I try to create in any surface, either iPad, pencil, or a 3x2m mural.
There’s no doubt that Amaia is one of the most interesting illustrators nowadays. Her unique and colourful style allowed her to work with brands such as Vueling, Coca-Cola, Movistar, Nike, Adidas, and Uniqlo, among others. In addition, she has published some books like “Wabi sabi”, or “Meteorito” [Meteorite], and has painted murals all over the world.
Fascinated by her art, we decided to commission her the latest Autumn Fanzine, as well as some matching mugs that you’ll be able to see very soon.
Tell us a bit about yourself: how did someone born in Vitoria with an advertising background end up working in illustration in Barcelona?
I studied Advertising and Public Relations at the Complutense University of Madrid. Then, I worked at an advertising agency for 3 years as a creative and one day I just thought that I wanted more. By that time I started to be interested in illustration and although I had never studied anything like that, I received some commissions. I decided to take the leap: I quit the agency and moved to Barcelona. And here I am. I thought that maybe I would have to work in another agency here, but since I was receiving commissions here and there I started to be a freelancer and I’m happy now. Touchwood it stays this way.
When did you start drawing?
I started drawing quite late. When I did my Erasmus in Paris, I met a woman who was an illustrator. It was love at first sight.
How was your job conditioned by being a mum?
It changed absolutely everything. From the time I can dedicate to work until the things that inspire me. Now I take on fewer jobs, but I work on them more meticulously. I am more thorough because I prefer less but better.
Photo by Berta Vicente.
You normally say that your style is what you have got in your brain that your hands can express, but your art is quite special. What or who has influenced its evolution? Who would you say are your references?
Mostly the people I met throughout my career. Study colleagues, friends, project partners… References? A lot, but the first thing that comes to my mind is QUINO, the Roal Dalh stories illustrated by Quentin Blake, and all the cartoons that I have consumed when I was little and not that little.
Do you follow any process when you create? What are your favourite working tools?
I try not to have any fixed process because that would make me kind of a slave. I try to create in any surface, either iPad, pencil, or a 3x2m mural. I like everything, and the only thing I care about is the spirit of the project. Each project has its own conditions and therefore its associated tools.
You are a very prolific artist: you have written and illustrated several books, painted murals, surfboards and even a tarot. What kind of projects do you enjoy the most? Any projects you are particularly proud of?
I am proud of everything I do, hehe. As I said, I am very careful when selecting my jobs. The hardest thing for me, lately? The book “El Meteorito” where I talk about my maternity, the game-book I published after lockdown “Animales Fantásticos” [imaginary animals] and “Hola, ¿Como estás?” [Hello, how are you?], or the magic tarot for Fournier.
To wrap up, a compulsory question in our interviews: what’s your favourite food?
Mmmmmm I really like eating. I like oriental, Peruvian, Italian food… if it’s good and with quality ingredients, I love it! It really is impossible for me to choose only one thing, but I always choose quality products, and if it’s got seasonal and ecological ingredients, even better.