries, but I would probably get tired of whatever I chose after a while. So, I should probably choose one that is the most nutritious so that I can at least be healthy for the rest of my life even if I’m sad from having only one meal option… That being said, I may choose roasted chicken with brown rice and tomatoes.
How do you stay in shape?
How don’t you stay in shape?
eating dark chocolate
What is your current favorite font?
Currently, Ibarra Real
How do you take your coffee?
Cappuccino or stretto with ice. But I prefer tea and plant infusions.
Whom would you like to meet?
People involved in leaving a better world to new generations.
What question would you most like to be asked?
The right questions
What recent illustration job have you enjoyed doing?
A children’s first ABC iPad Applet
What was your favorite illustration assignment?
A book of sounds and traditional songs for teachers that helped in developing early language skills for babies (UNED University), because it has become very interesting for handicapped children speech therapists.
Homes and Gardens
Cottages & Gardens
K & Company
Madison Park Group
Museo Thyssen – Bornemisza
Food and Whine Magazine
Food & Wine Magazine
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