Women Who Project is an interview series highlighting women of color we admire and who inspire us in art and design.
Jeanetta Gonzales is a graphic designer and surface designer who has taken her creative interests down a related but new path, into the realm of editorial illustration. Her visual style is lush, inspired by nature and layered with pops of surprises, and captivating with rich color palettes. All of which translates beautifully into pattern designs and whimsical imagery. Jeanetta shares a bit about her process, how sharing her skills and knowledge fits into her practice, and what she'd like to see more of in the industries of art and design.
You have a background in graphic design and pattern/surface design and now transitioning into illustration. Tell us about this shift. What prompted it, and how are you liking it so far?
Illustration has been an interest of mine and something that I've been wanting to explore. My surface design and graphic design work involves commercial illustration where I sell or license my art for products and illustrate logos and graphics for clients. I see an explosion of illustrations on everything now from packaging, illustrated books, in ads, magazines and blogs. Hand-drawn art has become popular and since I paint and do lettering I began to notice new and exciting ways to apply my work that I hadn't considered before. Editorial illustration is a great fit.
You recently worked on beautiful illustration series for the California Lottery. Tell us about your creative process. How do you get from conception to delivering the final illustration files? Oh thank you. The ad agency whom I worked with was looking for a Californian illustrator to illustrate California landmarks in LA and San Francisco. They provided art direction and gave me a list of landmarks and visual references to use as inspiration. I began by doing research, sketched possible layouts and painted elements by hand. I then took the sketches and scanned paintings into the computer and added digital illustration and some Photoshop magic. I like combining digital and traditional illustration. It saves time, adds nice texture and allows me to work out the final layout by layering my digital illustrations with the painted pieces in Photoshop. The final files are digital which makes it easy to work with if there are any revisions and if it needs to be reformatted into different layouts and sizes for banner ads and various print ads. Read more...