Martina is a stylish illustrator. Stylish, feminine and modern. That’s how Martina describes her artwork. Her clientele includes big names like L’Oréal Cosmetics, Avon, Cosmopolitan, Marie Claire or InStyle Magazine, and her illustrations have appeared in numerous advertising, packaging, book covers and editorial projects around the world.
Curious about how pretty girls and fashionable items come to life? What lies behind Martina’s unique style and what it takes to become a professional illustrator? Read on to learn more about her journey and her creative process.
Can you introduce yourself?
I am a European beauty and fashion illustrator recently based in Spain, and I create feminine, fashionable custom images to help both small and big brands to get noticed, stand out of the crowd and promote themselves in a new, fresh way. I also do personal commissions, book covers, editorial illustrations and other kind of art to enhance the world around and make it more stylish.
How did you become a fashion illustrator?
In my case, contrary to most of the illustrators, this professional path was not planned or dreamt of at all. My passion was fashion, not art. I studied fashion design, worked for several companies and fashion magazines, even had my own fashion brand. And I drew a bit along the way. Slowly and organically demand for my illustrations grew up to the point I simply stopped doing fashion and started drawing fashion.
You work traditionally, but you’ve also experimented with other techniques. What are they?
For quick initial sketches I love using just ordinary pencil. But I also use black ink, watercolours or coloured pencils. Most of my work starts by traditional drawing, then I colorize it digitally, or other way around. I like to experiment with different techniques, sometimes even adding special adornments to turn it into a real piece of art.
What is the process of creation? How do your pieces come together? How long does it take to create the final image?
It depends on a particular project. Sometimes I can finish an illustration in a few hours, sometimes it’s a very slow process of many tweaks and edits that may take several days to finish. I like my illustrations to look effortlessly perfect, which usually takes a lot of time and a lot of drawing.
What is your approach to color? Do you follow any color scheme?
Not really, I just follow my instincts. I love to use bright, feminine shades, and anything pink-ish is a go!
What work do you most enjoying doing?
Obviously anything fashion and beauty related. I also love creating book covers and custom illustrations for small businesses open to a new fresh approach that enhances their brands and make them even more special.
Are there any fashion illustrators that you admire?
Yes indeed! Arturo Elena for his detailed and eccentric colorful style, and Jason Brook for his simple yet elegant digital work.
What qualities do illustrations have that photographs don’t?
In a “point and shoot” world where practically everybody considers himself a photographer, any traditional art suddenly poses that extra value that can’t be reached by any gadget. In illustration the only limit is the artist imagination. The reality can be exaggerated or very easily modified by authors fantasy to the point where you start to think about it in a totally different way. Camera has its limits.
If you weren’t able to do what you do now, do you picture yourself doing something else?
Not really. I do what I love and love what I do. My profession excites me every day, all day. Maybe, just maybe, because I love to travel, I would trade it for being a professional luxury hotels reviewer, lol. But even then I would enjoy drawing while traveling from place to place.
What advice would you give to up-and-coming illustrators?
It’s simple. Just keep drawing. Practice makes perfect. And don’t be afraid to experiment a little when possible. With different styles, mediums, colors. It boosts your creativity and opens new horizons.
To know more about Martine, please visit: Martina Pavlova