"When you work in something creative you have a radar installed in your brain that's always looking for inspiration."
Behind “Hi, I’m Ka!”, is Carmen Casado, the Madrid-born illustrator and designer that put a face, eyes, and crocodiles to our Summer Fanzine. Her training as an interior and graphic designer has an influence on her taste for geometry and the great use of flat colours. As she says, she can’t resist the set square. In her creations, there are retro, pop and cubists touches, full of pastel colour prints and original compositions, for which we fall straight away. In addition, she’s an all-rounder artist: she masters all surfaces. She’s worked with clothing brands, media companies such as El País or Lamono Magazine, wallpapers, pottery, and now she even started with gifs.
In the universe of Ka, we found characters from ancient Egypt to elegant 1880s dancers, where does all this inspiration come from? What would you say are your references?
I think that when you work in something creative you have a radar installed in your brain that’s always looking for inspiration… But if I have to talk about references I would say the school of Bauhaus or illustrators that I admire such as Miguel Covarrubias or Manolo Prieto, that helped me learn and set myself free.
You’ve worked in a lot of surfaces and materials, from paper to fabric or ceramic, what projects motivate you?
The best thing that can happen is to have creative freedom, but I’m also motivated if there are technical limitations. And the limitations are, sometimes, the surfaces where the piece is going to be applied. I like to try and work on different things and see what I find.
So far, all the projects I made were a challenge to me. I think none of them was easy. But maybe the biggest challenge I faced was my own project: to work full time in illustration and design as a freelancer.
Photos by Mariano Casado.
What did you want to be when you grew up?
Then you became an interior designer, what made you move towards illustration?
My favourite part of every project was the graphic part. I love interior design, but creatively speaking it lacks a bit of fantasy…
We love your gifs! Some of them are quite activist, do you think this is a way of sending more convincing messages?
Of course! It’s a quick way to bring messages to life. It’s suitable for the way we process information every day on social media.
How was illustrating the Bacoa Fanzine? Tell us a bit about what inspired you to do it.
I’m so glad that you counted on me for the Summer Edition. I immediately came up with the idea of a “Pisciburger”, a song by Joe Crepúsculo, that I think is the perfect setting to spend the summer in a city.