1. What's your story? Where are you from?
I’m Ana Victoria, a freelance illustrator from Venezuela based in Luxembourg. I moved here when I was 15 with my family. I’ve always loved art and collecting art supplies, I was very strict as a kid to always color inside the lines of my coloring books and would get so angry when my sister drew on them. At the moment, I’m in the middle of my masters in illustration, but I began being freelance 2 years ago to get a head start on my client list.
2. Tell us about your aesthetic.
Lately, I work a lot on my iPad and it has made my style almost blocky, I like heavy colors and big crisp shapes. I use lots of texture and I vary my color palette a lot. Before I was really drawn to more muted colors like dust pink, mustard, now I prefer really bright purples and blues. I wish I only liked one set of colors so it would make my work more consistent but it’s hard, I like them all!
3. What is your favourite medium and why?
I have used so many through the years. Right now the iPad because of how easy it is to change everything and get textures. But before I was into digital I used watercolors and gouache a lot. I must have a fortune worth in paints stored away in my drawers. I still play with them sometimes but it is such a hassle compared to the iPad. Sometimes if I want to work analog I will do a test on the iPad for the sketch and the colors and then I will transfer that to paper and paint it. It’s a long process that usually takes 2 tries because the first batch of colors is never what I wanted, but I still love having a piece of paper with my art on it.
4. What is your artistic process like?
I do way more research than I should, sometimes I feel like I need to find this perfect reference picture or this perfect color palette that’s almost done in my head but not quite. I’m trying to cut this time short because it’s unnecessary. I love on to pencil sketches, finding a composition that works and then either take a picture to bring into Procreate and start illustrating on my iPad, or redraw the sketch with clean lines using a light box. This process I do twice so I have 2 sketches and I use the first one to do a first coat of paint and the second to do a final version once I’ve tested everything I wanted on the first one. I often will take a picture of the work before painting so I can try a few different color palettes before mixing the paint so I don’t waste it. It’s lengthy to do the same process 3 times but I’m normally very happy with the result because I’ve thought so much about it by then.
5. Who and/or what inspires your work?
So many things. One of my favorite subjects to draw is cats, especially my own cats. I love going in bookstores and checking all the new children’s books released for inspiration on colors and topics. I could spend hours trying to narrow down to just a few that I allow myself to buy.
6. What role does art play in your life? How does it change the way you view the world?
I always thought I want to make art that makes people smile, or connect. There is so much pain and tragedy in this world and if one of my drawings can make someone smile or think this is so cute I’m happy.
7. Where did you study?
I studied graphic design at CAD College of Advertising and Design in Brussels. I realized after my first year that what I really wanted to do was illustration but due to logistics and no schools offering that program near me I couldn’t change. So I finished my degree realizing more and more this wasn’t my path. I worked in graphic design for 1 year which really cemented my dislike for it and started to illustrate on the side. As I started to work for clients I enrolled in the illustration masters at a university of Hertfordshire for their distance learning course and here we are. I have learn a lot of theory from them, unfortunately not as practical and hands on as I would like, but it is so hard to “teach art” at a distance. I will be done summer 2021.
8. Where do you see yourself in five years?
I would love to have a little place with my boyfriend and my cats, and probably a dog too as per his request. Keep working from home and having a thriving illustration business. Would love to be illustrating children’s books by then. Probably start thinking about having babies too!
9. What about in ten?
I would love a little house, don’t know where, since I can work from anywhere, wherever my husband’s job takes us. With a little garden for the pets, and a golf putting green in the back for my now husband’s golf obsession.
I would really like a simple modest life, with splurges here and there but I really don’t need a lot of money to be happy.
10. What do you hope to achieve with your art?
I would love for children to connect with it and be mesmerised with it. If my work ends up being on pyjamas and lunch boxes I can die happy. For adults I would love that it just makes them smile, and make their day a little brighter.
11. Now, tell us a little more about you as a person: what is your favourite food?
Chinese. I have been going to the same Chinese for years and years for graduations, birthdays, St Valentine’s, you name it, and always get the same exact thing. Fried caramelised chicken and spicy beef with vegetables on a sizzling plate.
12. Favourite book?
Favorite sentimental book is one I have since I was a little girl called The Barbie Party Cookbook. It’s very random but every single recipe is illustrated and I loved reading and looking at the pictures and thinking -wow, somebody drew this.
As an adult my favorite genre is dystopian, which is more like young adult / teenager I guess! In the past I’ve really liked The Lunar Chronicles, Hunger Games, Ready Player One, and of course who doesn’t like Harry Potter? I’ve devoured the series several times.
13. Favourite genre of music?
This is super weird but I rarely listen to music. I find it too overwhelming, if the music is sad I’m sad, if it’s energetic I can’t sit still, if it’s really loud and fast I can’t even think. Right now I’m in a musical theater phase, Hamilton of course, and Waitress. One of the bands that has stayed with me is the Eels that’s just like a very sad, mellow rock.
14. What are your hobbies?
I love watching movies, especially Disney movies, and going to Disney Paris, did I already say Disney??
I have OCD so I really like organizing and planning. Cooking and eating. Buying endless art supplies that I will never get through, but what a rush is to have a “complete” set.
15. If you weren't an artist, what would you be?
I’ve always had a hunch that I would have liked to study medicine. My grades weren’t good enough but is like in a past life maybe that’s what I was, and so I’m attracted to it.