Off the Page: Laura Moreno

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Here’s your chance to get behind the scenes with fanartists who bring your favorite young adult books to life.

Laura Moreno is a 16-year-old Catalan who studies art in Barcelona and anxiously counts the days until she starts university. Her passions include reading, writing and playing the piano. She considers herself a huge fan of the Ghibli Studio. Her dream is to study animation and someday work at Disney or DreamWorks Studios. Her fanart is inspired by The Fault in Our Stars and Paper Towns by John Green, Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer, and The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare.

  • "Clary follows the three Shadowhunters" from The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare

What is it about the authors’ writing that inspired your art?
When I read, I always picture the scenes in my head as if they were a movie. Sometimes, though, it is harder than others. However, when the writer’s prose is fluid and the plot engaging, when all the characters are well-developed and perfectly described, it gets so easy. Images appear in my head as detailed as real life and that’s when I have the urge to express it on paper. That’s when I need to show the world the way I imagined that specific character design or represent that particular scene I really enjoyed.

There are authors that always have that effect on me, for instance, Cassandra Clare, John Green and Rainbow Rowell, among others. I really admire the way they choose their words, as if they were talking to a friend but also writing poetry at the same time, using those metaphors and comparisons, it’s just so beautiful. I love how their characters look so real and authentic, how they almost seem alive; sometimes it’s hard to believe there isn’t any Augustus Waters or Eleanor Douglas in real life.

Are there any other influences you included in your art?
Although I am mainly influenced by the books I read, I also get inspired with animation movies. (Who doesn’t, really? They are magical.) Disney, DreamWorks, Studio Ghibli… Every single one of them has helped me improve my drawing skills and see the world in a different way.

When I was a little girl and I didn’t know such thing as the internet existed, I used to watch animated movies and when I saw a scene, a pose, or an expression from the a character that I really liked, I would pause it and try to copy it into my sketchbook. Although that really annoyed my sisters, who were watching tv with me, it helped me become a better artist and in a way, that’s how I discovered what I wanted to do for the rest of my life: drawing.

What was the best reaction you’ve received?
Every positive feedback I get on my work makes me really happy. Even if it is just a “that’s cool!” comment from a friend, it always makes it worth it. I do feel over the moon when authors or actors from my favorite movies/series compliment my drawings.

Also, I felt really honored when I was asked to participate in the TFIOS Scrapbook. Things like these are the ones that make me feel that the hours of work and dedication aren’t a waste of time.

What’s your process?
I always start with a simple sketch of the image I have in my mind, if I’m using pencil I usually scan it later. Then, I start adding details and trying to get poses right (anatomy… sigh). When I’m done I just colored it the best I can until I like it and then give it the final touches with Photoshop.

I prefer to draw digitally simply because I like the quality of the final results much more than the traditional ones. I mostly use PaintTool SAI and Photoshop, as I said before.

Do you have any tools you like to work with?
When I’m not drawing digitally, I just use a pencil and a black pen. Sometimes when I’m not lazy I even color my drawings with my Prismacolor, but that doesn’t happen that often.

I also enjoy using oil painting and watercolor. I think there’s something special in the way you can create infinite colors just by mixing different paints on your palette. I love it!
Is there any special place where you like to do your work?

My room. Always. I sit in my comfy chair, make myself a cup of tea, put my headphones on and just draw and draw and draw.

I like painting in my schools’ art class with all my fellow artists around me. Even though each one of us is absorbed working on its own piece, I sometimes like to stop for a minute and observe them. That’s when I realize I’m not just a girl drawing at home. I’m part of a “community”, of something bigger than just me. It’s the same kind of feeling I get when watching online artists’ work on Tumblr or deviantArt. They inspire me every day.

I don’t know why, but history and philosophy class inspire me so much I always end up drawing fan art in the middle of my class notes.

What is your piece you are most proud of?
I don’t have any drawing I am particularly proud of. In fact, I don’t really like that much any of my drawings. I always see flaws in them, things I could have done better. I never think they are good enough.

That may sound a little bit depressing but those are the kind of thoughts that make me want to draw again and again and improve every day. I always try to create something better than my previous drawing.

If I had to pick one I liked more than the others I’d say my Artemis Fowl comic because it was the first time I managed to do a decent background with my tablet.

Do you have anything fun that you’re working on or would like to do someday?
Unfortunately I’m currently busy at school, I have a final project and a lot of exams this month. All the same, I have loads of ideas too. Things I want and will draw when I’m done with all my school stuff. I’m re-reading Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell at the moment and I can’t wait to draw a comic of a scene I really like and share it online. I guess I’ll just have to wait until october ends…

What kind of advice or insight would you give to other artists?
I don’t think I’m the right person to give art advice to anybody. I still have a lot to learn. However, one thing I’ve learned in my short life, is that you can’t expect to get up one day and draw perfectly. If you want to become better at it, you have to practice, practice, and practice. Draw, draw, and draw.

Don’t compare yourself to other artists. It will only make things worse. You have to use their work as a way to motivate yourself and say “Hey, I want to draw like that!” and not “well, I’m never going be that good”. Those people are there for you. Ask them questions, use their art as reference, as the inspiration you need to create your own pieces of art.

And, if you’re thinking of studying art but aren’t quite sure if you it’s a good idea, just do it. As simply as that. Forget what everybody says and do what you love. You’ll learn lots of things, you’ll improve your drawing skills, you’ll make new friends, and become a better artist. You won’t regret it.

What encouraged you to share your fanart?
I guess it all started when I discovered deviantArt. One day I realized that all those beautiful drawings I loved that looked so professional and perfect had been done by people just like me. Someone who liked to draw and shared their creations online. That’s when I decided to do the same as them. I’m really grateful I made that decision.

For more, visit Laura Moreno on Tumblr and deviantArt.

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About Author

Natasha M. Heck

Natasha believes cats and words are the shiniest things in the ‘verse. She has touched Stonehenge, climbed the Glastonbury Tor, walked the Philosopher’s Path, and kissed her true love on the Eiffel Tower. She’s a fangirl, Jedi Knight, and Gryffindor whose love of unicorns led her to live in the land of geekdom and sunshine. She has an English degree emphasis in Creative Writing, and is using it to follow her dreams.

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