Instagram Spotlight: 2D Designer Blanca Sobrino

Looking for some creative artist accounts to follow on Instagram? Don't worry, we've got you covered! This month we chatted with 2D Designer, Blanca Sobrino, who is based in our Manchester studio.

Her Instagram account - @b.sobrino - is chock full of unique and imaginative character designs. We scrolled through them and chatted to Blanca about some of our favourites!

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Can you tell us a little about yourself?

I consider myself a very lucky person because I've always been surrounded by people who love art ever since I can remember. Friends, school teachers, family… there was always someone near me that was really into drawing and that always stirred up my curiosity.

I'm the kind of person who loves doing too many things (football, boxing, krav maga, videogames, reading… even crochet!) so it wasn't until I was fifteen or so that I started focusing on developing my drawing skills and started taking drawing classes after school. Since then it has been a non-stop ride.

After school, I studied a graphic design degree, a character design masters and different drawing courses in different art schools in Spain.

How would you best describe your work? 

I would say that my work is basically a “work in progress”. Although I've been drawing for many years now I think I still have much to learn.

I don´t feel like my work has any specific characteristics or any concrete style but I'm always trying to add to my work, anything that I learn day-to-day. So I would say that is what describes my work the best, it is constantly improving and it's diverse. I don´t like to focus in on just one theme and I'm always trying my best to draw diverse characters.

Your Instagram is full of sketches and observations do you look at these as studies or is it something you do to relax? 

All those sketches and observations are for practice. Although I really enjoy doing them I'm the kind of person that finds it more relaxing adding details and inking drawings. I like to see these sketches as a warm-up before I start a “final design”.

Although I have to admit that sometimes, if not always, I put too many details on my drawings and I think my designs would look better if I didn't spend so much time detailing. Sometimes adding details or extra cleaning up a drawing makes the drawing look less fresh.

What artists/things inspire you and your work? 

There are a LOT of artists that inspire me but if I have to choose I would say Juanjo Guarnido, Enrique Fernandez and Jose Luis Agreda are my top three right now. The three of them have very different styles but all of them have something that makes me want to draw whenever I’m looking at their drawings. You should check out their work, they're amazing!

Can you explain the two pieces below to us? 

Both of them are drawings for personal projects. The first one is research for a Captain Hook design. I tried with different shapes and colours to see which combination matched better with the character. If I remember correctly I ended up developing option C.

The second one is a final design for a project about an explorer who travels around the world with her professor monkey friend!

How do you develop your work and skill set and what motivates you to do so? 

I draw every day. Some days a lot and some days a bit less but every day at least a bit.

My motivation is whenever I see improvement in my work. This makes me realize that my hard work is paying off and makes me want to practice even more.

How do you approach a personal project and is this very different than your approach to a professional one? 

For personal projects I firstly do some thumbnails about what I want and plan out how many pages I want to do and what is going to appear on each page. After that, I do some research and look for references (colour, shapes, anatomy, clothes, poses… basically for everything!).

When I have all the references and I have analysed them all I start sketching. I try different shapes and designs and when I come up with an idea that I like I focus on that and I develop it from there, focusing more on the details until I reach a final design. This is the process I use for everything: personal projects and professional.

For someone starting out in their career, what is the one piece of information you would give them that you feel could help them most? 

The piece of advice that has helped me the most is: don’t get married to your designs.

This means that you don’t have to spend hours and hours with the same design just because you think it looks good and also, don’t feel bad if someone gives you some advice to make it look even better.

Don’t get stuck drawing the same thing just because you know how to draw that thing. Once you’ve drawn something, throw it away and jump to the next thing. Try a completely different thing!

What tools do you use in your work and what is your favourite? 

I use Photoshop and I do some traditional inking with Sakura’s pens. I think Photoshop is my favourite just because I’m used to it but there are a lot of programs out there that are as good. Just find the one you feel the most comfortable with.

What are your aspirations for the future? 

I would like to be a versatile artist. I would like to be able to adapt to many different styles so that I can work on any show I want!

We loved talking with Blanca this month and you can check out more of her work on Instagram at @b.sobrino!


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