Art as Escapism. The artistic journey of Marianna

Art as Escapism. The artistic journey of Marianna

by CreativeMindClass • 3 min read

Almost always indoors, TV and books became my main forms of escapism - and drawing! I was raised in a very tropical city surrounded by hills and palm trees, but sadly wasn’t really allowed to explore my environment fully.

I’m originally from Venezuela. I was raised in a very tropical city surrounded by hills and palm trees, but sadly wasn’t really allowed to explore my environment fully (partly because of my parents’ overprotectiveness, but mostly because of the everyday insecurities in my country). Almost always indoors, TV and books became my main forms of escapism - and drawing! I spent so much time drawing my favorite anime characters, my friends, pets I was not allowed to have, costumes, and anything really.

rain animation

It was mainly a hobby, and I was somewhat aware that it would not go beyond that in Venezuela. But then my family decided to move to the UK, and this changed everything for me. As a teen, I was finally allowed more independence, was free to go to places by myself and to think about what I really wanted to do.

Digital Illustration by Marianna Madriz. A girl swiming in the sea.
Venezonalidad music playlist, 2020

My love for character design and narrative led me to comics, which in turn led me to illustration. All the pieces came together then. After some years of study (and a lot of hard work), I’m now freelancing as an Illustrator from London.

Digital Illustration by Marianna Madriz. A couple on a balcony.
The Balcony, 2020

I think my work is bold, fun and a bit chaotic (in a good way!). Sometimes it can be simple, or it can be incredibly detailed; but it always features a character, or an animal, or a nice bit of scenery. I like to think that all my illustrations are part of the same universe.

Digital Illustration by Marianna Madriz. Group of cute monkeys on a leafy background.
Tarzan for Scoop Magazine, 2009

The key for me is to have fun with it. I think of the things that delighted me growing up: really vivid colours, sneaky characters, funny situations, tiny details to get lost in. My goal is to encapsulate as many of these elements whenever I create something new. If I can make the viewer feel excited or happy, or like they noticed something interesting, then I’ve accomplished what I wanted.

Digital Illustration by Marianna Madriz. Boats on a river.
Ancient Egypt, 2021

"Another key element for me is humor. I realized over time that I’m not the most adequate person to make very serious or conceptual artworks, but I can be pretty good at creating something lighthearted that can make someone laugh. I play to my strengths now."

You can follow Marianna's artistic journey on her Instagram; discover detailed illustrations from the children's books she worked on during lockdowns and some backstage shots of recoding her Skillshare class to name a few. The links to the class and Marianna's books you can find on her website.

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