By Carol Arán
Do you remember those books that, as a child, drew you back again and again to pore over their illustrations? I bet you’d still be willing to embrace their images, wrap yourself in their vibrant colours, drink their magic formula and bring those two dimensions to life. You’d immediately recognise page after page of promise of wishes come true, the spark from characters and scenes that made you feel like a fantastic and infinite Spring was possible. That light that reveals life about to explode in the following season, that February light.
As the adults we are now, we return to those lost and found worlds thanks to a digital cornucopia, revisiting them in a medium beyond paper. Thanks to all the marvellous illustrations circulating on social media we are inevitably submerged in a continuous return to both a childhood and youthful imagination which we now observe with the discernment of the adult illustrator. We discover and comprehend the work behind accurate results and we learn from generous creators such as Beatrice Blue and Dani Díez, two good examples of the most fascinating cartoon which proliferates across a variety of media.
Beatrice Blue is a freelance illustrator and visual artist with an international path both in her studies and professional work. With Dreamworks and Nickleodeon as two of her clients and a 220k following on Instagram, this Madrid-born cosmopolitan artist’s work flies all over the world riding upon children’s book illustrations, animation and artistic development for companies as different as Lonely Planet and Procreate. And no, it’s no coincidence that everyone wants Bea Blue’s great work, her creativity and labour know no frontiers. Her command of light and texture, her skill for creating atmospheres that transcend and the balance of form turn her illustrations into unforgettable visions that tell stories, revealing the lucidity of a creator who is learning and growing each day. Beatrice Blue’s work rekindles creativity making it more democratic through social media and the workshops she gives. Bea’s creativity interacts with her audience whom she teaches and learns from. Thanks to her inexhaustible imagination, she takes part in her virtual community by showing her work process via traditional and digital media, she also takes part in collective projects. Childhood Week is an example of her communityoriented spirit, where she invites illustrators and artists to create and share illustrations of their childhood memories online. Her work and the magical universe of childhood merged in 2017, when every illustrator’s dream came true and Beatrice was published by one of the collections she devoured as a child (“Leandro, el niño horrible”, SM-Barco de vapor).
On a conceptual level, Dani Díez’s work shares a number of things with Beatrice Blue: an effervescent imagination as well as rescuing the childhood and youthful universe to benefit people of all ages. On a formal level, their styles are very different and defined, however there are parallels amongst their work: both boast a masterful use of colour, light and texture. As well as featuring patches that are hardly defined by lines in forms so well chosen, that they barely need strokes to limit them. In addition, Dani Díez and Beatrice Blue sell their work, be it together or not in a common online shop where they post their illustrations on stickers, t-shirts, books and prints. Dani Díez is also a Madridborn illustrator and visual artist. He squanders his creativity on paintings, illustration, animation and video-games both in Spain and abroad. He creates atmospheres so fabulous, that it’s impossible not to be trapped by his characters, objects or scenes. Even his digital work transmits a very rich pictorial imagery. Díez works for clients such as Lightbox Animation and has worked on two Goya awarded animated films: “Atrapa la bandera” (2015) and “Tadeo Jones 2: el secreto del Rey Midas” (2017). Very active on social media, he also shares his experiences, processes and work with his many followers and students. He gives workshops and takes part in events such as the well known Inktober for which he produces a number of illustrations that are compiled in his fold away Inktober Book. Character creation is one of his strengths, he imbues his creatures with the power to unite light and darkness in a very particular enchanted galaxy which is shrouded in mystery.
February opens its eyes to Spring, at Donde Doré we’ll open our arms to those first rays of change with Beatrice Blue’s workshop called Illustration and Picture Book development at Donde doré, that will take place on February 28, 29 and March 1.