Introducing Mariana Rodrigues: jelly London's newest Future

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Ever wondered what inspires the jelly talent? What drives them? What a typical day is like?

jelly London's Head of Creative Comms Rachael Guiver went behind the scenes with jelly's newest Futures illustrator Mariana Rodrigues to ask how she starts her day, what she loves most about her job, and who her dream clients would be..

Mariana's style is based on deconstructing things — often nature — and reassembling them into a new, imaginary world. Her illustrations are created by a combination of techniques: pencil, ink, watercolor, digital manipulation and digital coloring. She has worked with some top notch clients already including Patrick Watson, Country Living and Work Club for Original Source.

1.       So, tell us how it all started. 

I started out as a graphic designer, practicing it for 3 years. Somewhere along the way I started illustrating, purely for pleasure. Suddenly, I realised I was happier illustrating than designing. It made me want to get out of bed everyday. Looking back, I guess that illustration was always there, always tickling me, but I'd never thought about dedicating myself to it until that day.

So yeah, now I'm a happy illustrator!


2.       What’s a typical day like for you? How do you come up with all your new concepts? 

It really depends, but usually I take a walk while I drink a coffee, think, dream and observe the world around me before I sit at my desk. Then I check emails and I spend too much time on Instagram (follow me at @mariana_msr!) and blogs. After that is just a mixture of drawing, painting, worrying, colouring and panicking on whatever I'm working on.

My concepts and inspiration come from the world around me. How I see it and feel it, mostly. Ideas just pop into my head and I really have to be into them. I have to feel that they mean something to me, only then I'll put them on paper.


3. What have you been up to lately? 

Alongside my personal project "The ABC of Nature" and some client work, I've started a new project which I can't quite talk about yet. Stay tuned!

In my free time, I feed my Instagram addiction with a lot of photography. I also bake and I'm learning how to do crochet.


4.       What do you love most about your job? 

It's fun and different everyday. Being able to create whatever is on my mind. Learning new things with each work. It's never boring.


5.       What is the most challenging part?

 Being afraid of not having ideas. It's not an easy process when your mind is blank.


6.       You’ve got an impressive portfolio, tell us a little about what it was like to work for such super clients.

I love new commissions, it's so exciting! I always do my best in each one and I always try to push myself too. I think it's important that you believe in what you put out there, otherwise it's not worth it.


7.       We know picking a favourite piece is like picking a favourite child, so how are your projects special to you in their own way?

Each work takes me to a particular time and place, especially because I lived in a few cities. So each work reflects that. Where I was at the time and what I was seeing and feeling. All of them are special in their own way because they reflect a part of me.


8.       What do you think will be the next big thing in illustration?

Probably animation. It's not that it's a new thing, but modern tools have made it so easy to do it that a lot of illustrators are spending more and more time animating their work.


9.       What does illustration do that other mediums can’t? 

You can do anything you want. I mean ANYTHING! You just have to imagine it and bring it to life, however you want. There are no limits.


10.       What would be your perfect brief or dream client?

That's a hard question…there are so many popping into my head right now. Definitely, I would love doing something for Björk. 

It could also be a big fashion brand like Chanel or Givenchy, Adidas, Liberty and it would also be great doing something related with interior design/decoration.

But I'm happy working with any client, really. You learn something new every time.


11. What have you got planned for 2015?

Push myself into experimenting even more and trying to explore other subjects. Nature is my happy place but I want to explore other things.

12. What’s your favourite snack whilst working?

Can coffee be considered a snack?! Oh, and chocolate. And cake. And bagels. And coffee.

13. What’s your favourite music to work to?

Björk and Arcade Fire.


14. What’s your favourite decade and why?

Hum…I've never thought about this, so I think I'll say the current one. We have really cool stuff!

15. Describe yourself in 3 words. 

Shy, calm and hungry. 

16. Tell us something about yourself that we didn’t already know.

I'm mortified by bees. I hate them with all my heart…Sorry bees!

I can't watch people biting cloth. Like a towel, or a napkin. It freaks me out.

I've lived in Portugal, France, Switzerland, Japan and now the UK.


What do you think the next big thing in illustration will be? Tell us what you want to hear in the next Behind The Scenes interview.

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