I’ve been a long time admirer of Maria Garcia’s colorful and adventurous illustrations. Her drawings have a certain magic to them that makes memories of my favorite storybooks from when I was a kid start resurfacing. Read on to find out more about Maria and see how she colored in her own page from our third volume.

DA: What’s up! What was the most recent cool thing you did?

MG: Well, I think this interview is pretty cool! Also, this year I took part in illustrating a children’s book called “Soy artista” (I’m an artist) published by Oniro with some other illustrators, it was a really amusing project. I’m also happy I brought my website to life and started running a small on-line shop at society6. Right now I’m working on a children’s book and I’m illustrating a card-based board game with my boyfriend that we expect to be able to present really soon.

DA: No wonder your style really makes my childhood picture-book nostalgia twang. What are some of your favourite sources to derive inspiration from?

MG: The first thing I do every morning is have a look at some art webs and platforms and checking for updates in the artists’ blogs I follow. The internet is a wonderful gallery and source! Apart from that, I believe that going outside, meeting people, traveling, etc. are the best ways to get inspiration.

DA: At what time and place does your doodling normally occur? Are there any specific hours or places that feel more productive for you than others?

MG: I’m totally a daytime person. I like to wake up early and my productivity kind of dies with sunset. I have a little notebook that I carry around and use to sketch, especially on the train. But when doing “real” work I need a quiet environment, preferably with no one around, some music playing and nice views through the window.

DA: Do you already have your characters in mind when you start drawing or do they just kind of grow organically from your pencil?

MG: It happens both ways. When I have to define the characters for a book, I obviously have a slight idea of how I want them to be, but it takes a lot of drawing and redrawing to define them. When I make independent illustrations, for example the illustration I post accompanied by a short tale in my blog every Tuesday, I often imagine the whole story and its characters before starting drawing. Many times though, I just start working, doodling, adding colour and collage, and when it’s done I check the result and give it a story.

DA: Do you ever get stuck on one part of a drawing? If so, how do you work past that?

MG: Yes, of course. If I can afford it, considering deadlines, I just change the activity and work in something else or take a break. Normally when I get back to it I’m able to see what wasn’t working and I fix it. It also helps to look at the drawing from a different perspective or asking a colleague or a friend to have a look at it. If I’m still stuck or if I’m running out of time there’s no option but to “fight” it… and draw until it works.

DA: That’s a useful suggestion for fellow artists. What kind of stuff would you like to see yourself doing five years from now?

MG: I’m focusing to get into the editorial world so I would like to be publishing children’s books. I love creating my own stories but I really enjoy taking someone else tale and help bring it to life too. That said, I would be happy doing anything that allowed me to live from my illustrations.

DA: Did you color in your own illustration in our Coloring Book Volume 3? Show us!

MG: Yes and it was quite interesting! I was colouring my own drawing, but the fact that it was printed on the book and that quite a long time had passed since I made it made me look at it with different eyes, like if it was someone else’s work.

DA: Thanks Maria! That wraps it up folks, you can follow Maria online at her website and on twitter.