Illustration

Domestika Creatives: Marina Esmeraldo

We dive into the geometric and colorful world of Brazilian illustrator and artist Marina Esmeraldo

Marina Esmeraldo was born in Brazil, but her desire to learn and evolve her career has transported her to London and Barcelona. Despite training in architecture in the north east of Brazil, her frustration with the industry and her passion for graphic arts rerouted her career and she became an illustrator. Her style, inspired by everything tropical and her training as an architect, is all about shapes, patterns, and experimental compositions.

Her career as an illustrator has led her to work with brands and publications such as Google, Coca–Cola, Adidas, Häagen–Dazs, The Washington Post, Wired, Women's March, and many more.

Marina Esmeraldo welcomes us into her Barcelona studio to tell us about her career, her creative process, and shares advice for diving into the world of illustration. Discover more below:

Architecture as a foundation for art

Although her parents encouraged her to study architecture, several years in the industry convinced Marina that she wanted to pursue art. However, she didn’t leave her experience in architecture behind her. In fact, she realized that she could apply it to her illustrations. Her experience in design and architecture gave her a unique way of looking at the world: her illustrations and other artworks result from the way in which she deconstructs the shapes around her, and then reorders them to create something different.

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She transformed the Pantheon’s arcs and stairs into a 3D artwork, showing the same object from different perspectives.

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Color and the jump from physical to digital

Marina confesses that she struggled to find her way with color for some time. During her architecture studies, she was obsessed with minimalism and pure shapes: whites, blacks, grey tones. But that all changed when she began to draw: bright colors and busy patterns soon became her trademark.

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Although she loves traditional illustration, full of life and textures, often she explores color while painting on paper and later transfers this image to Adobe Sketch. This way, she can try out different color studies that allow her to experiment digitally until she finds the result she’s after.

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It’s dangerous to compare

Marina recognizes that comparing oneself to others is a very human trait. However, we must learn to control it. Comparing yourself to others can turn you into your worst enemy, your worst critic. Knowing that you deserve a place in the creative industry, that you and your work should be seen, will help you navigate through the most difficult times and stave off creative exhaustion so you don’t lose your self-esteem.

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Believing in yourself and not in what you think the world wants from you is vital, as is the desire to keep learning and improving. Marina is tirelessly looking for new challenges–the most recent being ceramics. Regardless of what the people around you do or your presence on social networks, these virtues will be the ones that will keep you afloat.

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