Like many of our favourite illustrators, we first stumbled across Genie Espinosa’s wonderful artwork on instagram. We love her depictions of fun characters, bloodthirsty cats and shiny bum cheeks. Read on for a cosy q+a and a little peek into her sketchbook.
1. Hello Genie, tell us a bit about yourself
Hola! My name is Genie Espinosa and I am an illustrator from Barcelona, I am a heavy coffee drinker, a sugar addict and I am obsessed with pugs. I love my job over everything and it gives me so much joy and desperation sometimes. I decided to become a full time illustrator quite late, quit my job as a marketing head and focused on finding my way in this incredible job.
2. What’s your work process like? Do you work straight on to a computer or do you use sketchbooks?
If I am working for a client I tend to make all the process digital so I can share the sketches quite quick. If it’s something for personal I usually doodle some lines and circles in my notebook before going in to my ipad or cintiq to make the composition. I wish I worked more with pencils as I find it very very fun.
3. Do you listen to or watch anything while you work? Podcasts, music, TV?
YES! I need something in the background to help me work, I usually listen to music (spanish bands like PARADE, Rosalía, Los Planetas and of course Joy Division, The Smiths, Gorillaz, Scott Walker would be my first choices), if I feel like singing loud I’ll play musicals and if i need bg noise I will just play reality TV shows in the background to keep me company.
4. Tell us about a typical day in the life of Genie Espinosa
I usually start having a coffee and going to the gym around 8 to 10AM and then I’ll have another coffee and sit and work until lunch time and after that I’ll have a quick nap (15 min) until I sit down again to work a bit more. The best days are when I meet my friends to have cake or coffee, it is really nice to move away from the screen for a bit. It refreshes my head and helps me continue working.
5. Take us for an imaginary day out in your home city of Barcelona!
AAAAAH! As it’s imagination I’ll make it a nice not-too-hot day light jacket required. I’ll take you walking to my favourite neighbourhood (El Born) and we’ll have a coffee or tea, we’ll see beautiful buildings and enjoy the warm weather. We’ll go in to many many beautiful shops and discover hidden places from the Gothic area, and then we can go near the sea!
6. We were quite surprised when we saw the super cute kids book section of your website. We were both only really familiar with your work on instagram, which is full of butts, claws and blood! Is it difficult to switch from one style to the other? Do you prefer doing kids stuff or the more adult work?
Hahaha! YES! I mainly work illustrating children’s books, it’s something I’ve been doing for a long time and it’s very natural to me. However, I needed to explore my own language and I separated the art, so the clients aren’t confused with it. I have so much fun working on my personal style and that makes it really hard to behave nicely and draw cute things lol! I can say my personal art is an escape to reality, but luckily I am getting some projects with my personal style and that makes me really happy, because that’s what I’d like to do in the future. Also I am working on my children’s style and I think it’s growing in a very interesting way!
7. Whose work are you admiring at the moment? Anyone/thing you want to big up?
I am very crazy about Yuichi Yokoyama, an artist I find really mind blowing. Also I have the luck to be surrounded both physically and digitally by amazing artists like yourselves! Also I am surrounded with the talent of Lorenzo Montatore, Clara Soriano, Antonio Hitos, Martha Rivas, Dorota Liwacz, Aisha Franz, Zack Rosebrugh, Anna Haifisch, … oh! the list is really infinite!
8. What are you currently working on? Any exciting projects coming up?
I am working on my first graphic novel. I am really excited about that as it’s a huge challenge to work on a long story! It’s time for me to do it so 2020 here I comeeeeeeeeee!!!!!