1. What’s your story? Where are you from?
Hi, I’m Carlota Novo, a Spanish graphic designer and illustrator from Vigo, Spain. I’ve lived in the US and England before, and I’m currently living in The Netherlands. I’ve been drawing for as long as I can remember and the fact that I can actually work and make money with what I love doing the most, is very satisfying. Besides drawing, I like skateboarding, 80’s music, analogue photography and coffee. Fun fact about me: I can pick up stuff with my toes.
2. Tell us about your aesthetic.
I’d say that my aesthetic is very simple. I normally like using flat colors, but sometimes I play with them to create some shading and contrast. I appreciate simplicity in my aesthetic. I think my work can vary a lot from one piece to another, sometimes I like to just use black and white and sometimes a bunch of colors. I’d say that my illustrations have a lot of graphic design on them, I always focus on the shapes, details and the best combination of colors. Sometimes I like adding a funny twist to my illustrations.
3. What is your favourite medium and why?
I mostly work digitally, Photoshop and Illustrator are my best friends when it comes to drawing because it allows me to go back and forth with my ideas and give me a lot of flexibility. I love being able to change from brush to brush to create a piece.
4. What is your artistic process like?
I usually start writing down the ideas I have in mind, then I do some research, like collecting visual references and materials. While doing all these things I like listening to music and pet my cat from time to time. Then I do some sketches, maybe on paper maybe not. After that, I start drawing on Illustrator or Photoshop, as sometimes I like to combine both of them to create my final drawing.
5. Who and/or what inspires your work?
I’m inspired by a lot of things, but mostly skateboarding and my cat Ollie. Music and movies are a big part of my inspiration as well. I’m a observer, so I like to notice the way people dress, their houses and the color palettes that surround me, and then I try to use this all in my drawings.
6. What role does art play in your life? How does it change the way you view the world?
Art allows me to express myself in a way that nothing else does. Drawing is such a big part of my life nowadays, it makes me happy and lets me forget about everything else.
7. Where did you study?
I studied Graphic Design at Aula D in Spain and graduated in 2014 (which feels like a loooong time ago now).
8. Where do you see yourself in five years?
Three years ago I was living in England, a year ago I was living in Spain and right now I’m living in The Netherlands. I have no idea where I’ll be in five years but hopefully somewhere warm and sunny, living in a cozy apartment with my cat and making some rad graphics for some cool brands.
9. What about in ten?
More of the above but hopefully having things slightly more together and maybe with one more cat in my life.
10. What do you hope to achieve with your art?
Right now I’d like to give women in the skateboarding industry more visibility. The skateboarding industry is mostly runned by men and I’d love to, somehow, give those rad skater women a voice. I’d also like to find my own drawing style, if that’s even possible.
11. Now, tell us a little more about you as a person: what is your favourite food?
I love food, in general, but I can’t stand spicy food and I’m lately into vegetarian dishes. However, my mom’s tortilla de patatas (Spanish omelette) will always be my favorite food ever.
12. Favourite book?
“Brooklyn follies” by Paul Auster.
13. Favourite genre of music?
Indie rock, psychedelic pop.. right now I’m listening to “Colder than ice” by Pond.
14. What are your hobbies?
I wish I had some cool hobbies to mention right now, but when I have some free time I like cycling around, maybe chilling in the park, but also just watching some nice movie or playing Mario Kart. Coffee, I always enjoy a good coffee.
15. If you weren’t an artist, what would you be?
I don’t even know if I consider myself an artist, but if I wasn’t into illustration and graphic design I think I would be very bored. Maybe I’d work as a gardener, so I could talk to plants instead of people.