Mariana Calderón ( known to most as Mariana and by me as Auroristar) is an amazing illustrator painting the tumblr world crazy. She is Mexican-born and resides there, so a lot of her illustrations are referenced from the French fashion and art scene. Mariana recently entered a competition with Evisu Jeans to rebrand the “E” logo they have, in which Mariana was chosen as top 20, so I sat herdown for a little Q&A…
Tell us a little about yourself…
I was born in México city, but I moved a lot during my childhood, which made me an absolute travel lover. I’ve studied Fine Art at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México(UNAM), and after finishing college I got back to Zacatecas, the city where my parents have lived for 15 years now. I started a lot of side projects like silversmithing and fashion design, which made me realise my huge passion for style, fashion and everything that self-image can express of someone’s individuality, nacionality, ethnicity and culture.
When did you start illustrating?
I was 13 when I made my first formal illustration, for some books written by teenagers too, here in Zacatecas, but at the moment I didn’t thought that that was the thing I wanted to do for a living. After college I started to work in personal projects related with comic and graphic novels, so I can say that was the moment I started, four years ago.
How long have you been illustrating?
It’s kinda hard to tell ‘cos I been obsessed with graphic novels, children’s books and fashion illustration for so long that I can’t say exactly when I started. I feel like I been doing it my whole life, every drawing and every project, even the ones I made as a kid, were important for the way I do things now.
What inspires your illustration?
People. I find portraits fascinating, but also what belongs to people – their houses, their clothing, their parties and personal pictures. I love those images that were not meant to be art but just a testimonial of someone’s life. I would say those glimpses of intimacy are my main inspiration. And in a more visual approach, I’d say that light and vintage tones always get me.
Which is you best illustration?
Also a bit hard to tell, I feel like I’m always liking most the things I haven’t made yet, ‘cos I discover new ways of drawing every time I finish something. By now I’m adoring digital drawing, and I like my simple clean drawings, like my model portraits for example.
What great artist do you look up to for inspiration?
My inspiration is mainly American. Eric Fischl is my favourite painter – it’s always fascinating to see his work, both in a technical and conceptual way. Alice Neel portraits and Andrew Wyeth’s works always give me the feeling to keep looking for new ways to talk about the most simple things.
Who are your favourite designers?
Ann Demeulemeester and Alexander Wang are the kind of things that match my style and I’d love to wear everyday, but in the other hand Betsey Johnson and Sonia Rykiel are so inspiring! I love their vision of femininity, the fun and daring attitude, kinda over the top sometimes… those are the kind of things I love to draw!
What brought the move to try styling out?
First of all, the fact that I love to learn new things, practical and useful things. I’m very passionate about all things you can do with your own hands, skills, but also of the difference you can make by adding some sensibility to common trades. And also I was very inspired by my grandma, all the care that she puts into her hair, makeup and image in general. I grew up watching all her routines and knowing how much her image meant in her life. I find self image as one of the most important aspects of human expression, no matter if it’s in your everyday life, in magazines or in the streets.
What do think about when your styling?
I think is all about the balance between your own vision and knowledge and sensibility to your clients needs. I’m always thinking about giving them what they want but also making a difference with innovative solutions. Is not only about doing things right, but giving clients a reason to choose you in particular.
What kind of works have you done?
At the moment just some styling for friends, particulary young people. Mainly I experiment with my own hair, playing with hairdos and make-up to create different characters with my own image. As I get more experiencie, I’d love to do editorial and runway styling.
The exhibition for the Evisu competition opened yesterday on the 8th of December to coincide with the Evisu 20th anniversary party .
I also asked her to make a little sketch of our current FAB issue.
I wish Mairana all the best in her competition and hope she wins, because her work is absolutely FAB!