Illustrator and freelance artist from Barcelona, Spain Ina Stanimirova has mastered the skills of watercolor and pencil painting. Inspired by her father, Stanimirova has been drawing since she was just a little girl and now creates beautiful illustrations that people admire and fall in love with all over Spain. Focused on the holistic idea, sensations we've experienced and the narrative of her illustrations we asked her a bit more about her creative process, favorite artists and her spirit animal.
TH: Can you tell us a bit about yourself? What do you do?
IS: I always loved drawing, so I studied to get a Fine Arts Degree in Barcelona, and then focused my work on illustration. I like to draw female figures, always surrounded by a surrealistic atmosphere. I try to create images people can emphasize with, I think most of my illustrations describe feelings we all had at some time.
TH: Being that your father was also an artist, how has he influenced your work?
IS: Seeing him at work since I was a little child encouraged me to draw constantly, and it also made me see that it was actually possible to make a living from your own art.
He is a great portraitist, and I still see him not only as someone to give me advice and confidence, but also as challenge to maybe someday be as good as him.
TH: Can you tell us a bit more about the technique that goes into making one of your pieces?
IS: My main tools are pencils, watercolor, ink and water-soluble colour pencils. I don't like sketching very much. I always try to start directly on the definitive drawing (I guess the pressure makes me give my best). I always start with the pencil, drawing the human figure, which takes most of the time. Then I add the watercolor and finish the details with the colour pencils. If the idea is good I'm very sure about what I want the illustration to look like, and it just flows. If I'm not that sure about the idea, I just start working...and in the process I will find the way and start again if necessary. As Picasso said: “Inspiration exists, but it has to find us working.”
TH: What is your creative process like?
IS: I really think the most important part, and most difficult, is having a good idea. The technique improves with practice, but it's not enough with that, you need to make the viewer feel something when seeing your works. So 50% of the creative process consists in exposing myself to new experiences, conversations, books, movies, artworks...so I can have new stories to tell, with different approaches.
TH: Do you have any favorite artists that have inspired you?
IS: I absolutely love the work of Daniel Egneus and Kent Williams, I think they both inspire me the most, each in different ways.
TH: What 3 words would you use to describe your artwork?
IS: Intimate, feminine and narrative.
TH: What advice do you wish you had when you first started out?
IS: Don't let anyone tell you what 'good art' should be like. Just believe in yourself and do what you love the most, because that's what you'll do better, and success will follow.
TH: If you could have an hour to talk with anyone from the past, who would that be?
IS: I think it would be Frida Kahlo, I really admire her work and I would love to have a female view from art in the past.
TH: Do you have a personal favorite art piece that you have created? If so, which one is it?
IS: Well, it's a difficult question because it changes depending on the day, but right now I feel very close to "Volcano." It's a very personal drawing.
TH: Who/What is your spirit animal?
IS: I think it would be a parakeet. I'm tiny and restless too, and they are liberated and colorful as my watercolor brush strokes.