Today we sit down and talk to illustrator Ro Ledesma. Originally from a little city in North-West Spain, she moved to Barcelona to peruse her career in illustration after working in advertising for 2 years. Ro brings joy to the page with her colourful and cheery images. You can feel the Barcelonian sunshine seeping through!
Your work is filled with so many cute and happy things, from a pug happily riding on the back of his owners bicycle, to a tiny plum man! Could you tell us about your process and what inspires you to create these cheery illustrations?
Hi Amy! My process changes depending on the project nature. When I work in a personal project I´m totally free to do whatever I want. So everything is funnier and sometimes, even more complicated. With my illustrations I try to put attention on little things; that´s where my inspiration comes from. I have a very hyperactive mind so it’s hard for me to keep it quiet. Because of this, I’m used to seeing everyday situations or details that make me smile and think, so I like to share them. For example, the pug riding a bike illustration belongs to one of my projects, “Fenómenos a Pedales” (Pedal Phenomena). During one of my daily bike rides, I realized that I was seeing a lot of special situations happening on bikes. I just couldn´t keep it only for me! That´s how the project started.
You daily bike rides sound so refreshing! Being such a colourful illustrator, what is your favourite palette to work with? Is it a selection of warm tones, or a mixture of light and dark?!
Normally, I work with a retro-touched colour palette (yellow, orange, turquoise...), but on some of my last projects, I tried different combinations. Some weeks ago, I used pink as main colour for first time! It was really exciting.
What is your favourite colour to wear as a person?
The colours in my clothing usually go according to the season. Black in winter and autumn, and vintage dresses (a lot of colours!) in spring and summer.
We love wearing colour in the summer; it’s such a happy season! Having studied creativity and art direction, and then working in advertising, what was the motivator that made you decide on becoming an illustrator?
Working in advertising, sometimes I had the opportunity to illustrate in some projects. But I never realized that I could really live from it. One day, I discovered on Youtube Frannerd´s channel. This marked a turning point for me. Frannerd is an amazing Chilean illustrator living and working in London. On her Youtube channel, she explains a lot of things around the illustration life. She was the first person I “knew” who was living from illustration. When I discovered all this reality, a new world opened for me. I left my job, came back to Spain and moved to Barcelona to study illustration. It was close to three years ago now, and not a day goes by that I don´t feel happy about this decision.
What is a project you are super proud of?! We love your Historias Plantadas illustrations :D Adding to this, do you have any exciting projects coming up in the future?!
Honestly, I´m really proud of my Final Degree Project “En Todas Partes”. It is a children book where I talk to kids (and adults too, why not) about the feeling of missing someone you lost. I try to share my point of view about this situation, as it is not usually talked about with little ones.
I´m so happy you liked “Historias Plantadas”! This was a really funny project to do. I made it with my flatmate and friend, Gema. She´s a really good writer and we like to work together on crazy ideas, like that fanzine. And talking about new projects... I´m so happy to say yes! Anyway, it would be strange for me to not have something to work on. I have a lot of ideas and I force myself to carry out all that I can. The key is to not stop drawing! :)
Thanks so much Ro!
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