Talented Illustrator & Designer Cleonique Hilsaca took sometime of her busy schedule to talk to us about her work. The Georgia based illustrator gave us some insight about work, tools and have some really good advice for up-and-coming designers. Let’s get to the interview:
What’s your background, how did you get into art, how long of you been drawing and what was your prime motivation.
I was born in Tegucigalpa, Honduras in the heart of Central America and since I was about 8 years old I started drawing the anime I would watch on TV such as Sailor Moon and Dragon Ball. Nothing serious yet, I just wanted to recreate my favorite childhood idols but eventually in the 9th grade during a college fair I found out I could study art for a living!
After this sudden realization I started drawing and creating a portfolio with the intention of studying Illustration in the United States as there were no art colleges in my country I could attend.
After begging my parents and receiving the scholarship I needed, I was able to start my first day at the Savannah College of Art and Design in 2008. 6 years later I finished my degree of B.F.A. in Illustration with a minor in Graphic Design this past May!
What is your workspace like, what tools and materials do you use?
My workspace is in my room in which I work most of the time unless I’m at a coffee shop doodling ideas. I work on my Asus laptop with an Intuos 5 Wacom tablet on Adobe Photoshop CS6. In my room I’m surrounded by books of all sorts that fuel my inspiration like comic books, typography books, annuals and others. I also have my puppy keeping me company while I work! But I am currently in the process of upgrading to a Cintiq companion by Wacom.
Where do you get inspiration?
I usually find inspiration in comic books by Chris Ware, the Spera series, Akira and children’s books or surreal novels like Kafka on the Shore, The Tale of Desperaux and others. I also love collecting zines and mini comics published independently by artists.
I also love collecting books about typography, screen printing, graphic design and more to aid my work in different ways like looking for a new approach or solution to a project. I also am greatly inspired by animated movies like Spirited Away and Summer Wars as well as videogames like Nino Kuni, and Bravely default. Anything that relates to the themes I wish to portray in my own work or similar in style inspire me into taking my illustration in new directions and explore new approaches and more.
Do you have any advice for aspiring artists/illustrators?
I am still a young artist who just graduated from college less than 6 months ago so I guess the advice that I can give is the ones I have followed myself in the last few years.
Networking was very important in helping me get agents to represent me, clients, internships and a job.
Meeting the right people and reminding them you still exist and you keep getting more awesome along the way is so important in college. You don’t know who’s is just waiting to snatch you up once you’re out! And don’t compare yourself, you have your own unique voice and if you love what you are creating, someone else will too, just keep sharing it with everyone and people will take notice.
Work hard and be prolific. Make sure people see your work constantly, everywhere and always push yourself harder, explore, try new things as being multidisciplinary is more important now than ever. And don’t be discouraged, every journey is different, special and unique, you just gotta keep working, no looking back, it’ll be worth it as I can say it has been for me.
Do you have an online shop where people can buy your print?
I have a couple online shops where people can buy prints and products at Inprint and Society6. I will also be opening a new shop next year where I will be selling comics, stationery and limited edition prints but for now I have these!
Anything else you’d like everyone to know about?
I currently reside in the little town of Savannah, GA and I’m currently working on lots of new little projects like new zines, characters, a game even! and if anyone would like to check out the rest of my work, collaborate or just say hi! here’s my website!
Netloid Artist Interviews is a series where we feature talented artists, designers and illustrators from around the world. Send us an email with a link to work or just email samples of your work to us if you want to be part of this at firstname.lastname@example.org
Checkout more of Cleonique Hilsaca’s work below: