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Illustrator Spotlight with Mabel Esteban Garcia

Process, style, color and influences: Get to know the talent behind the illustrations we love

Tell us a bit about yourself and how you found your way to a creative career.

I’m Mabel, I’m 32 years old. I live in Burgos, which is also the city where I was born. I work as an illustrator. I like to live here because I prefer smaller cities because they are more quiet and easy to live in than the bigger ones. I always knew that I wanted to have a creative career. When I was a child and then a teen I was always drawing and when the moment came I chose to study fine arts.

How did you find your medium and style, and who and what influenced you?

Everything came progressively, in fine arts I specialized in painting, then I did a Masters degree in ceramics, and when I came back to Burgos I realized that most of the time I was drawing again, like at the beginning, and I started making illustration projects. Actually, I love to do different things and now also do some ceramic pieces. 

My illustration style came from two directions. I was always obsessed with Japanese prints because one friend gave me a book of it and I loved it. I also liked some artists that do human bodies with special attention to the hair.

The other way of influence is Instagram. I discovered some illustrators (plenty of) that developed ways to illustrate that I really loved and it moved me to improve my illustration more and more.

What subjects are you most fascinated with?

The human body, the hair, the vegetables, the natural aesthetics that creates parallelism between different things from nature like veins-trees-rivers seen from the sky, neurons-roots or solar systems with atoms. I also like to draw about the mystery, about what is hidden and we can’t see. 

How do you create characters, what inspires them, how do you use color?

I usually have a previous idea about what I wanna get and I create a lot of sketches (about 3 or 4) before the final artwork. I usually focus on what this project is for: if I work for a newspaper I will try to express more reality but if I’m working for a band maybe I can be more dreamlike. In the case of colors, I usually work with very similar color palettes. 

If you had to pick a favorite project, which one are you most proud of and why?

I can’t choose, every project has something special for me, something I had to learn from it. One I loved to do was the image illustration for a festival in Burgos. I worked with a design studio called Vedia, they are two designers Clara Briones and Antton Ugarte. It was special because the illustrations talked about my city's different music cultures. 

Another project I’m really enjoying is one I’m actually working on right now, but I can only tell you that it is art for a music band.

What’s next for you?

Keep working! I would love to start a comic, I hope in 2024 I have time for it!

Rapid Fire Round!

Weekend - lounge in bed / go out and party? Go out and party!

Coffee or tea? Coffee, always.

Cats or dogs? I think cats are cutest but I prefer a dog as a pet.

Favorite season? Spring. Cinema or Netflix? Cinema.

Pool or beach? I need both. I swim a lot, I love it, it keeps my mind clear. I’m from a city without coast so in summer the pool for me is wonderful. Nonetheless, the sea is incredible and I love it. I need to spend some days there in the year.

Computer or sketchbook? Computer although I miss sketchbooks.

Text or voice note? Text.

City or countryside? Both.

Getting dressed: colorful or monochromatic? Monochromatic.

Thank you Mabel!


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