Last week we presented on social media the first member of our team, Ana Santiso the illustrator of our card collection:
Santiso is a cartoonist, illustrator, and muralist from Galicia, Spain. For as long as she can remember she has drawn for work and pleasure, with and without permission, on the ground with a stick, with a piece of brick on the wall, with various techniques in his notebook, in school books, on the table, in the classroom, on the kitchen chairs below, on their slippers, on the bathroom doors of the bars and on the tablecloths of their tables, in the sand before the wave arrives, in the snow, in the air, on paper, on board, on canvas, on your screen, in library windows, on posters, on walls and large and small facades…
She is the Head of Art in Mythical Beings and the creator of the image of each creature in our collection. In her illustrations, she pours all her love and know-how, without skimping on effort or avoiding challenges, to try to show things through her personal perspective.
And at the same time we shared on social media, we made a Q&A with her, so you can get to know more about her creative process. Here are the questions you sent her and the answers are so inspiring that we decided to create a post with them here. So here they go!
Hello Maestra Ana!! Is that the right way to address you?
Maestra it’s perfect! In Galicia is common for every home or family to have a name, mine is “Maestro’s house” because my great-grandfather was a school teacher.
How do you conceptualize each Mythical Being?
For the illustrations to be unified I search for a kind of formula: ordered and balanced compositions, in with there is always the creature and any element related to their story or personality, from a plant to a landscape I look for a static image, almost decorative, like in the popular arts. These are the ones that give singularity to each illustration because many creatures are illustrated by reference to the traditional art of each culture.
How do you decide on colors?
I guess the colors I associate them with the qualities or character of each mythical being, to their psychology. If it’s a dark, bad, and mysterious being I probably use black, blue, and dark violets. If it is belligerent and cruel, red and maroon. Pinks and reds if it’s sensual or lascivious… I don’t know. I let myself go…from there the dominant colors come out, then I complement to harmonize or unbalance the image according to my intention and white is essential, this is part of the formula, white is always present, surrounds the figures or expands the composition within the limits of the image, enhances the colors, and orders the scene.
Where do you start on what to draw when you finally have a being in mind?
I start by drawing a tiny square on a piece of paper, and I try out a composition. And then another, and a bunch, sometimes just one or two. Sometimes there is a step prior to this: Sketching without paying attention to the format or composition, drawing the creature, or elements that could appear. I really enjoy this phase, it’s relaxed and a bit automatic, you don’t have to think much, just the part of the brain that looks and draws works.
For this collection, it seemed appropriate to me to use watercolors because of their natural and spontaneous look, handmade like traditional art. But it’s used in a clean and contained way, because of the complexity of the composition. When I started this project I have been drawing digitally for a while and I wanted to separate from screens, touch the paper and see the colors expand and mix.
Any advice on aspiring artists?
As advice, the most important is to find your own language. You know you have it when you face projects with the confidence to solve them. You can only achieve this through practice and experience. I also recommend you to work hard as must as you can, value your work, make it visible, send dossiers and emails, call everyone… and never undersell your work, but be prepared to spend good and hard times on the way.
The first thing I should say is that my work in Mythical Beings is to illustrate and sometimes design. My knowledge of the crypto world, blockchain, and NFT is very superficial. On the other hand, I am not used to thinking about the future of the world of art, I never felt part of that world, and less from that corner of the world where I live with mountains and sheep, painting murals and watercolors. But if you ask me, I think that NFTs are an ideal tool to enable the commercialization of digital art. Useful and necessary. A digital work is an artistic creation, pixels instead of oil on canvas, bronze, or plasticine. I am sure that it will have a great weight in the world of art.
Do you think all artwork should be uploaded as NFT?
Each work format had its own peculiarities. A mural, an installation, a performance, a sculpture, a painting or a drawing have a touch, dimensions, a volume. A digital work (illustration, photography, video, audio) on the other hand is immaterial, and therefore requires tools such as the NFT to be marketed in the material world, which turns the work into a kind of “original”.
Does Blockchain matter?
Here you get me. It seems something important and useful. I understand that they would be used for things like making the electoral processes more transparent (or was it safe?). Sounds good. I think that it is a tool with great potential to function thanks to the system, perhaps due to a more democratic goal. It also sounds good.
In the case of crypto art, to speak of something more familiar to me, I see that it is important, especially for digital works, and perhaps useful for all works. Now, I don’t think I’m going to expect a democratization of the art market or greater independence for the artist, who is going to continue depending on promotion, a gallery, an agency, an expert in social networks… on the market, in short. I think it’s not going to modify it too much.
But I insist, these are opinions based on my little knowledge of the subject, I am interested in other opinions.
Hope you enjoyed her answers and feel free to send us all the questions you have, we are always here to help you and would love to share all we can about Mythical Beings. Also, if you want to know more about Ana’s work go to her website and follow her on social media: