Ever wondered about the artists drawing those fantastic pieces of fanart you reblog on Tumblr or favorite on deviantArt? Here’s your chance to get behind the scenes with artists who bring your favorite characters alive.
Fabiola Garza is an author, illustrator and concept artist residing in beautiful New England, though she grew up all over the world. Especially fond of fairytales, animated movies and the writings of St. Francis de Sales, Fabiola’s fanart includes illustrations from Shannon Hale’s The Goose Girl and Princess Academy. Hale’s next book, Dangerous, comes out in March 2014.
What is it about the Shannon Hale’s writing that inspired your art?
She is one of my favorite authors. She creates very strong, intricate characters that I always like to visit and envision in my own way. Bringing her world to life on paper just seemed like the next step.
Do have any artists who helped influence your work?
I really enjoy the work of Alphonse Mucha, an art nouveau artist from the early 20th century.
What was your favorite reaction you have received of one of your pieces?
I was elated when I found that Shannon Hale had posted the cover art I did for Goose Girl on her blog.
What’s your process? What type of medium do you use or prefer?
First off, I get the desire to create something! Then I usually do little thumbnails or color studies before starting the final piece. I currently do most of my artwork digitally, specifically on Photoshop, but I’ve always loved working with watercolors and acrylic.
What tools do you like to work with?
My trusty Cintiq tablet is very important! I have a large one when I work from home and a small one that I take with me when I travel.
How do you know when you have completed your piece or decide when to share it online?
A gut feeling. I either find myself before something I really like, with nothing that really bothers me, or I acknowledge that what I’ve made isn’t very good and it’s time to start something new!
What piece is the one you’re most proud of doing?
The piece I am most proud of is called ‘Doorway to Spring’. It is based off a Russian Fairytale that I really love.
Are there any themes or surprises you have noticed in your work?
I tend to gravitate toward either fairy tale or religious themes, but all my pieces have a sense of whimsy and playfulness to them!
Do you have anything fun that you’re working on or would like to do someday?
I just wrote and illustrated my first children’s book called The Story of Saint John Paul II: A Boy Who Became Pope. I would like to make many more books!
What kind of advice or insight would you give to other artists?
Don’t give up too soon. It takes a lot of practice to get better or too see any improvement sometimes, but if you love to draw never stop, even if you don’t end up getting paid for it. Sometimes it’s important to do things simply out of love!
What encouraged you to share your fanart?
I love seeing other people’s fanart and it’s great to see that people appreciate mine. Everyone imagines characters and places differently when they read a book, but you seldom actually get to see what other people are thinking. Fanart lets you do that!
Follow Fabiola Garza’s blog, look at her books and see more of her art at her website.