When you look at Manoli's works, you won't be able to help yourself but to smile. There's a wild, carefree, child-like joy that is pouring out of every painting! We've known Manoli for a while now, and she's always such a delight to work with.
Read on to learn more about Manoli and her world.
What / who do you draw inspiration from the most?
When I was a child, I knew of a Spanish illustrator called Maria Pascual. She illustrated a really beautiful book of Hans Christian Andersen tales, and she has always inspired me with her beautiful characters.
Later, in my teenage years, I came to like Japanese manga, one of my favourite mangas ever was Honey & Clover by Chika Umino. It's a really inspiring manga — the story, the character design, everything.
Nowadays, I find inspiration in alternative animation producers like Laika (Kubo and the Two Strings), Japanese artists like Yoshitaka Amano, the amazing Studio Ghibli art by Hayao Miyazaki, or even magazines like Flow.
What mediums do you prefer to use and why?
When I was an art student, I loved drawing with a pencil because it was easy to control. I hated watercolours then. However, something changed my mind after a while, and I eventually came to love watercolours.
Actually, I love watercolours now because it’s so smooth to apply and you can control the opacity with just water! It's like magic! With traditional mediums, you must overcome the fear of messing up your drawings. You just need to know that you can always start again.
How would you describe the Mossery Sketchbook to others?
One word: surprising! I loved the idea from the very beginning when I was given the opportunity to use the Mossery sketchbook. But apart from the sketchbook itself, I also appreciate all the lovely details along with the team’s kindness. I really love the passionate work they’re doing, and I really love people who work hard on a dream that they have, like Mossery.
When I received the sketchbook, I was pleasantly surprised by the great quality of the paper. It’s really versatile. I can use watercolour or ink, and my pencil sketches are prettier on this paper, I swear! Also, my name in bright gold, the cover's design, the packaging... everything is just amazing.
Tell us about your favourite place to find inspiration. Also, do you have a muse of sorts?
From a day-to-day basis, my Instagram and Pinterest feeds are some of my main sources of inspiration. One of my favourite artists (I consider her one of my muses) is actually Lisk Feng, I really love her works! I really love Sibylline Meynet’s works as well, she makes me dream always!
Do you believe in talent?
This is a complicated question, but yes, I think talent exists. However, if you don't work on it, talent won’t become a reality. I’ve met some very talented people that didn't want to make an effort — those who have so much talent in art but don’t end up working as illustrators.
In the same way, I’ve also met people who work hard and make a huge effort, and you can really see their talent grow. They are amazing professionals now, all with bigger talents than before.
What made you come up with the appreciation series for other female artists? Tell us a little bit about that.
As I‘ve answered previously on the question about my muses and inspirations, a large chunk of my inspiration comes from my Instagram feed, and I’ve found out coincidentally that most of my favourite artists are females—it was such a lovely discovery, because most of my followers are women too (84%).
I just wanted to share all these talented artists and definitely increase the exposure of their artworks. I think that as fellow artists, we need to stand together, support, and care for each other. I also think that my followers get to know me better by seeing my muses and inspirations.
You seem to be very fascinated with galaxies and all things cosmic. Is there a specific reason why?
I've always loved this theme. When I was younger, my family and I went on vacation at a very small town in Galicia, Spain. We went to a beach on an August night, when the Perseids meteor shower was occurring. I won't forget that amazing night, the sky was simply the most amazing spectacle I have ever seen.
The thing is, I don't usually use black in my artworks, because I think it’s too complicated for me to use, but when the last Inktober came around, somehow I remembered that particular night and wanted to challenge myself to use black again. It was in this strange way that my cosmic art started.
What kind of advice would you give to young creatives?
Whenever someone asks me this question, I will always remember myself as a student, and I usually ask myself about the questions I would like to ask a professional artist. This career is a long path, sometimes you’ll think that it’s too long, but the truth is that it deserves the effort.
If I can give advice to young creatives, it would be to give your best and don't give up. Stay connected with the people who are like you — young creatives who share the same passion as you and are also wanting to grow their careers. Share your experiences with them and build a community together.
Practice, practice, and practice. Also, ask for help if you need it. The Internet is a great tool to search for a lot of information, inspiration resources, and people. There are a lot of young creatives like you out there.
Most importantly, believe in yourself, and believe in your work.
If you’re given only one word to describe yourself, what word would it be and why?
I think persistence would be the word. Even though I finished my art studies 11 years ago, I’ve only become a full-time illustrator a couple of years ago. In these 9 years, I didn't really believe in myself and I worked on many things that were unrelated to illustration.
However, I’ve never given up on the idea of being a full-time illustrator, and that spirit of persistence definitely helped me a lot in my journey.
Tell us a secret.
Sometimes, when I see a really cute puppy, especially a Daschund or a Shiba, I cry! Really, I don't want to, but all these love-tears just comes out of my eyes! Also, I really love Genmaicha tea. This is not a secret, but I really love it.
You can find Manoli's works on her Instagram and her website.