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Carolina's work is downright FUN. Often intricate and detailed, it feels like you're glimpsing into a foreign world filled with characters, laughter, dancing and cats! They have a childlike wonder that is infectious to say the very least. This makes sense as she's illustrated for many kids books! But don't be fooled by their playful appearances, Carolina's whimsical work is always imbued with special meaning. This design in particular has a truly beautiful story behind it, inspired by her Mexican background. Read on to find out more.
Hi Bravery community! My name is Carolina Monterrubio, I’m an illustrator and visual artist from México. I’m based in Barcelona since 2018. I love to draw and paint since I was a child, but I really discovered it was my greatest passion when I attended narrative and illustration post graduate course at UNAM, in México. At the moment I’m working as illustrator, muralist and textile designer. A fun fact about me is that I always find a way to add my little dog Mia in my illustrations, she is totally my muse!
The name is “Nahuales”. According to the mesoamerican cultures we all have a protective spirit that will be in charge of protecting us for the rest of our lives. Nahuales means energy, spirit or force of beings and elements of nature. They are symbols that represent and link each person with the ecosystem, thus creating balance. Normally the nahual is usually a spiritual animal. However, because the Mayans had a great connection with the earth and nature, they could be any other terrestrial element, and not just an animal.
With this scarf I hope you know that the force and strength of nature is inside us and when we need it, it will empowers us.
How do you come up with a concept for your piece? Where do you look when you need inspiration for your work?
My biggest references have to do with Mexican and Latin culture. I love the mysticism in those traditions and it inspires me a lot.
The concept of the Nahuales has always been very present since I was a child, I use to represent them through jaguars and hummingbirds.
Also, inspiration comes from my daily experiences, in the streets and in nature. I like to be curious about life, try new things, travel, meet different people, watch movies and read about other artists. It is very important for me to be constantly stimulated and to pay attention to all the small details.
You used “gouache, posca pens, chalks, a super iPad and loooooooads of love” to create your gorgeous scarf. I love the rich, vibrant colours that you use across your designs. What are the different stages of the design and creative process?
It usually starts as an intuitive process, which means I do a kind of drawstorming. At the same time I search for references about the subject to help me connecting all the ideas. At this stage I start imaging, drawing and experimenting with different materials the possibilities for the final illustration, then I refine it till I consider it represents what I want to communicate.
What do you hope it makes warriors feel when they put on your design?
First of all, It is an honour to me to have the possibility to join the warriors in their healing process through my scarf. I hope all the warriors wearing my scarf would feel protected and empowered by the Nahuales.
Tell us where we can find more of your work!
You can find me in Instagram as @caro_rmonterrubio :)