Isa Pirracas

Isa Pirracas

Represented by Good Illustration
Isa Pirracas Interview

Isa Pirracas

Children's Illustrator

Have you always loved to draw?

Definitely! Drawing has always been my passion. When I was a kid, I loved to read over and over again my picture books, which inspired me to create my own characters. My pencil case and notebook were always with me. Not much has changed since then!

Which books from your own childhood really stand out?

When I was a kid, I was really obsessed with books. I had many favorite books. I was fascinated by the illustrations by Richard Scarry and Mercer Mayer, and the wonderful stories written by Astrid Lindgren. I would spend hours looking at every tiny detail in my "Where's Wally" books. There were also some Spanish authors, such as Gloria Fuertes or Elena Fortún. One of the characters from Elena Fortún's stories was Pirracas the cat: now you know how I chose this nickname!

What was your first commission as a professional illustrator?

I had been doing custom illustrations for many years. One day, the French publisher Auzou contacted me for a project they were developing at the time: they told me that they really liked my style, and that they thought it would suit perfectly on a fabric book for babies. My first book!

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Do you keep a sketch book?

Indeed! My sketchbook is always with me. Even if I'm on the train, or in a café, I always take the opportunity to take my notebook out of my bag and draw whatever comes to my mind. All my illustrations start from a couple of rough sketches. Then I usually redo those sketches refining details, and in the last step I apply the colour.

Take us behind the scenes and describe your studio / workspace.

I live in a cozy flat with my partner. We are both illustrators and work from home, so we have to share the space! But I have to say that I love my workplace though: it's full of light and I'm always decorating it with awesome prints and plants. Besides, I have my own assistant: Choco the dachshund!

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Which 4 words would you use to describe your illustration portfolio?

I think my artwork is "retro" or nostalgic, inspired by the illustrations of the 50s and 60s. Without a doubt, another word that defines my style is "colorful". Choosing a color palette according to each project is very important to me. For this reason, colour is one of the elements on which I have worked and improved the most. I'd also say the term "naive": childlike simplicity, absence of perspective, lots of details and vivid colors. Yeah, naive style is definitely my thing! And I always include curious details and funny messages in my drawings, so I think I could use the word "funny".

Which area of children’s publishing excites you the most?

I love picture books and games for the little ones. But it would also make me very happy to illustrate a book full of interesting things to learn. I love drawing details so a fun book with facts about space or nature would be awesome.

When you are not drawing, how do you like to relax?

I have two main passions: drawing and cooking. I'm always trying new recipes and reading my cookbooks, I find it  very relaxing and it's really useful to keep the creativity flowing!

How important is it for you to be part of a creative community of people?

If you are an illustrator, being part of a creative community is important for different reasons. Being able to talk about your achievements and concerns with people who are in a similar situation as you is the key. They will give you better advice than anyone else! Furthermore, interacting with other artists is always inspiring. And it definitely helps new ideas and projects to come up.

Animals feature heavily in children’s books – do you have a pet?

Yes! I have a mini dachshund, his name is Choco. Those who follow me on Instagram know him very well. It has always been one of my everlasting wishes to have a dog, so when he came to our house everything changed. Now he's definitely the king of my heart!

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