#MemberSpotlight on street artist and illustrator Helena Frías (Helenilustra) (2024)

From a tender age, the world of design and illustration beckoned me. My childhood was filled with doodles, sketches, and imaginations that translated onto paper. Pursuing Fine Arts was a natural progression, solidifying my passion. After earning my degree, I ventured into the professional realm as a freelance illustrator and designer.

My collaborations spanned both local Spanish projects and international ones. As I delved deeper into the industry, my portfolio grew, helping me gain recognition and grounding my expertise in textile design and communication ventures.

Where are you currently based and who do you work for?

#MemberSpotlight on street artist and illustrator Helena Frías (Helenilustra) (1)

Tarragona is my haven – nestled close to the mesmerizing Mediterranean coastline and a stone's throw from Barcelona's vibrant culture in northern Spain. This location serves as my creative hub, from where I collaborate remotely with a diverse range of international clients. My most recent engagement was an exhilarating experience with a Belgian firm that pioneers European developmental projects.

What would you be doing if you weren’t in your current industry?

It might come as a surprise, but meteorology has always intrigued me. The mysteries of the atmosphere, the dance of clouds, and the secrets of the winds have often caught my fancy. But that's not all; another dream that has frequently painted my thoughts is becoming a muralist, breathing life into walls with my creative touch.

Could you describe your creative process?

Everyday life is a canvas of inspiration for me. Whether I'm cruising down roads or ambling through a park, the world around me fuels my imagination. Books too, with their rich tapestries of tales, leave their mark on my ideas.

#MemberSpotlight on street artist and illustrator Helena Frías (Helenilustra) (2)

When I tackle client-specific projects, I dive deep into research, ensuring I grasp the pulse of the subject, the prevailing trends, and the nuances of the topic. But irrespective of the inspiration's source, my creations always bear the unmistakable touch of my personal style.

How would you describe your artistic style?

My style is an intriguing blend of sharp graphics intertwined with a naive innocence. Clean, defined lines coalesce with powerful expressions. The philosophy of "less is more" resonates deeply with me. Even as my style evolves, its core essence remains unwavering.

Who inspires you in the industry?

A myriad of artists, spanning genres and eras, inspire me. The post-impressionistic genius of artists like Gauguin, Matisse, and Marc Chagall have left an indelible mark on my creative psyche. Additionally, the iconic works of Max Velthuijs, Alphonse Mucha, and Toulouse-Lautrec stand as towering inspirations. For contemporary wisdom, I keep an eye on the masterpieces crafted by present-day designers.

Do you have any advice for budding creatives?

#MemberSpotlight on street artist and illustrator Helena Frías (Helenilustra) (3)

Carve your niche. Discover what sets your soul on fire and hone that style until it becomes unmistakably yours. Creativity is a dance between the analytical mind – which seeks inspiration and observes nuances – and the heart, which pours raw emotion onto canvas or paper. Beyond this, the ability to resonate with others, to understand their perspectives and adapt, is a cornerstone of success.

Tips for professionals seeking more clients?

The journey to success is paved with persistence. Continuously seek opportunities, but never lose sight of your worth – it's perfectly okay to decline projects that don't align with your vision. Consistent hard work, faith in your ideas, and constructive self-criticism are your allies.

What tools are essential for your work?

#MemberSpotlight on street artist and illustrator Helena Frías (Helenilustra) (4)

Traditionally, a plethora of paper textures, trusty pencils, blank canvases, and brush-tip markers are my arsenal. In the digital realm, the Adobe suite is indispensable, aiding in everything from design to motion and video editing.

How do you stay inspired and motivated?

I believe in nourishing both body and mind. A brisk walk, light exercises, or reading not only recharges me but also fuels my creativity. Nature, with its myriad moods – be it the gentle caress of a sunny winter day or the tempestuous passion of a spring storm – never ceases to inspire.

Any notable achievements?

Two milestones stand out. The first was an enriching cultural exchange in China, where I introduced young minds to the magic of illustration. The second was my association with a European organization that collaborates on diverse developmental projects, offering a tapestry of experiences and insights.

Anything you'd like to change about the industry?

#MemberSpotlight on street artist and illustrator Helena Frías (Helenilustra) (5)

The creative industry, at times, can be rigid, pigeonholing talents into specific boxes. There's a dire need for more flexibility and recognition of the multifaceted skills that artists bring. While some job offerings can be overwhelmingly specific, others spread talents too thin. Additionally, the industry should be more open to the myriad benefits of remote working models.

Any recommendations for resources?


#MemberSpotlight on street artist and illustrator Helena Frías (Helenilustra) (2024)
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