Reyna Pelcastre mixed functions from Adobe Illustrator and Adobe Photoshop to spin up 'Hawks Kiss', which landed her a Selected Creator spot in a recent DC Comics brief on Talenthouse. Here, she tells us how she did it, what inspires her, which other Talenthouse Creatives she admires, and shares the design secret she couldn't live without.On her Talenthouse profile she describes herself as "Your afromexican sapphic gal pal. I’m a designer and illustrator. I love designing posters and logos," - and clearly, she's brilliant at doing what she loves.

Let's dig in.

First of all, here's a look at her winning poster design in all its glory, The Hawks' Kiss hawks.jpg

Hi Reyna. Tell us about your winning poster art design - where did the inspiration for it come from?
"Well, I love being both a comic book nerd and an artsy nerd, so this Talenthouse brief was the perfect opportunity to mix both of them together in one big illustration: 'The Hawks' kiss'.

"I drew Hawkman and Hawkgirl as the couple from the amazing and famous Gustav Klimt painting "The Kiss". He's my favorite artist - I love his style. I took some details from his work and transformed them into my own style, using a little inspiration from comics, too.

"The color pallete is a Venn diagram: yellow is a big part both of the Klimt painting that inspired me, and in the suits/character design of the two Hawks, so I used that as my base color. I then added Klimt's colors to the background, and the rest of the Hawks' suit colors on the clothes. 
So this illustration is basically all my nerdy passions in one piece! I'm really proud of how it turned out and especially how people connected with it and voted for it to be a winning piece of work."

Gustav Klimt's "The Kiss", which Reyna took inspiration from for her Talenthouse submission.

What software did you use to create your work?
"Adobe Illustrator is my favorite by far because it's the closest to drawing with ink, but with all the benefits of vectors and digital art. I not only do private commissions, I always end up printing my drawings on shirts, phone cases, big posters and even murals, so I really value the power of the vector.

"But I can't deny that Adobe Photoshop has this amazing plastic quality thanks to the brushes and filters, so I always try to mix both programs - just look at my selected piece."  

A closer look at Reyna's detail
What about this piece of art are you the most proud of?
"I successfully mixed two of my passions while doing my favorite thing in the world: illustrating! Klimt + The Hawks wasn't a crossover that was in my mind until I read DC's prompt on Talenthouse. I was so happy when I saw how people from around the world had connected to my illustration, and had voted for it!

"When I was announced as a selected creator I couldn't believe it, one of my biggest dreams was (and still is) to work for DC, so this really was an amazing opportunity. The cherry on top was Jim Lee's personal congratulation."

Which parts of the work did you struggle with - or revisit - the most?
"I hate anatomy because it's really hard for me to draw it in a realistic style, so for sure that was the biggest struggle I had. The pose is also pretty unnatural, so I had to take photos of myself for reference, and watch a ton of tutorials."

Which other submissions to the brief were you impressed by?
"DC's Valhalla Gods by Gio Wolf from Colombia. That piece blew my mind the first time I saw it! The pose and all the movement he captured with all those amazing details... I'm so glad he was also a Selected Creator. Also Filipa Pereira's Birds of Prey poster was incredible! I love that vintage look."
Gio Wolf and Filipa Pereira's submissions for the DC Comics brief

What's a pro-tip that you wish you'd known five years ago?
"Pathfinder will save your life! At first I wasn't really sure how to use every tool and always ended up with a lot more vectors and shapes than I wanted, but if you want to add details and color big (or really small) areas, this one's for you.

"Don't be afraid, and just experiment with Pathfinder. However, I do prefer working on Illustrator because that way you can print, send and change your illustration in every shape and size you or your client needs. Also you can mix and match and add details from other programs, just like collage! It'll make your art a lot more interesting." 

To wrap up, what's the most annoying thing about being an artist that you know fellow Talenthouse Creatives will understand?
"I either manually save my work every 8.6 seconds, or never save it at all and gamble my entire work's destiny. There's no in between. I've lost a lot of drawings thanks to 'quit unexpectedly'." 

Find more of Reyna!
"I have a ton of products at Redbubble
, including some licensed art for Cartoon Network, and my commissions are always open so feel free to DM me or send me an email. I'm on Instagram @reyreypelcastre, and check out my LinkTree, too."