We were so thrilled when Mexican artist, illustrator, and cartoonist Inés Estrada agreed to let us use her work for the cover of Quaint’s 5th issue. Inés is an incredibly accomplished visual artist, and her work has appeared in The Believer, Travesías, and The New York Times to name but a few. She was also the editor of the Vice Mexico comics column Tebeo Tropical from 2011 to 2015.
Quaint editor Kia Groom sat down with Inés to discuss her work, her process, and her stunning illustration Conejo, which you can find on the cover of Quaint Magazine Issue 5, available in print from our online store. You can also purchase prints, stickers, and apparel featuring Inés’ work from her store, Gatosaurio.
KG: How did you come to visual art? What inspired you to start drawing/illustrating?IE: I’ve been obsessed with cartoons since I can remember. When I was a kid I read the mexican comic versions of Tom and Jerry and El Pájaro Loco (Woody Wood Pecker) and copied the drawings and I guess I never stopped drawing.
KG: Who are you biggest influences?
IE: The internet, mangakas like Suehiro Maruo, Taiyo Matsumoto and Katsuhiro Otomo and current cartoonists like Jesse Moynihan, Lala, Oliver Schrauwen, Brech Vandenbroucke, Simon Hanselmann, Powerpaola.
KG: You’re obviously really into zine culture and the DIY ethos–what appeals to you about zines and comic book culture? Is there a difference between illustrating for zines and working for big-name clients like The Believer and the NYT?
IE: Yeah, I guess the main difference is that with a zine you can do whatever the fuck you want and with a client you have to interpret someone else’s idea. I enjoy both challenges and I’m grateful to be able to make a living out of that.
KG: We have to ask–what was it like working for Vice?
IE: It was good because it was the only steady job I had for 4 years! It has its things, like any job I guess. I’m still working with the US branch making comics.
KG: To what degree has your gender identity shaped your work, and your career? How do you feel women fit into the art world?
IE: I’m a woman but I didn’t grow up with my parents forcing any gender behaviour bullshit. I think all sorts of experiences fit into creative expression, independently of instituional support.
KG: Can you tell us a little about “Conejo”? What was the process like, for that piece? What’s was the inspiration?
IE: I made that illustration in 2008, I think I was sad at the moment and just wanted to make something that looked fun so I drew that girl playing with some sort of cosmic rabbit.
KG: Lastly, who are some of your favorite authors, writers, or poets?
IE: I like to read in Spanish, short stories and novels. Some of my favorites are Julio Cortázar, Jorge Luis Borges, H.P. Lovecraft, and Camus.