Welcome to the new feliciaart.com website.
As I was going through the process of redesigning my creative portfolio website, I really had to dig deeper into the kind of work I wanted displayed on feliciaart.com. This made me question the importance of style in illustration and my work. While talking about art style is very important and it was a topic that always came up in my formal years of training, it also came up a lot in my frustration of trying to define how I work.
Growing up I always loved drawing and it was a passion that I knew I wanted to turn into a career. I didn’t know how or what path I would choose. So, I trained in illustration and wanted to be a commercial illustrator. After graduation, while I developed a portfolio I felt like something was always off. For years I wasn’t sure if it was the work I was doing that was off or if it was my connection with it, or the lack of understanding in where the industry was at. Comments like “illustration is dead” or “print is dead” really got me thinking and worried for all the wrong reasons.
Looking back now, I realize that I wasn’t fully ready to stylistically define my work, because there was so much more I wanted to explore. In many ways I felt that I was trying to lock myself and my work in a box and never get out of it. My illustration work was good, but to me it was never good enough. And looking back, it wasn’t good enough because I had many interests and styles that were not obvious in the work I was producing. After graduating from art college, my illustration style was based on combining hand drawn elements with finishing the illustration on the computer by scanning it in, adding textures, colors and sometimes other elements. While this was great and I still use this process, I realized that there was a confusion on my part. The interest in the computer work, was going to become a graphic designer’s tool later in my life. I also realized that the abstract art backgrounds were just my artist/painter side that was also going to evolve later in my life. In illustration what I loved the most about it was drawing very detailed and using minimal computer additions. I also loved drawing simple and expressive lines with minimal watercolor or ink washes like the project for CMHA. Then I realized that some of my best work is the work that is me – and that is not done in one style only.
When I lived on a Caribbean island I got to create more experimental work, and because I lost the connection with the city, the nature and web were my world. I started to draw and experiment by placing these artworks online to various communities like society6. The feedback I was getting was almost better than art college. It was non judgemental of what the work was or should have been. In art college while studying illustration, there was an emphasis on what is expected of you and your work or the importance of strong concept illustration. But what you are probably not taught (or you may not be ready to grasp the teachings) is that exploring and experimenting in defying who you are as an artist/illustrator never ends. And it shouldn’t. Understanding your strengths and weaknesses, trying to do the work you love and really sticking to your creative grounds will attract the opportunities you want. While in marketing and branding is very important to offer consistency, for an illustrator consistency can be achieved in how you think visually and deliver your work. I now know that the way I draw is the concept in my work. Concept is the place you make art from, and how you choose to implement creatively the world around you. So instead of me trying to define my style to fit into an industry, I will allow for the work to be what it needs to be and create the opportunities around it. After all as creative people we want to be different and authentic. So while some of the images on this site can come across as different styles – one might say – they all have one thing in common: they represent my visual world and me. And that is what style stands for. I will let clients to make up their minds if they like or need what they see.