Jessica Marano [jessicamarano]
What is your specialty in illustration?
I would have to say that my specialty would be childrens book illustration. I love to create characters that appeal to children. I love to use bright colors and simple shapes to create characters children will love.
What are your regular clients like? What do they expect from you?
My regular clients work for larger scale companies so most of the work I do needs to be polished and professional. They always expect to see bright and fun layouts, interactive elements, and quirky illustrations.
Is there a web address where we can see some of your work?
Yes! My personal website is http://www.jessmarano.com/
There you can find my illustrations, animations, graphic design work, resume and more.
Have you completed formal art studies, or are you self-taught?
I have completed formal art studies in college, but I also do a lot of work on my own to really understand programs and techniques.
How did you get your first full assignment? What did it involve?
My first full assignment was about 3 years ago for an organization my mother worked at. I had to paint interactive murals for children for the Jewish Community Center of Staten Island. I needed to come up with the concept, sketch it, build it, paint it, and add interactive elements on it. The murals were about 4'x6' and I made about 6 of them. It was my first real commission project.
What past or present day illustrators do you admire most?
I have always been a fan of Mucha and his work. I also love the illustrations by Japanese film maker, Hayao Miyazaki. His style and creation of characters is so inspiring.
How similar are your current drawings to those you did as a child?
I feel like I have developed a lot since I was younger. I used to copy pictures a lot. It was difficult for me to come up with my own ideas. Now I can come up with Illustrations with no problem. I do use references for inspiration, but the Illustration and concept itself are all created by me.
What was your favorite comic book as a child?
My favorite comic as a child was the old Superman comics.
Do you have a particular style, or does it vary a lot?
I would say my style has a lot of colors, my more realistic drawings have more of a fantasy style to it, my more cartoon drawings have a vary shape driven, simple style.
What is hardest to draw?
For me what I have most of a challenge with is drawing human feet and hands. I think I do an okay job with it, but it is always a challenge.
What type of music do you listen to while you work?
When I work I find the best music to work to is soft instrumental music. Classical, with piano or violin.
Do you have a favorite work of art?
I would have to say that I don't have any one favorite work of art. It depends on my mood, what I am into at the moment. I will say that I love going to museums and every time I go I always add more to my favorite pieces collection in my mind.
What do you do when a client simply says "I don't like it"?
I first try to figure out why the client doesn't like it. The colors, the style, or whatever their reason is. Then I would see what their idea was for the project, what direction they were going with it, find out the target audience, etc. Then I will work out a compromise with my style and their concept to make a great piece of work.
What new techniques have you been experimenting with lately?
I have experimenting more with digital art. More Photoshop colored drawings with a wacom tablet. More computer effects in the programs.
What part of your work do you do on paper and what part digitally?
I do a lot of my work on paper. I really like when art is made by hand. I do scan into the computer and edit digitally after drawing, but I really prefer the hand-drawn work.
What research do you do for your illustrations?
I look at images on Google, maybe take some books out about the topic of the work. Any resource I can find to make my illustration as accurate and aesthetically pleasing as I can.
Do you have colleagues with whom you share techniques, tricks, ideas, etc.?
Yes, I have many past classmates in the professional world I can refer to about learning new techniques and they offer great support and critique my work when needed. They are a really great resource to throw ideas out to and they are completely honest with me.
Do you have any specific goals as an illustrator?
My goal is I want to learn as much as I can as an Illustrator. I also want to keep up with the latest programs, styles and techniques. I like to keep things new and fresh, but at the same time adding my own spin on things.
What illustration web sites do you frequent?
I don't have one in particular. I really enjoy looking at professional illustrators blog websites where they update drawings and sketches daily or weekly. I am also a big fan of Deviantart.com
What are you working on now?
Right now, I am working on a commission for a camp newsletter. Designing a camp-looking handout with information about the camp, weekly updates, and games and puzzles on the back.
What advice do you have for someone who likes to draw and would like to make a living from it?
I would let them know to always do what they love. Even though it's a tough world for the artists, you always want to stick with what you love. If you don't do what you love you won't be happy and never have lived your dream. Always have a backup plan too. Everyone has more than one passion. Expand your horizons.
Staten Island, NY - USA