This summer we held a contest on Instagram asking our fans to share a piece of work that captured the new Pantone tagline ‘Make It Brilliant’. Our fans responded with an outpouring of creativity. The entries were quite visually diverse, including everything from photographs of ballerinas to wine labels, textiles and mood board color stories.
After all the votes were cast, two winners were chosen for the months of May and June respectively.
Today we are speaking with the May 2014 winner, Marina de Souza Gomes of Brazil. Ms. Gomes is a fashion illustrator whose watercolor illustration wowed our panel of judges.
Join us as were learn more about Marina and her creative process.
PANTONE: Tell us a little about yourself and art background?
Fashion Illustrations by Marina de Souza Gomes
Marina: I am a 32 year young Architect, turned Fashion Designer, turned Illustrator. Since I was 2-3 years of age I use to doodle and sketch all over my house walls, furniture, school desks etc. Funny enough, my parents were never angry at me. Instead they simply observed and even found it cute. My mom recalls that I used to draw and hum random songs in a very concentrated way.
Around my early adolescence, I started my first "professional" art course, and learned how to use charcoal, oil paint, gouache, ink and watercolor. I fell absolutely in love with the latter. It is my favorite technique to this day.
While still in high school I got an internship making pen and ink botanical illustrations that required a soft touch. Imagine 0.1 diameter dots. I honestly enjoyed it!
I then attended university, where I studied architecture. Eventually I moved on to fashion design. Today I am a fashion illustrator.
PANTONE: How does the field of fashion illustration tie into the fashion world as a whole?
Marina: To me, they have a direct connection; fashion illustration translates ideas, the concept of a designer, and the fashion of a certain age. Before photography we had drawings and paintings to archive visuals of the garments, the people, and the scene of days past. Vintage fashion magazines had illustrations on the cover and on the inside pages. Nowadays, we can still find amazing artists illustrating publications, books and digital media, which is a beautiful thing!
Fashion is primarily visual and then material. There is no way of developing a good collection before trying some sketches, making some drawings. It has to make sense on the paper first, and then off to the catwalk.
PANTONE: Our judges loved your submission. What made you chose that particular watercolor as your entry to the contest?
Marina: At the time I was working for this big shopping mall, illustrating their new institutional and communication hurdles, panels, banners, etc. One of designs called for an illustration of perfume bottles. On that particular day I was practicing before starting the final piece. When I finished the painting, I really liked it. The painting was just full of rich hues, the water and colors and paper they blended beautifully together and I thought maybe it could be 'Make it Brilliant' material. So I tagged it.
PANTONE: What was your reaction when you learned that you won the Pantone ‘Make it Brilliant’ Instagram contest?
Mall installation by Marina de Souza Gomes
Marina: I screamed! Then told my mom and she screamed. Then she told my dad and he threw his fists in the air, and my schnauzer started barking. It was just awesome, we were all so, so happy!
PANTONE: As your prize, you chose the PANTONE Portable Guide Studio. How do you use this in your daily work?
Marina’s winning entry: Watercolor Illustration of Perfume Bottles
Marina: I take some of the pallets with me when I go out and try to match colors of things in nature. It could be a banana, a leaf on the ground, an umbrella, the sky, a piece of wood, a bottle, or the flowers in my garden. Often I practice too, trying to replicate the PANTONE Colors using watercolor. They can be hard to match.
PANTONE: How important is color to your work?
Marina: It is super important! It is the entire purpose of my career. I occasionally work with just black pencil or black ink, but watercolor is my life. And how could it not be, given its name, right?
PANTONE: What are some of the things or places that inspire you?
Marina: Nature has been and probably will continue to be my main inspiration. Sometimes a film, a song or a book can also trigger it. I like to see other illustrators work too. I think it is necessary for us as artists, to support each other and to know what is going on around us, kind of a healthy competition. We can never learn enough, we have to keep moving and improving our skills.
PANTONE: What’s next for you as an artist?
Owl Illustration by Marina de Souza Gomes
Marina: I have been very fortunate, receiving many work proposals and projects since I chose this path. I love what I do and I can only hope to keep doing it. I want to be recognized by it, to keep growing in this field and to be remembered someday.
You can follow Marina's work on Instagram: @marinassam