We are roughly half way between the Fall Fashion shows (which show Spring clothes) and the upcoming Spring shows (which show Fall clothes) but that does not mean there is a lull in the fashion world. Today I want to introduce you all to the lovely fashion illustrator, Maria Munoz de Fernando, and the latest instalment of Sparkle Sessions. Unlike most of the female entrepreneurs who I have interviewed for this series, Maria and I have actually met – we next to each other at a fashion show in Milan back in September. She is incredibly talented, but instead of me just talking about her, take a look at some of Maria Munoz de Fernando’s gorgeous illustrations and hear what she has to say!
What are five words you would use to describe yourself?
Daydreamer comes in first place definitely ! I’m really active, impatient, tenacious , and a bit of a perfectionist – which has its negative side sometimes, but which also helps me to introduce more and more details in my illustrations continually.
How do those personal characteristics relate to your brand?
I warned you I’m impatient! As I was rushing it on the previous question – sorry…-, I believe my illustrations represent who I am to a high extent. They’re vivid, flowy and keep on getting more detailed every time. I believe that a brand should be “the entrepreneur’s voice” to the world. That way , they become one, and only when values are aligned, within your thoughts and actions, and further, within you and your brand, one can succeed.
What inspired you to start sketching fashion?
I have somehow always been into art, however, the year I spent on a boarding school in England when I was 13 was a turning point. I fell utterly in love with the art building, and soon, ended up spending every afternoon after school with my teachers , Mr. Pretty and Christian. I would always ask for more projects, and took them as challenges to keep learning and creating.
How are you spreading the word about your skills?
Social media and word of mouth are the main ways. As ironic as it may sound for a millennial, Instagram is still hard for me (laughs). I love the process of searching for inspiration, sketching and getting my hands into the pieces. But spending time planning and editing posts is … not so fun. Yet I am aware Instagram is everything today – so come visit me! @mmfillustrating
What is your favorite material to sketch with? And how long does a sketch take?
I started with pencils in class and would always use watercolors. Not long ago I started using brush markers and never coming back! It’s like working with watercolor with the precision of a pen, which is perfect for the details and the patterns. I also finish the pieces with a “never enough” amount of glitter with gel pens. Regarding the amount of time sketches take, it varies a lot depending on size, patterns of the chosen items, detail.. Practice gets me quicker every time though!
What is one lesson you have had to learn the hard way?
To protect your art! Before taking the leap towards the illustration business I participated in a contest for the design of the 2017 calendar of Shopping Mall in Madrid. Once at the event of the selected finalists, the PR Director approached me to congratulate me for my illustrations and to explain that the calendar had gotten the second position rather than the first because the company would be interested in featuring my illustrations for the Black Friday event. I did not sign a contract , or even requested a compensation for them… I was so excited someone as big was believing in me! It was only through the messages I kept receiving from friends and family congratulating me two years later I found out they had kept using my illustrations for different campaigns : Christmas Sales, Vogue Fashion Night Out.. and I didn’t even get noticed!
If you had to give advice to other female entrepreneurs, what would you tell them?
Haha can I not get the advice instead? If anyone reading this feels like helping out.. I’m a happy and greateful listener. Now, for real: Be true to yourself (and work with determination) ! I know we all have heard this kind of advice a thousand times, but it doesn’t go a day without life reminding me how important it is to align your mindset, your words and your actions in everything you do. I believe that having done that, everything falls into place eventually.
Is there a particular designer or brand you would love to work with?
So many… I differentiate between wearing and sketching fashion. Because of the details, patterns and glitter of my illustrations Haute couture is always a favorite. I would love to draw for Houses from Valentino and Chanel to Guo Pei or Alexander McQueen. Spanish designers like Del Pozo are also a must!
Where do you see your sketching business in five years?
As a professional daydreamer I would even be able to play the soundtrack of my business in five years from now (laughs). I would love to see my illustrations featured in fashion magazines, or on those huge posters on bus stops and city buildings. However, I picture my business going a lot further than just sketching. I aim to create value, to promote both the diffusion and the education on art, through different projects and, in the end, to awaken enthusiasm and feelings even on those who believe they’ve never been creative or interested in art.
What is your favorite quote?
If I had to stick to one , I would say, “ Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius , power, and magic in it.” (Goethe)
Lastly, is there anything you would want to tell my readers?
Don’t ever lose faith in humanity and don’t take life too seriously ! The world is changing at a pace I sometimes feel I cannot keep up with. However, I believe that we have the most powerful tools we’ve ever had to make this world a better place. Use them wisely, be grateful, practice compassion and smile more.
Thank you Maria for agreeing to this interview and everyone, go check her out on Instagram, mmfillustrating!