PODCAST

Draws in Spanish | Conversations with Latinx Visual Artists and Designers

Fabiola Lara

[Draws in Spanish] showcases noteworthy Latinx visual artists, exploring their creative journeys and how they got to where they are today. Host and Chilean-American illustrator, Fabiola Lara, brings humor and empathy to the conversation, uncovering how the artist’s culture and Latinx identity informs their artwork. Whether you’re just starting your creative career or looking to discover the next big name in visual art, join Fabiola as she chats in English with artists who draw in Spanish.
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About [Draws in Spanish]
Aug 17 2021
1 min
09: Mexican-American Illustrator & Lettering Artist Jackie Rivera
Leaving a stable desk job always feels risky, but this week’s artist — Jackie Rivera — took the leap and never looked back! She is a Seattle-based artist who creates colorful and very graphic pieces mixing illustration, animation, and lettering.Jackie knew it was time to leave her admin job when she received an inquiry for a freelance project with a budget in the 5-figures, and even though she didn’t land the gig, she saw it as a sign to believe in herself. Just six months later she’s already taking on freelance projects with dream clients and pursuing the creative career she’s always wanted.Beyond her career trajectory, we also get into the ins and outs of growing up Mexican in Northern California, cleaning your classmates’ homes with your mom, and dealing with the guilt that comes with being a first-gen college student.Be sure to tune in to this episode for a few words of encouragement for artists who find themselves between a soul-sucking admin job and their dream creative career.In this episode, we talk all about how Jackie found graphic design, how she gets inspired to create new work, and how she expanded her identity beyond her artistic output.Listen to the episode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Amazon Music, Stitcher, iHeartRadio, or on your favorite podcast platform.Topics Covered:Connecting with your culture through Mexican foodUnpacking Mexican MisconceptionsValidating your immigrant parents’ strugglesDrawing Spongebob, Bratz Dolls, My Scene Dolls, and ZentaggleBreaking the starving artist stereotypeCleaning houses for your rich classmatesDiscovering graphic design at a career fairBeing inspired by the Mexican designers before her such as Marisol OrtegaWorking at a soul-sucking job for a stable incomeStruggling with feeling like “an artist”Believing in your artistic valueAdvice for artists who feel like giving upCreating for Instagram in order to attract clientsWorking with Adobe on animated lettering postsGetting started with tactile letteringBeing comfortable with being bad at somethingGuest InfoCheck out Jackie Rivera’s Instagram and Portfolio.Special OfferListeners of the podcast can get a free, undated weekly and monthly planner inspired by the show from our website here.Follow Host Fabiola Lara between episodes:InstagramYoutubeTikTok
Jan 11 2022
1 hr 1 min
08: Brazilian Illustrator & Graphic Designer Niege Borges
This week’s artist went from buying second-hand Vogue magazines to illustrating Vogue covers! Niege Borges is a Brooklyn-based, Brazilian-born illustrator and graphic designer who creates vivid, bold, and movement-driven illustrations of figures and faces.She kicked off her creative career studying graphic design, but an ad agency internship revealed her knack for illustration. Niege eventually made the leap to freelance illustration after exploring her style and sharing it with the world through Instagram. She took a leap of faith and went to visit New York City for 3 months — which quickly turned to 5 months — eventually deciding to make New York home.In this episode, we discuss the details of Niege's creative process including how she starts her illustrations, her favorite illustration tools, and how she discovered to her style. Niege also shares a few words of wisdom for artists who are still finding their voice and identifying the type of clients they want to work for.Listen to the episode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Amazon Music, Stitcher, iHeartRadio, or on your favorite podcast platform.Topics Covered:Brazilian influences in her artworkThe over-sexualization of Brazilian womenWorking with Vogue BrazilGetting a U.S. Artist VisaNiege’s TikTok Campaign for Latinx Heritage MonthUsing Illustrator for SketchingFinding Your Own Illustration StyleWorking with Photo ReferencesGuest InfoCheck out Niege’s work on her website.Special OfferListeners of the podcast can get a free, undated weekly and monthly planner inspired by the show from our website here.Follow Host Fabiola Lara between episodes:InstagramYoutubeTikTok
Dec 14 2021
45 mins
07: Mexican Illustrator & YouTuber Paloma Cordova
On this episode, I have a very vulnerable conversation with 21-yr-old Mexican illustrator and YouTuber Paloma Cordova. We get real about how broken the US immigration system is, the intricacies of race and Latinx identity, and how she broke into the illustration world through YouTube.In the first half of this episode, we discuss how Paloma’s Mexican heritage impacts her work and she gets honest with me about the struggles of immigrating to the US. Paloma reveals that she’s an undocumented DREAMer in the US, how that impacts her life here and her relationship with her Mexican roots. We also bond over the intricacies of racial identity as light-skinned Latinx women and how it can be difficult to navigate racial terms while staying true to ourselves, our experience, and our culture.In terms of her creative career, Paloma got her start in illustration by following her love for cute stationary and stickers. Her father (adorably) gifted her a Cricut machine as a way lifting her out from a depressive season, and she seized the opportunity by launching her online sticker shop in mid 2019. Once sticker sales started picking up in 2020, she realized — alongside her parents — that she could pursue art as a career.Now, Paloma is studying Art History all while balancing a thriving YouTube channel, Patreon, and merch store. Her degree is helping her round out her influences and develop her style as she keeps exploring new mediums and evolving her digital work. Listen to this episode to hear more about Paloma’s complex immigration story, racial identity as a Mexican woman, and career as both an artist and content creator.Listen to the episode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Amazon Music, Stitcher, iHeartRadio, or on your favorite podcast platform.Guest InfoCheck out Paloma’s latest work on Instagram, YouTube, Merch store, or website.Special OfferListeners of the podcast can get a free, undated weekly and monthly planner inspired by the show from our website here.Follow Host Fabiola Lara between episodes on Instagram, YouTube, and TikTokTopics Covered:Immigrating from Mexico at 1 year oldThe struggles of living undocumented in the USDating within your nationality and immigration statusHow to stay connected with your Mexican heritageThe divide between Mexican-Americans and MexicansHow your immigration status impacts your everyday lifeDiscussing race within the Latinx communityBreaking down negative Mexican stereotypesExploring the difference between race, culture, and ethnicityFinding a community of art youtubers such as Katnipp Illustration and Apple CheeksGetting started on YouTube by creating Studio VlogsAdvice for launching a successful Patreon accountEstablishing yourself as a Content Creator and ArtistLanding her first brand collaboration with Kinokuniya USA
Nov 30 2021
1 hr 3 mins
06: Salvadorian & Cuban-American artist, Manuela Guillén
Do you ever have the urge to sell everything you own and move to a tropical island? Well this week’s [Draws in Spanish] guest did just that! Although Manuela doesn’t consider herself someone who usually makes impulse decisions, we talked all about how her time living abroad in Isla Mujeres, Mexico and how her experiences in Latin America directly influence her work to this day.Manuela, now an artist and educator based in Philadelphia, was raised in South Florida and moved to a predominately white suburb in New Jersey. During her high school years, Manuela felt ostracized for being Latina and found solidarity with other creative kids of color.Manuela’s family has always been extremely supportive of her creativity and encouraged her to pursue her dreams of being an artist. With her family’s support, she went on to attend Stockton University where she developed a series of paintings that celebrated her family’s immigration story, and kicked off her more “political” work. Now, Manuela fully believes in art’s power to create social change by disarming viewers and showing them a new perspective.Beyond her relationship with art, we also discussed body image issues associated with Latinx women, identifying with alternative and “emo” subcultures, and the unwanted attention of speaking Spanish publicly in suburban New Jersey. Listen to this episode to learn more about Manuela’s complex identity and unique path as an artist.Listen to the episode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Amazon Music, Stitcher, iHeartRadio, or on your favorite podcast platform.Guest InfoCheck out Manuela’s latest work on Instagram, view  her portfolio, or shop her online store.Special OfferListeners of the podcast can get a free, undated weekly and monthly planner inspired by the show from our website here.Follow Host Fabiola Lara between episodes:InstagramYoutubeTikTokTopics Covered:Impulsively Moving to Isla Mujeres in MexicoBeing an Art Teacher in North PhillyHow Living Abroad in Tropical Places Has Shaped Her WorkHow Her Cuban and Salvadorian Culture Influence HerThe Diversity of Culture and Food in Latin AmericaSpeaking Spanish in White Dominated SpacesFeeling Ostracized because of your Latinx CultureFinding Community Through ArtBreaking Down Negative Cuban and Latinx StereotypesHow Art Can Create Social Change
Nov 16 2021
38 mins
05: Mexican & Irish-American Illustrator and Author, Molly Mendoza
If you’ve ever felt shy speaking Spanish, you’ll feel right at home with this episode. This week, I chat with Portland-based illustrator and author Molly Mendoza about how their Mexican/Irish-American culture influence their colorful and dynamic work.Molly was raised in the Chicago suburbs before moving to Arizona in middle school, and eventually landed in Portland, OR for college. Since their college days, Molly’s illustrated picture books, written graphic novels, and painted murals all while continuously elevating their work.Despite working with notable clients like Adobe and The New York Times, Molly’s not above making fan art! They explain that they view fan art as a fun outlet and a break from commercial work that allows them to connect to some of their favorite anime series like JoJo Bizarre Adventure. Molly even admits that their JBA fan art subtlety influenced their recent work for “Reflejoz en La Luz,” their recent duo show at Upper Playground Gallery in Portland.These days, Molly’s focused on illustrating a new picture book, Jovita Wore Pants, and explains how they’ve built trust with Art Directors in order to approach every illustrated book differently. Listen to this episode to learn more about Molly’s Latinx influences, intuitive approach to illustration, and thriving career in publishing.Listen to the episode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Amazon Music, Stitcher, iHeartRadio, or on your favorite podcast platform.Topics Covered:What it was like growing up in an Irish-American & Mexican householdFeeling self-conscious speaking SpanishHow Latinx heritage influences artwork in very personal waysThe struggles and realities of moving to a new middle schoolHow light and color heavily influence their workFan art as a legitimate art formWorking on their new picture book Jovita Wore Pants.Practical advice for artists wanting to work in comics and graphic novelsGuest InfoCheck out Molly’s latest work on Instagram, and their latest comic The Drake’s Sword for Shortbox Comics Fair.Bonus Links:Shade of Fear: Horror Anthology KickstarterSKIP - Molly’s Graphic NovelMolly’s insanely awesome portfolioSpecial OfferListeners of the podcast can get a free, undated weekly and monthly planner inspired by the show from our website here.Follow Me between Draws in Spanish episodes:Our WebsiteInstagramYoutubeTikTok
Nov 2 2021
47 mins
04: Venezuelan Illustrator, Natali Koromoto Martinez
In this episode, I sit down with Natali Martinez to uncover where she draws inspiration for her cute illustration style, how her Venezuelan roots influence her work and perspective, and exactly what goes into getting started with an online shop.Natali, who unexpectedly moved to Florida after Chavez took power in Venezuela, pursued a degree in animation only to realize she didn’t have the patience for the field. After graduation, she took a leap of faith and moved with her friends to NYC, where she began her freelance career.During this time, she slowly began creating her own illustrations and developing her voice and style. Now, Natali has a loyal following of 180k Instagram followers who love her cute illustrations and buy into her world through prints, pins, apparel, and plushies.Natali is already working on her next big project by launching an apparel line with her partner later this year.Listen to the episode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Amazon Music, Stitcher, iHeartRadio, or on your favorite podcast platform.Topics Covered:Moving from Venezuela to the U.S.Starting her Small Business from ScratchRaising awareness of Latinx culture by depicting Latinx foods and dessertsWhat Inspires her Playful, Cute, and Unique StyleThe Pros and Cons of Working with ManufacturersTips for Starting Your Own Online ShopGuest InfoConnect with Natali on Instagram and check out her shop here.Bonus Links:More About MafaldaEarly Simpsons ColorsNatali’s Spongebob IllustrationsSpecial OfferListeners of the podcast can get a free, undated weekly and monthly planner inspired by the show from our website here.Follow Me between Draws in Spanish episodes:Our WebsiteInstagramYoutubeTikTok
Oct 19 2021
30 mins
03: Gay Chicanx Collage Artist, Ruby Marquez | @Broobs
If you’ve ever had a crisis about your Latinx identity, you’ll feel at home with this episode featuring Mexican-American collage artist Ruby Marquez. Ruby is very familiar with the emotional ups and downs surrounding Latinx identity and is on a never-ending journey to connect with their indigenous roots.Ruby, who was initially encouraged to become a Firefighter by their father, connected with collage-making after taking a rouge photography class in college. Now, they’ve amassed a source material library of over 2,000 images, and are constantly finding new material online and offline in order to create their Catholicism-inspired collages.With Ruby’s vast collection of photos, this San Fransisco-based collage artist is able to pay homage to victims of police violence by creating ornate tributes that honor victims with compassion. Ruby also makes portraits of LGBTQIA+, Latinx, and Black icons to raise awareness for both historic and present-day political movements.Looking forward, Ruby dreams of creating a Fantasia-inspired video with a legendary lineup of Latinx musicians. Go ahead and listen to this week’s episode to hear more about Ruby’s Chicanx identity and how they connect with their culture through their work.Listen to the episode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Amazon Music, Stitcher, iHeartRadio, or on your favorite podcast platform.Topics Covered:Connecting with and reclaiming your indigenous rootsIncorporating Catholic imagery into their workMemorializing people through portraitureGathering source material for collagesProcessing emotions through artworkThe struggles of perfectionism on social mediaOversharing on social mediaGuest InfoConnect with Ruby on Instagram, Patreon, and check out their shop here.Special OfferListeners of the podcast can get a free, undated weekly and monthly planner inspired by the show from our website here.Follow me between [Draws in Spanish] episodes:Our WebsiteInstagramYoutubeTikTok
Oct 5 2021
42 mins
02: Colombian Illustrator & Multidisciplinary Artist, Katty Huertas | @KattyHuertas
When Katty decided to move with her now-husband from Bogotá, Colombia to Miami at age 19, her whole family thought she was crazy. She quickly learned that she would have to acclimate to a new way of life including learning that her aspirations for being an artist and illustrator couldn’t be satisfied at the state university where she was attending college. It wasn’t until she moved to DC and attended MICA where she found a community of fellow creatives and built the graphic design skills she needed to become a more well-rounded and professional illustrator. Her first big commission came from the art director at Lenny Letter - an opportunity Katty said she jumped at. She realized that this whole illustration thing could actually become a fulfilling career. You can now find Katty’s colorful work featured on nbcnews.com, The Today Show, and many other notable clients such as Adobe, HBO Max, and even The New York Times. Nothing beats a recent project she calls “a dream job.” Katty created the key art for Disney’s Diary of a Future President and hopes to do more key art in the future. We discuss the details of Katty’s artistic process and how it has changed as she gains more experience and confidence in her craft. While her art is extremely recognizable from its bright color palette, something she says was influenced by her Colombian heritage, she also recognizes that she wants to evolve and change as an artist. Katty is experimenting with AR, ceramics, and photo collages making her a true multidisciplinary designer. Join me on this week’s episode to hear more about how Katty approaches her work with originality and authenticity.Listen to the episode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Amazon Music, Stitcher, iHeartRadio, or on your favorite podcast platform.Topics Covered:Katty’s brave decision to move the U.S. from Colombia at age 19How her Colombian heritage influences her workBreaking down American and Colombian stereotypesHow her art and graphic design training are both used to create her workHer favorite and least favorite part of her workWhat’s it’s like to work for big brands like DisneyAdvice for young illustrators and designersCreating her new Skillshare courseResources Mentioned:Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA)NBC News, The Today ShowDiary of a Future PresidentMiami Children’s MuseumSkillshareGuest InfoConnect with Katty on Instagram and Youtube. You can also see more of her work on her website.Special OfferListeners of the podcast can get a free, undated weekly and monthly planner inspired by the show from our website here.Follow me between [Draws in Spanish] episodes:Our WebsiteInstagramYoutubeTikTok
Oct 5 2021
42 mins
01: Queer Chilean Illustrator, Fran Meneses | @Frannerd
What’s the name that you give when a barista asks? There’s a good chance that it’s not the one that’s on your license or what your friends call you. Fran Meneses knows all about that, having grown up in Chile and living most of her adult life in Germany, the UK, and now the US. The Brooklyn-based queer illustrator is known for her insightful comics that she posts to her popular Instagram account @frannerd, and her YouTube channel by the same name that gives viewers a peek behind the scenes. But the path to settling in her cozy Brooklyn studio wasn’t exactly how she sketched it out to be. Starting with everything—and she means everything—going wrong upon arrival in Germany, to realizing the idyllic life she created in England wasn’t so idyllic after all, Fran has channeled those challenges into growing as a storyteller and illustrator. Her Chilean-accented English that used to cause her such shame now empowers her to share tidbits of her immigrant experience through her art.Her latest challenge is a 250-page sci-fi graphic novel, which she admits to having started and scrapped a couple of times now. Working on something long-term in this instant gratification world can be daunting, but Fran says she likes to keep her audience involved with the process so that she doesn’t feel so far away from her community. Listen to this week’s episode to hear more about her projects and how she’s reframing what it means to be a queer Latinx content creator. Listen to the episode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Amazon Music, Stitcher, iHeartRadio, or on your favorite podcast platform.Topics Covered:Living abroad as a Latinx personThe struggles & privileges of being a white-passing LatinaHonoring your culture through artDiscovering your voice as a storyteller and illustratorFinding the courage to create your own career pathGuest InfoConnect with Fran on Instagram, Patreon, and Youtube. Also, check out her online store We Are Nice Humans.Special OfferListeners of the podcast can get a free, undated weekly and monthly planner inspired by the show from our website here.Follow me between [Draws in Spanish] episodes:Our WebsiteInstagramYoutubeTikTok
Oct 5 2021
52 mins
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