We chat with the vector artist about growing up, what inspires her, and her creative process
Full of energy, charismatic, and open. Meet Marly Gallardo. Born in Ecuador and raised in New York, the artist says she’s addicted to metropolises and finds herself strangely drawn to them. She creates vector illustrations–a format which has become her trademark. Her work has appeared in campaigns and editorial publications for The New York Times, United Nations, Microsoft, Apple, Netflix, Adobe and more.
First she was a painter, then she became an illustrator
Marly remembers her childhood spent in her parents’ restaurant, always surrounded by paintings and drawings. When she arrived in the United States and began speaking English so young, her parents worried that she’d lose her mother tongue. Their house became the place where it was conserved. Still learning to switch between English and Spanish, her drawings became a third language: it was the one she could use as a bridge when she forgot a word.
When she began studying at art school, she was never without her paintbrushes and oil paints. She learned to work with layers–just as she later would in Adobe Illustrator–which would help her make the transition from analog to digital. Then, when she finished her studies at Rhode Island School of Design, she started experimenting with Adobe Illustrator and discovered her new favorite tool: one which was just as meticulous as she was.
The city never sleeps
Nighttime is her favorite time of day. That time when everyone is asleep and another type of light floods the city. She insists that she feels the pulse of the city in her veins. It’s what keeps her awake and energetic while everyone else is resting. She makes the most of being able to carry out her work from anywhere in the world and travels whenever she can. This way she can discover other cultures and different paces of life that she will later reference in her work.
Music, color, and places which one wishes they could belong to: these are some of the main themes in her work. They are also sources of inspiration. She hopes that the viewer can get lost in her work, press pause on the daily pace of their life, and breathe. Getting lost in Marly’s blue hues and being transported into a daydream doesn’t sound like a bad idea.
Marly is preparing a Domestika course which will be available soon. Follow us on social media for updates.