After graduating from Madrid’s Art School 10 with a degree in illustration, Mariajo became a full-time freelance illustrator working from a studio in the city. She later decided to take a course in Graphic Communication at Bath Spa University, and graduated in 2015.
Mariajo is very flexible when it comes to media and techniques and works with acrylic, gouache and pencils. However, her favourite media are watercolour and pencils, which she uses for most of her work. Her compositions and her process are intuitive, and she uses her years of experience rather than a particular set of rules.
Free, innocent and naïve, according to Mariajo her style reflects her personality – nothing to hide. Her work is fresh and spontaneous, her colours are harmonious, and she can produce artwork in a range of styles from fun and cartoony through to carefully rendered realism.
Question: WHAT LED YOU TO BECOME AN ILLUSTRATOR? Mariajose: I have no idea where that comes from! But everyone remembers since I was very little I wanted to be an 'artist'. Question: DID YOU STUDY ILLUSTRATION AT COLLEGE? Mariajose: I studied illustration in the Art School 'Arte 10' in Madrid and I have a Graphic Communication degree from the University of Bath.Question: WHERE DID YOU GROW UP? Mariajose: Madrid.Question: DO YOU HAVE A CHILDHOOD MEMORY RELATING TO DRAWING/ART THAT YOU HOLD DEAR? Mariajose: I remember making my first chromatic circle when I was about 5 or 6. My sister had to do it as homework and she let me use her gouaches.Question: WHERE DO YOU LIVE NOW AND WHAT DREW YOU THERE? Mariajose: Corby in the UK for work reasons.Question: DESCRIBE YOUR STUDIO FOR US. Mariajose: Sadly since I move here my studio is in boxes, looking forward to bringing everything out soon!Question: WHO OR WHAT IS YOUR BIGGEST INSPIRATION? Mariajose: Oliver Jeffers.Question: DO YOU KEEP A SCRAPBOOK? Mariajose: Hundreds. I usually have one in my bag.Question: WHAT ARE YOUR INTERESTS OUTSIDE OF ILLUSTRATION? Mariajose: Travelling, cooking, watching movies.Question: WHAT WOULD BE YOUR DREAM JOB/COMMISSION? Mariajose: A children's book - for adults! I mean those which are so beautiful and well edited that you don't let your children use them! Or a recipe book.Question: HOW MUCH OF YOUR WORK IS HAND DRAWN? Mariajose: 95%Question: WHO IS YOUR ART HERO? Mariajose: E. Schiele.Question: WHO IS YOUR DESIGN HERO? Mariajose: I quite like Pep Carrió.Question: WHO IS YOUR MUSICAL HERO? Mariajose: Usually I would say Juan Luis Guerra but I am becoming quite a fan of Ed Sheeran.Question: WHAT'S THE BEST ADVICE YOU'VE EVER BEEN GIVEN? Mariajose: TRAVEL! Spend your money and live a new adventure! Maybe tomorrow you'll be struck by lightning and you've saved up for nothing.Question: DO YOU HAVE A METHOD FOR DEALING WITH THE FEELING OF HAVING NO IDEAS? Mariajose: Yes! Just leave it! Go to the cinema, cook, do some doodles or draw something that I really want to draw, have a bath or a glass of wine, meet with my friends and laugh or go to a book shop to look at art books. Then it all comes back!Question: IF YOU COULD VISIT ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD, WHERE WOULD YOU GO? Mariajose: Everywhere! I am quite stressed about thinking of all the places I haven't visited yet!
Within Me Now, Solera Restaurant, Wayne Lindsay, Libracos, Utopic_us
Society Café, Bath
Ivory Black, AquaMolilith of Cretacolor
My Mum's Paella!