Paloma O’Toole

After graduating with a Masters Degree in Painting and Fine Arts In Spain, I established myself in the United Kingdom. My passions include: singing (very badly) in the local choir, knitting, writing, learning about tarot, studying Japanese… But my favourite thing to do is to draw and I am the happiest when I am working on a picture.



Where do you live?
I live in a small town called Newport Pagnell, 40 minutes away from London. It is like living in a Hobbit village in a Tolkien book.

Where have you lived?
I have lived in Cadiz and Seville, in the the south of Spain.

What medium do you use?
I mainly use procreate and my iPad Pro. I also like using gouache and colour pencils.

How do you stay inspired?
I try to rest and go out for walks in the forests around my town. I do a ton of journaling of many different types (morning pages, bullet, junk, video blogging) and I try to get out of my comfort zone by trying new things.

Where do you buy your art supplies?
I get most of my digital brushes from retro supply, I love the textures that they achieve. I also get many of my paints and pens from Japan and I buy them online.

Do you work traditionally or digitally?
Both but mostly digitally.

What color combination are you most excited about right now?
I love military-green and earthy colours combined with candy colours like citrusy orange, rose, cadmium yellow and cotton greys and whites. Green is a colour that I used to avoid but recently I am getting to love it.

Why do you like being an illustrator in 15 words or less?
To lose myself in the joy and the flow of creating images.

If you weren’t an illustrator, what would you be?
A tarot reader.

What illustration job would you love to get (your dream job)?
I would love to illustrate and write my own children’s books and also make a my own tarot deck. I want to make art that inspires and touches people’s hearts.

Name something you do in your spare time.
I rest, spend time with my cats and my husband Rory. I go for walks and read. It is important for me to have down time so I make sure that I have at least a whole day off every week and I allow myself to be lazy on that day to recharge my batteries.

What’s the strangest work experience you’ve ever had?
When I was 18, I worked as an illustrator making crime story boards for a famous forensic doctor in Spain. I had to quit on my first day, it was too much for my teenage self.

What recent book do you recommend for a good read?
If you have not read ‘The artist way’ by Julia Cameron, you should. It changed my life.

Where would you like to travel to next?
To Japan, I want to go to Wakayama where they have a cat themed train station, a cat themed train and the station supervisor is a cat… I mean… it is like an algorithm made that place for me.

What podcasts do you like?
I love listening to comedy real crime podcast, they are very dark but funny: ‘my favourite murder’ and ‘the last podcast of the left’ are my guilty pleasures.

What show have you binge-watched?
Oh, so many: I am one of those people who watch “the office’ on a loop, I love Rich and Morty, SouthPark, an Australian series called Kim and Cath, I also love the Anime series ‘the demon slayer’. And of course: ‘the Sopranos’.

What’s your favorite movie?
Fargo, hands down, there is not competition there. That movie is pure perfection.

What is your favorite cheese?

If you could name a nail polish, what would you name it?
Nailed it.

What do you listen to while you work?
Podcasts, the darker the better. Sometimes I listen to music, I my favourite bands are: Pixies, Nirvana, the Vaselines and Violent Femmes.

What artist are you reincarnated from?
Probably a monk from the dark ages who was illustrating codices non stop and loved cats.

What’s your middle name?
As a Spanish person, my middle is my father’s surname: Rodilla, which means ‘knee’ and is also a type of cloth used for cleaning. I come from a family of textile merchants.

What do you wish your middle name was?
I wish I could legally change my name to Paloma O’Toole, which is my husbands surname. The Spanish government does not allow women to change their names after they marry.

If you could eat only one food, what would it be?
Peanut butter and chocolate Ice cream… I wish it was healthy and good for you.

How do you stay in shape?
I practice Yoga and walk a lot.

How don’t you stay in shape?
I probably eat too much peanut butter and chocolate icecream.

What is your current favorite font?
I like slab sherif, feels vintage and solid.

How do you take your coffee?
With oat milk and one sugar.

Whom would you like to meet?
Margaret Atwood, she is my favourite author.

What was your favorite illustration assignment?
I loved the graphic novel assignment on my first ever bootcamp. The preparation and how everything came together was magical and Lilla’s teaching style was so seamless and skilful that it pushed my limits without feeling like effort but being very playful and very inspired.


Paloma is an illustrator with a remarkable talent. Her use of colors is truly exceptional, infusing the illustration with depth and emotion.

Guilia Flamini, Rebel Girls

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