Silvia Portella’s Bio
Where do you live?
In Berlin, Germany
Where have you lived?
In my hometown Barcelona, Spain and in Stuttgart, south Germany
What medium do you use?
Pencils, computer, love
How do you stay inspired?
By looking at design, art and children´s books and blogs, nature, food, observing animals, kids, travelling…
Where do you buy your art supplies?
At a huge art supply store here in Berlin called Boesner, they have everything! For craft supplies, at Idee Berlin and Etsy
Do you work traditionally or digitally?
I draw everything by hand then redraw it with the computer
What color combination are you most excited about right now?
Too many to decide, but at the moment I like a lot to play with Robbin´s egg blue and pastels together with stronger colors like mustard, dark red, black…
What blog(s) do you read?
Print & Pattern, My paper crane, The small object, Decor 8…
Why do you like being an illustrator in 10 words or less?
It gives me the freedom to do what I love most 24/7
If you weren’t an illustrator, what would you be?
-A bass player rockin´the world and wearing lots of sparkling and weird outfits! Yes, glitter would be a must. Feathers too
-A cupcake baker and store owner. I would spend my days making decorated cupcakes, recreating mini worlds in them, like small eatable sculptures
-An interior designer looking for spaces in bad shape all over the world and transforming them into nice and cozy homes
-A jewelry designer
What illustration job would you love to get (your dream job)?
-Anything related with surface design: shocking amounts of stationery and home decor and accessories, patterns applied to fabrics, wrapping paper, etc…I definitely would be very happy doing that. Everyday items with a lot of heart that could make people smile everyday too
-A children´s book
-Working for Chronicle Books
-Cute vinyl toys
Name something you do in your spare time.
Crafty stuff whenever I can. After spending so many hours in front of the computer somehow I feel the need to make things that implicate just my hands and physical materials. I like to sew, stitch, crochet, model figures with clay…
What’s the strangest work experience you’ve ever had?
Being 23, I worked for a few days in a fair as a stewardess of a company selling machines testing the resistance to temperatures, impacts, etc… of plastic materials that would be then used in car parts, cooking tools, toys… I needed extra money to move into a new apartment and the job was well paid, so I took it. But the strangest (and coolest) thing of it all is that one day during my lunch break I discovered the freshly opened first Sanrio/Hello Kitty store in Barcelona in a mall next to the fair pavillions. I went in, started talking with the owners about our common Hello Kitty passion and ended up doing the graphic to promote the shop! Flyers, visit cards, stickers, postcards… It was great ^__^
What are you reading now?
The elephant vanishes by Haruki Murakami
What recent book do you recommend for a good read?
Moon palace by Paul Auster
Where would you like to travel to next?
San Francisco and Tokyo
What’s your favorite TV show?
Lost, Grey´s anatomy and Twin Peaks
What movie have you seen several times?
The nightmare before Christmas, Lost in translation and everything from David lynch
Who is your favorite cartoon character?
The little pink octopus from “Finding Nemo” inking all over the place. I don´t know his name but I love him! We would live happily ever after on the beach, he would provide me with ink for drawing and I would provide him lots of hugs!
What is your favorite cheese?
Staying true to my country, a semi-curated Manchego cheese, olé!
If you could name a nail polish, what would you name it?
Do you wear shoes when you do art?
No, I wear slippers or barefoot
What do you listen to while you work?
Many different kinds of music, even though I got into 60´s and 70´s tunes so lately. Jefferson´s airplane, Buffalo Springfield, The Beatles, Three dog night…
What artist are you reincarnated from?
If I could reincarnate in an artist without any doubt it would be the amazing and unique Mark Ryden
What’s your middle name?
Elena, like my mum
What do you wish your middle name was?
I like my middle name
If you could eat only one food, what would it be?
Cheese with french bread
How do you stay in shape?
I´m not a sporty person but I like a lot walking
How don’t you stay in shape?
By sitting for hours and hours in front of the computer. I feel like a piece of jelly afterwards
What is your current favorite font?
Any handmade/handwritten. For text blocks I always liked the Eurostile, very clean
How do you take your coffee?
Half milk, half coffee and a teaspoon sugar
Whom would you like to meet?
Paul McCartney, Yoshitomo Nara, Nelson Mandela, Mark Oliver Everett, Mark Ryden
What question would you most like to be asked?
Would you like to move right away into this wonderful (and available at an unbeatable price) victorian house here in the heart of San Francisco?
What recent illustration job have you enjoyed doing?
Working for french company La Marelle
What was your favorite illustration assignment?
About to come ;)
Éditions La Marelle