You are going to absolutely love what Carina shares with us. Thanks so much, Carina, for joining in. i do you come to the United States of america sometime in the very near future.
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I was born in Argentina. I graduated first from a master degree in computers. And I’ve been teaching computer related stuff since then. I love happy. I live in San Rafael, a small gorgeous town.
I love creating, fantasy, good humor and chocolate of course. I’ve been always a creative person, but for some crazy reason I entered to a science related career hahaha, I do love computers though. And in fact, what I love about computers is creating programs, so again, it’s all about creating for me. Just some years ago, I started educating myself in arts. To be honest, I’m quite a late bloomer in illustration and arts in general.
Your illustrations are so fun and vibrant! How long have you been doing this?
Aww thank you!! I’ve been illustrating since 2009 when I got my first digital tablet as a surprise birthday gift from my dad. I’d been quite self-taught, and that makes the path slower I think. In 2013 I started taking academic drawing lessons, in portraiture, for some years. I have taken some illustration courses online that I’ve just found recently, online schools like SVSlearn.com, and others. I wish I’ve found them earlier.
I always had a personal style, or at least that’s what people have always said to me, that they see something I’ve illustrated and immediately recognized it as mine.
5 years ago, I needed to increase my monthly income, and had the idea to start crafting journals which I painted with acrylics and Indian ink. The thing why I tell you this is that I developed a fun style doing them, from where I took it into a digital style for illustrations. Somehow those handmade journals were the very start of something way bigger. Now I just keep working in improving myself. Learning is a fantastic never ending process.
When you illustrate, do you correspond with the author? And do you prefer or not prefer authors to give illustration notes?
I’m an easy going person and quite flexible on such things. I’d let the particular situation of that particular book dictate how things will be. The first book I illustrated (Shimmer – Songs of Night), the author (Raven Howell) has been in touch with me on a daily basis, and it was very enriching especially cause that book has poems, so I needed some insight on some poems from her. The second book I illustrated (My Bigger than an Elephant Secret, by Kelly Johnstone) had a different situation, because I got illustrations notes with it, and the author kept herself quieter. I used the illustrations notes as a guide, but in case of having a different approach I could ask the art director. What it is key, though, is keeping the communication flowing. Some publishing houses I’ve heard don’t want the illustrator to be contacted with the author during the illustrating process, and some others don’t have any problem. I guess it depends on so many factors. Including how much experience and success the illustrator already has. Personally, again, I’m really easy to adapt, and I will ask whoever will be in charge, may be the author or the art director of the publishing house. I will totally ask for guidance in case I’m not understanding the core of something in the text. That’s crucial, I need to understand things deeply in order to activate the images, the visual language inside my head.
Tell us your process for illustrating. How do you decide what the pictures should look like?
Depending if I’m illustrating something for fun, or if it is a project like a picture book.
When illustration for fun, it may be as simple as I got inspired and the image appeared right away on my mind, or I may be experimenting and pushing myself beyond my comfort zone, trying things I never draw for example. Illustrating always has in first place, something you want to tell. So, you need that first. You need what’s the story you want to tell before illustrating it. Or you are just practicing the how to do it, improving your skills. Like today I’ll draw pug dogs, cause I simply want to practice them in my style.
I work mostly digital, so I can sketch and go into a final piece, all in the same place, my computer. And the feeling I want to convey usually is the first thing that leads the whole image.
But again, sometimes it just comes as it is, lot of times I need to work the whole idea for several times.
Working on a picture book, needs a lot of work and phases. I first need to read several times the manuscript I’m given. I’ll get a sense of the kind of energy, or the kind of mood the book has. That may start suggesting by itself what main color palette I may use for it. Then I’d sketch lots of ideas regarding the main characters. So far, I’ve worked in two published books, and the overall style has been similar. Although the second one needed to have a character and a sequence thru the whole story of course, not like Shimmer that is a collection of poems about the night, and gave me more freedom in that regards.
Some paragraphs may give me the illustration I want for it right away. Even If I sketch many options later, to end up using the first image it came to me. Other paragraphs may be a whole challenge itself.
Creativity can feel like a sea that comes and goes. You need to find your personal ways of getting inspired. Your ways of getting unstuck. Your ways of working. And even with all that, for me, it usually has ups and downs anyway.
What other books are you working on for future publication?
Now I’ve signed to illustrate the sister and sequel to Shimmer, that is called Glimmer, Sing of Sun! (by author Raven Howell, and to be published summer 2019 by Clear Fork Publishing).
Is there anything else you’d like your readers to know?
I can’t think of anything right now…
Do you have any book signings coming up? We’d love to join in.
Ohh I wish so. Maybe someday I can travel to USA again and have a huge signing books event! That would be so cool!! For now, being from and living in Argentina, that’s something I miss.
Clear fork Publishing publishes Carina's books. You can go there now: www.clearforkpublishing.com
We enjoyed this tremendously!