Everyone’s work is deeply idiosyncratic: in our regular Spotlight segment we explore artists’ experiences and inspiration to understand what defines and inspires their unique styles. Concept artist Cristina de Elias draws from literature, movies and modern technology to inspire and create her pieces.
I’m an Illustrator and Concept Artist born and raised in Barcelona, Spain. I manifested my passion for drawing when I was a little child, and I knew I wanted this to be my profession the moment I learned you could make a living out of it.
Now that I’m freshly graduated from my bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts, I’m looking forward to investing all of my efforts into achieving my personal and professional goals as an artist.
I’m currently working as an environment and character Concept Artist at 3D2Entertainment, developing a fantasy video game named Arima.
Many of the big studios I would one day like to work for (Disney, Pixar, Laika, Dreamworks, and many more) are located in the U.S. This can can make it slightly harder for me to get an opportunity and would eventually require me to move there.
However, thanks to technology and the internet, you can work in various projects with enterprises from all over the world as a freelance artist.
Also, the internet is full of resources and online art schools through which we can compliment our education, so the location one lives in definitely has a lower impact in an artist’s career than it did a few decades ago.
Music, literature, movies, other artists' work, a certain smell or a certain place, a color palette, nature… For me, anything that creates a sensorial stimulation can become a source of inspiration.
But to be more specific, I’m specially moved by traditional tales and fairy tales, celtic folklore, romanticism, gothic literature, Tim Burton, the Edwardian and Victorian eras… and basically anything that incorporates a sense of nostalgia.
Charlie Bowater has always been one of my greatest influences. I was lucky to find her work on deviantart when I was just starting to get more serious about digital art. I learned a lot by observing and emulating her painting process, and that's definitely had a noticeable impact on my style.
She did this piece called "Declan" back in 2009. I was only 13 when I saw it for the first time and I felt it really resonated with my own imagination and taste. I loved the concept, the composition and the execution. I simply had a "This is the kind of art that I want to be able to create" moment.
To be an illustrator it is essential to know the fundamentals: anatomy, composition, light, color, etc. If you lack a good foundation, you will encounter many obstacles on your way, which can easily lead to frustration because it cuts short your creative process and makes you feel stuck.
I’ve learned this the hard way, and I’m still practicing and working towards building a solid base for myself.
Mastering these essential skills gives you the ability to successfully replicate the images in your mind, which translates into a wider range of possibilities, more self confidence, and a greater sense freedom.
I still draw traditionally from time to time, specially on my sketchbook, but I mainly use digital methods.
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