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Visual Story Telling with Oriana Fernandez

Oriana Fernandez, an emerging artist from the quaint town of Mapusa - Goa, has a unique approach to art!

Below is an excerpt from our interview with Oriana.

O: Oriana

A: Artzo

A: How would you define your artwork?

O: I like to keep my illustrations clean and crisp with clearly visible lines and lineweights. While I prefer drawing black and white illustrations, I have recently been rediscovering the importance of colour, and various ways colour can breathe life into an illustration. I use black ink pens for outlines along with alcohol markers and colour pencils to make a drawing more vibrant and realistic.

Black Dahlia is another character from my book - The Flight of the Wryter and the Weaver. She is an antagonist and serves as a guardian in a Magister's labyrinth. She is dark, mysterious and foreboding but also appears enchanting and beautiful at the same time, in order to confuse her prey/ victims. I was attempting to highlight her dress in shades of black, red, maroon and pink, taking on the form of a black dahlia flower.
Black Dahlia

A: At what age did you start creating art?

O: Since I was three years old. My parents used to get me loads of colouring books and as I got bigger, activity books. I started taking an interest in drawing and sketching when I was about 6-7 years old. I used to take part in drawing competitions in school and won quite a few as well. I was always in charge of crafting hand-made cards as well for numerous family occasions, from birthdays to festivals like Christmas. I work as an architect, so my time in architecture college helped me in getting my lines and compositions more put together and detailed. I have to admit, that my time in college saw me losing my artistic drive since we are required to make more technically accurate sketches and perspective views. This Inktober 2019, I took on the challenge just to rediscover my love for art, and what drove me to love art in the first place.

This was my entry for the SVS October Art Contest 2019. The prompt was given by Jake Parker: "The experiment worked! Penny was so relieved to have her dog back from the dead." The illustration had to be ink, or look like ink, and had to be black and white. I really had fun doing this piece! My entry was in the final shortlist of 16. The live critique was held on 14 November 2019 with Jake Parker and Lee White as the jury panel. This was my first attempt at a SVS monthly contest.
SVS October Art Contest 2019

A: Do you look at art as a full-time career?

O: Art for me is an escape from the techical machinery that an architect has to deal with. I enjoy art as a hobby and don't really see myself as a professional artist. I enrolled myself in the School for Visual Storytelling (SVS) recently on my birthday in November. It is a great platform to meet and learn from fellow artists. This platform is the brainchild of Jake Parker (the Inktober guy) and Lee White (the Slowvember guy). SVS is a great online learning platform if you're looking to brush up on your techniques or just want to learn something new and improve your artwork. There are a range of classes, right from the fundamentals to more complex classes. At the moment, I just to learn and improve on my art.

SVS Slowvember Contest 2019: For Slowvember, you work on a single piece of art for the whole of November. For the SVS Slowvember Contest 2019, I had decided to make a series of seasonal greeting cards. This one is for the Fall/ Autumn season. I found inspiration in the picture story books of Beatrix Potter (The Tale of Squirrel Nutkin was one of the first books gifted to me as a kid, I still have it), and Kenneth Grahame's The Wind in the Willows. The colour palette and styles helped me to figure out how to go about laying out the scene. The forest animals included in this card are a red squirrel, a grey cat, a hedgehog, a red fox and a red baby deer.
SVS Slowvember Contest 2019

A: What kind of impact would you like to create using your skills in art? 

O: I want people to experience a range of emotions when they see my work. I would like them to see the worlds and characters I have created through my eyes. I am currently writing a book. I have been illustrating scenes from my book to get my story across to more people. This is again, just a hobby. Maybe once I'm done, I would look at getting the book and my illustrations published, but not just yet. 

Zaru: Zaru Deg Deg Ah is one of the six main characters in my book - The Flight of the Wryter and the Weaver. He serves as a healer for the group of travellers and is a proficient alchemist. 'Zaru' means a Japanese bamboo draining basket. 'Deg Deg Ah' is Somalian for quick wit. I drew him as a preview to my Inktober 2019 illustrations.

A: Any suggestions/advice to your followers and our readers? 

O: Carry a sketchbook and pencil/ ink pen at all times. You never know when you might get a great idea for a story or an illustration. Keep on sketching and share your work with your friends and artist network. You learn so much in the design process, and constructive criticism is always welcome!


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