Wednesday, 24 February 2016

Etsy shop find...a chat with Gabriela Larios

This months etsy shop interview is with Gabriela Larios.
A London based illustrator and textile pattern designer, Gabriela creates designs and illustrations for a variety of product areas; children's books, fabric, homeware, fashion and more.
Her designs have a beautifully naive and playful feel to them and I know you're going to love them!

The below images are a mix of items in her etsy shop and also from her website. 
Gabriela very kindly sent me some images of new listings soon to be in her etsy shop, so be sure to check it out in the near future.
Items available in the shop include pillows and cushions, accessories, home decorations and ceramics.

So, let's get to know Gabriela a little better...

(new print coming to the shop soon)

1. Can you tell us a bit about you and your background... 

I did a BA in Communications from Monica Herrera School in El Salvador. 
Thanks to an Alban Scholarship I then continued my studies through a degree in Graphic Design from Camberwell College of Arts in London. 
I have found that art is a never ending path of discovery, constant learning, experimentation and evolution. 
After working a few years in graphic design and obtaining my degree, I realised that I had a passion for illustration, textiles, patterns and children’s books so I continued honing my skills and working hard independently which is what I always wanted in order to have more flexibility between family and work.
I think perseverance, hard work and a deep love for my art and craft are two of the main things that have kept me going to the place I am now in my career.

2. Can you give us an insight into your creative process?

The first stages consist in cutting out and painting freely without putting too much pressure on the result. 
I develop characters, textures and icons which I combine to form a final composition. 
Watercolours and collage are some of my favourite medium as I love their organic and spontaneous feel. 
I also use digital tools like Photoshop, especially for final stages, as sometimes it is easier to manipulate and develop the artwork to your taste. 
When developing Gabote products, I apply the artwork on a real prototype of the textile piece to see how it looks like in flesh. 
If all details look all right I proceed to develop a number of items for sale under a limited edition basis. 
The final stage are the photographs followed by a selection of the best product images to upload to my Gabote shop. 

3. Where do you work? Describe your studio/work area…

I work from home. I have a desk where I have my laptop and my sketch books and also a few of my Gabote ceramic pieces developed as prototypes. 
I also keep artworks that I like on the wall for inspiration - these could be magazine cut outs, postcards, print outs, that I have found here and there. 
I also have a printer and scanner which I use very often for my work, especially the scanner and my watercolours are tools I couldn't live without. 
We have a book shelf where I keep books and magazines I love for reference and inspiration. 

4. Who are some of your favourite illustrators/designers and what do you like about them/their style?

I admire the work of so many artists, but I especially love the work of Mark Hearld, Manuel Marsol, Josef Frank, Aino-Maija Metsola, Makoto Kagoshima, Manuel Marsol, Fernando Llort, Maya SalarruĂ©, Frida Kahlo. 
They all have a unique point of view and almost all of them are influenced by folk art which usually depicts the natural world in a playful manner. 
I am drawn and feel a strong connection with their art because folk art, nature and playfulness resonate with my work too.  

(new print coming to the shop soon)
 5. Tell us about a typical day for you…

I think every working day is a bit different and the only constant thing is that my working hours start after dropping off my daughter at school. 
Normally, the first thing I do is reply to pending e-mails with clients or potential clients, check out my favourite art and design blogs and the rest of the day depends on the projects I am working on at that moment, for example if I am working on new designs or collections I choose subject matter to work on to create new artworks. 
I always try to squeeze in some time during the day for sharing snippets of my creative process through social media, which is something I enjoy doing to keep record of my creative process. 
I also run 30 - 45 minutes with a local friend, normally at lunch time, good for your health and lift the spirit especially during cold winter days but it also helps for creativity to step away from what you are doing and then come back with a fresh perspective.   
I make a pause in the afternoon to collect daughter from school, go with her to her after school activities, family time, make dinner and most of the time continue working a few hours more after she goes to bed. 

6. What’s the most popular item for sale in your etsy shop? And your personal favourite?

My most popular item for sale in my Etsy shop are my Colourful Fishes Pouches, I have produced a few editions of those and they always sell out especially at craft fairs or pop up shops. 
They are my personal favourite item as well. 

7. What are you currently passionate about or fascinated by and how is it inspiring your work?

I am fascinated by the wonders of collage, textures, plants and animals especially birds, fishes, sea life (as you can see on my Etsy Gabote shop) and my eternal love for patterns and their potential to be applied onto home decor products.  
I have a lifelong passion for marine life and the natural world which I see with a poetic eye that inspires my work. 

8. What are your top three blogs?

I actually love four blogs: Print & Pattern, Pattern Observer, Uppercase Magazine and your wonderful Love Print Studio Blog. 

9. What art do you have on your wall?

On my walls I have a few of my artworks, work by Lisa Jones and ceramic plates by Dona Wilson, amongst others.

10. What’s the most rewarding thing about being a designer/illustrator?

It’s a gift to be able to share your personal creative vision and imagination with others and see your work evolve throughout time. 
I also like the flexibility it offers as I always had clear in my mind that I wanted to be present in my daughter’s upbringing and be able to do what I love for a living. 
My family, especially my husband, have always been very supportive towards my creative endeavours since day one and I consider myself very fortunate for that. 

11. What's your guilty pleasure?

I love to collect things like stones, shells, marine life, jewellery made out of wood, shells and any sort of marine life found at beaches we visit during our holiday trips and our travels to Central, South America and Australia to visit family. 
I also love decorative ornaments, ceramic, textiles and clothes with inspiring patterns and embroidered motives. 
I try to restrain myself as space to store things in our London based flat is scarce.

12. What are you working on currently? And any big plans for the coming year?

I am currently working on new designs for home decorations as part of the fabulous MATS Course run by Lilla Rogers and Margo Tantau and I am also preparing new S/S print collections. 
I also have other projects in the pipeline like new wall art pieces for my Gabote shop, a new children’s story being developed with a fellow writer friend and also a collaboration with another fellow designer friend to raise awareness and support the surface pattern design community. 
The last two collaborative projects are some of the biggest and most exciting plans for this year. 
This year I am also looking forward to collaborate with contacts made during my latest participation at Playtime Paris show.

A big thanks to Gabriela for giving us an insight into her world. 
You can follow and keep up to date with Gabriela here...

x x x

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