Meet Marla Yadira Garcia of Marla Yadira Illustration
I am a graphic designer and my story as a graphic artist began when I was about 11 years old, I was in middle school in a city called Nuevo Laredo, Mexico. I used to hand-draw name designs for my friends and myself and we used these designs as covers for our binders. These designed names were appealing, distinctive and colorful and I got a lot of requests to do these kinds of designs.
Time passed and when I was in high school in Mexico one of my friends said she was going to study to become a graphic designer. She explained what a graphic designer does and then I remembered the drawings I had created and thought it would be fun to study graphic design.
Years passed and I moved to Houston, Texas to continue my studies. I attended The Art Institute of Houston where I got my Associate of Arts in Visual Communications and became a graphic designer.
I dedicated more than twenty years to graphic design and work for several companies, including a book publisher, where they offered me to illustrate a couple of children’s books. I would also illustrate with my kids for fun in my free time. And they were always amazed at my drawings, so they motivated me to create art to sell. I am a self-taught illustrator, and my style is very colorful and abstract.
No, it has not been a smooth road. The company I worked for for a long time was struggling financially, so this was hard for me too, because I was not able to provide for my family. At the end of 2019, I decided to open an online shop to sell my illustrations. Things have not been easy, and to think you can open an online shop and start selling, it is not true either. There is a lot of work that needs to be done, like marketing, and this is not my area of expertise. At the same time, my husband changed careers and was offered a new job, where he would not be making that much at the beginning. I had to dedicate some of my time to find a job.
So at the beginning of 2020, I found a part-time job. This job gives me the time and monetary freedom to continue working towards my goal, which is to keep doing illustration, to be able to promote my shop and to promote myself as an illustrator.
Marla Yadira Illustration started in 2019. I create illustrations that are very colorful and unreal. After becoming a graphic designer, I forgot about picking up a pencil and creating things that made me happy. A couple of years ago, I just felt the need to start drawing again and it felt amazing. My hands just started swirling across the paper and have been able to draw more than before. I draw my illustrations by hand first and then I digitize them.
The thing I am most proud of is my improved skills as an illustrator, and the confidence I have now to call myself an illustrator. I remember when my kids used to watch cartoons, I would just stare at the animations and loved all the colors across the screen and I imagined creating something like that. I’ve always been drawn to colorful things because they make me feel content and I hope people see that in my illustrations.
Success to me is to be doing what you love and to do it in a way that makes you feel good, even if it takes longer to achieve your ultimate goal. As long as things keep moving forward, you are on the right track. And this is my plan for 2020, to move forward.
There are a lot of illustrators I follow on social media, and they are my inspiration to keep doing what I am doing and to move forward.