MAGICAL ARTWORK - Interview with Bronte Rose Marando

Hi, I’m Bronte Rose Marando, a graphic designer and digital illustrator based in Sydney Australia. I love creating work that is mysterious, magical and delves into the world of the unknown. I have a fondness for all things quirky and unusual.

What gets you excited about illustrating?

Bringing my crazy thoughts and ideas to life! I also love to tell stories within each work. I usually illustrate things that I love or I'm interested in, so it’s always exciting to share these concepts with other people.

What are your first memories of illustrating? What made you decide to become an illustrator, or that you wanted to be one?

Most of my first memories were of drawing and painting. As a young child, I would draw on anything I could get my hands on; floors, walls, mirrors even on toys! Nothing could stop me. Eventually, as I got older, I moved on to painting and drawing outside on a little easel my parents bought me. I was always involved in art classes inside and outside of school, and I always knew deep down I wanted to do something creative as a career. I recently graduated from my university with a degree in media arts and graphic design. Over the years, illustration and design have kind of become intertwined in my practice, so naturally I have become a graphic designer and digital illustrator.

We love your quirky, magical look of your illustrations! What influenced your style and how has it changed, or progressed, since you began illustrating?

Thank you, I’m stoked you guys love my illustrations! My style is ever-changing and evolving. I feel like it’s a never-ending process as I am constantly experimenting. As cliché as it sounds, I tend to take inspiration from everything this great big world has to offer — it’s true. I love anything that is mysterious and unusual! I find most of my inspiration in film, television, literature, folklore, nature and magical mundane moments. I will pick certain elements that I love about these subjects and then morph them together to create my characters. I used to work with more traditional mediums like colored pencils, but now I use a drawing tablet and work digitally, as I find that I have more freedom.

How do you come up with new ideas? What is your process?

I don’t really have a process for coming up with new ideas. If it's personal work, I usually just illustrate what I like or feel compelled to draw. However, if I am doing work for clients, I always find that it helps to brainstorm and sketch things out. As a visual person, this step is important for me to make my ideas evolve and come to life. I also find that a brief Pinterest or Instagram search is inspiring and can give you a good push in the right direction.

Do you ever have any creative crashes, where you don’t feel motivated, inspired to illustrate? Maybe a creative block? How do you come out of it?

Yes! I think every illustrator and designer experiences this at some point. Creative block is always difficult, especially in-between big projects. Some ways I get past it is to just go back to what you love and to continue to draw, draw, draw, even though you might not be feeling it. Sometimes I will draw characters from a favorite movie and cats! I always come back to cats!

What do you enjoy doing when you’re not illustrating?

If I’m not illustrating, you can probably find me reading a good book, watching a wacky movie or reading my tarot cards!

Can you tell us a little bit about your book “Twisted” and what inspired you to write and illustrate this book?

“Twisted” is my first self-published book. It is a collection of whimsical illustration and poetry based on the mystical creatures of folklore and mythology from this world and beyond. Set in a realm where things are not what they seem. The book aims to expose the dark side of mythical creatures. I created “Twisted” with the aim to make readers aware of the various original representations of these creatures before the alteration of their appearance and nature through time.

Is it currently sold in any bookstores or online shops?

“Twisted” is available to purchase through my website.

Do you have any projects in the works?

Yes, I have a couple secret projects in the works — so stay tuned!

What is your favorite song, artist or band you enjoy listening to while you work?

I absolutely love listening to Beach House. Their dreamy music really puts me into a drawing trance and can keep me focused. I also love listening to moody film scores and movie soundtracks, especially from Tim Burton and Laika films.