Nadia Ronquillo

Nadia Ronquillo

Nadia Ronquillo Interview

Nadia Ronquillo

Children's Illustrator

Who or what made you want to become an illustrator?

Ever since I could remember I was always drawing and painting, it was in a way my fun hobby. And thanks to a very supportive family I could pursue this "hobby" for years, taking after-school drawing classes, traditional oil, acrylics, painting, watercolors. I wanted to try everything and learn and my family was again, so supportive and encouraging.   

Then years later in college, while majoring in graphic design and audiovisual production, I realized there were people making a living out of illustration and I wanted to give it a try and find a way of making illustration and visual development my full-time job, slowly but steadily I've been lucky to collaborate on great projects and also start to develop some of mine.  

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Zuleyka Ronquillo

Where do you currently live and where did you grow up?

I live in sunny Guayaquil, one of the main cities of Ecuador, a very warm and charming city with a nice view of the river and a lovely boardwalk, perfect for Sunday morning or afternoon walks. I think this is why I tend to prefer warm and bright color palettes.

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Was creativity part of your childhood?

I grew up with a mom who's a pre-schoolteacher, so painting, doing crafts and school projects came always so naturally to me. Thanks, mom for that. Then many years later I came to be part of a couple of concept development programs and incubators for developing animated projects for preschool and upper preschool kids. So creativity was always there while growing up and now it has come to full circle in a way. I can start giving back!  

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Do you keep a sketch book?

Yes, I always like to carry a sketchbook with me and capture little moments or ideas for illustrations or series. I'm also a big fan of drawing landscapes and interiors while I'm traveling. 

Have you ever thought about trying out a different technique or a different style?

I like to approach style as something that is constantly evolving, as we are always getting better and improving our craft. With that said I'm also fortunate to collaborate on a variety of projects that allow me to try new things or take inspiration from different mediums, such as tv series,  photography, animation.  

Do you offer more than one style, if so – talk us through the different approaches and the audience you are targeting for each.

My style is heavily inspired by animation films and cartoons. I love both and that's why I have a more painterly style and another more flat and graphic. I also like to take elements from retro cartoons and the work of the UPA  and do little fun tributes, like the ones I did for Halloween a while back. 

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What do you hope children take away from your drawings?

If I manage to make a kid smile then mission accomplished, there's no better feeling than that. 

Outline your dream project.

I love nature and animals and one of my favorite places in the world is the Galapagos Islands would love to do a project where I can tackle my two favorite subjects. 

Have you taken part in any speaker events?

Yes, thanks to a tv series project I'm developing, I've been going to festivals to test the concept and to schools to pitch the idea to kids and get their feedback and it was so rewarding and humbling. Kids are the best critics.  

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Do you have a favourite soundtrack you listen to when you’re working?

I'm such a big fan of 70s and 80s music. I tend to listen to 3- 4hour long playlists while I'm painting. 



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

Very important to the point of being an essential part of my process, I have a circle of friends and mentors with whom I share new project ideas or reach out just to hang and catch up. 

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