Imagine taking off your top and running through the forest, just as Fátima Moreno’s characters do, leaping freely through the greenery in her expressive watercolour illustrations. Developing a fluid style across her portfolio, the illustrator’s bizarre assemblages smudge and bleed across the page to create their own individual patterns.
Although born in the city of Granada, Fátima spent her childhood in the Spanish countryside, dreaming and drawing in the warm landscape – a place she credits much of her personality to. She studied contemporary printmaking before having what she calls “a pragmatism fit” and becoming a graphic designer. During this time she lived and worked across Barcelona, Madrid and Lisbon but realised something was missing, “drawing was a practice I did since I was a child, for fun, out of passion… because I needed to,” she says. So Fátima ditched the job and grabbed her inks, saying: “I wanted to do what made me happier.”
But on whether she’s an illustrator, Fátima says her practice is split between drawing and illustrating, and talks about the importance of working on personal projects: “I feel drawing is when you just experiment and immerse yourself in your own ideas. Illustration deals with a client, but drawing deals with your self,” she tells us.
When it comes to creating her characters, Fátima has an intuitive, experimental method. Picking up her paintbrush, she uses watercolours to transform colourful blobs into bodies – a process that frees her from any strict pre-planning, “I usually have an idea first, but start staining without thinking,” she says.
In her spontaneity, Fátima is influenced by the world around her: vivid dreams, waking life or literature. “I really identify my work with Esperpento – the Spanish genre of literature. It’s characterised by the presentation of a deformed or grotesque reality, and the degradation of values denoted to ridiculous situations.” In turn, Fátima’s illustrations become a distorted autobiography – funny, emotional and critical. “Drawing is a place to relieve intense emotions,” she says.
On her current projects, Fátima tells us about both her drawing and illustrative practices. Whilst she’s working on commissioned projects, she’s also experimenting in ceramic and making an artist book – taking her loose style of creating into the 3D sphere. On her future practice, Fátima says: “I am totally dealing with myself and freedom, exploring the diversity of my own work.”