CF: tell us a bit about your background. what were your first steps in illustration? what inspires you currently?
My name is Inma Lorente and I was born in Valencia. I studied graphic design initially and then illustration. As a child my clothes always had paint stains on them. I grew up painting and drawing. I wasn’t amazing at it, but I remember enjoying it endlessly. Back then, it was quite difficult for me to find the right perspectives and proportions.
I currently enjoy riding my bicycle immensely: to abstract myself while going for a ride; ending up at the beach and going for a swim. Traveling is really important for me. It’s when experiencing other cultures that I feel like a child again because everything is new, different, and there’s tons of things to discover. I love to delve into new customs, food, and people.
I’m also inspired by good records. Music is essential for me while working.
CF: you studied a masters in Creative Illustration in Barcelona, what can you tell us about that experience? how has that influenced your work?
When I was going to graphic design school I had an amazing time. I was very interested by typography, designing posters, brands, etc… but I always had an interest for illustration and I’ve never stopped drawing. After finishing my first degree I spent two years working for a company in their communications department, but I got bored and decided to move to Barcelona and study what I always wanted.
I was initially scared by it and I wasn’t sure if I should have left my job, but ultimately it has opened so many doors for me. It really changed the way I see illustration and I feel my style evolved to the point where I feel very comfortable when drawing. I was lucky enough to be in a school where freedom was emphasized. I now look back and miss my time spent there and the classmates I had.
“It’s when experiencing other cultures that I feel like a child again ’cause everything’s new”
CF: your illustrations are often made up of very simple lines and shapes, almost child-like, but your use of color sparks life into them in a very unique way. how would you describe the approach to your work and the role color plays in them?
My favorite technique involves using acrylic color pencils. I like their expressive stain and insecure stroke. I feel comfortable when drawing erratically; it gives me a sense of freedom even though a few things end up going being stuck in a drawer.
My method is to allow myself to enjoy what I’m doing. To try and forget what I learned in school and go back to an innocent state of mind. I don’t like rules and academicism in art. I like to draw freely and when starting a new piece I have no idea how or when it will be finished. My basic tool is intuition. I love to immerse myself into the drawing and loose notion of time and space.
Color definitely plays an important role in my compositions. It helps to unify and play with the elements’ visual depth. I play with the paint stroke and expressive line, while always making sure the communication is effective.
CF: if you could soundtrack your work, what would you choose?
I would choose the songs from the Into the Wild soundtrack, which are written and performed by Eddie Vedder.
CF: what is your favorite thing about living in Valencia?
I currently live in Ontinyent, at my mother’s house. I like it because my friends live close by. Being close to the countryside, I’ve taken advantage of it and built an orchard with a friend and that allows me to be in contact with nature, which is another factor providing inspiration to my drawings.
Valencia is a quiet city; it’s very comfortable and I can cycle everywhere. I like it, but I didn’t choose to live there for any particular reason. My family lives nearby and a few of my friends are in the city… so it was a decision based on comfort.
I’m not sure where I’ll end up living next; actually, I’m not sure where I’ll be a month from now, but that’s something that I like. If I had a predictable life it wouldn’t be as fun. Changing places is thrilling, sometimes it scares me, other times it amuses me. I admit, if I could move to a different city every two years I would. The world is huge and it inspires me greatly to experience other places and cultures.
“I like to draw freely, so when starting a new piece I’ve no idea how or when it’ll be finished”
CF: are there any future projects you could share with us? where would you like to see your career going in the next few years?
I’ve been selected to illustrate various projects for the Tantágora cultural association throughout the year. They are dedicated to promoting catalan literature by working with other formats such as illustration, music, theatre, etc. I’m also illustrating various pieces for a webzine called The Church Of Horrors.
I recently finished a small illustrated diary about a trip to Morocco. I decided to capture what I liked the most through drawings and notes while I was there. Once I came back home I finished the booklet, which will be published and sold soon.
There’s a project not related to illustration which I’ve had in mind, which is to study cooking. I really enjoy it; it’s a very creative endeavor in which you can use all your senses. Further along the way I would love to build a house and setup a cooperative for organic produce. Ultimately, I’d love to develop an alternative lifestyle and illustrate without worrying about being able to pay rent.