I developed a curiosity for Naisa’s style and characters years ago. I just couldn’t stop myself from craving more of her imaginative pieces. I’m pleased to bring you this little showcase of talented illustrator Naisa Gómez Plúguez along with my interrogation where she unravels her inspirations, her creative process and tools of trade.
Describe what you do in one word.
What got you interested in illustration?
I would say comic books, novels and poster art. As soon as I started reading comics and looking at the images, I knew I wanted to be like those illustrators. I wanted to be part of a story and tell it with images. The works of Edward Gorey and John Tenniel were a huge influence.
What inspires you?
Everything from books to TV shows, music, friends, family and also video games. And as weird as this might sound, food inspires me as well.
How do you come up with all these superb characters and girls (like your gloomy Jíbara Darks)?
Most of my characters come from my dreams. Sometimes I can listen to a certain song and some new character comes to life.
In the case of the “Jibara Darks”, it was born from my love of Puerto Rican customs and traditions, the Goth subculture of Puerto Rico and the funny “Yo Soy Darks” YouTube Video. And also, the fact that no matter how “goth” some Puerto Rican may be, they will always eat and enjoy their arroz con gandules and mofongo (haha).
The Jíbara Darks has been my most beloved character, I love her.
Tell us a little about your creative process and favorite tools.
My creative process is very random. Ideas rarely come to mind when I put my head to it. Most of the time, the idea comes when I’m doing things like taking a shower or drinking coffee. I gotta run and sketch them right away. (I constantly forget about them if I don’t sketch ’em.)
You could say my imagination has a life of its own. Can’t control it, it controls me- weird, huh? haha
Ok, so, once I got said idea or concept/theme sketched down, I proceed to turn it into a proper drawing. I decide which medium I’ll use, be it markers, coloured pencils or watercolours, I paint it and then it’s done.
What are your thoughts on Puerto Rico’s current art-wave?
I’m proud of it. It’s getting stronger and stronger. Exhibitions and exposure everywhere. And the thing I love the most? Female artists are been seen, known and appreciated.
Every day there are more girls putting their works out there. Folks are supporting us. I’m happy to be part of it.
What projects are you currently working on and what do you foresee you’ll work in the future?
I’m working on a comic strip for an upcoming Soda Pop Anthology book by Soda Pop Comics, also I’m working on commissions and a new illustration series (details soon).