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Meet Santa Monica Illustrator: Andres M Labrada

Today we’d like to introduce you to Andres M Labrada.

Andres M, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I started when I was young. I always liked to draw but it was in the 4th grade where I really got pushed by my art teacher to practice it. Drawing Pokemon and the sorts in a sketchbook she gave me. I eventually got into Japanese and American comics in middle school and it took off from there for the rest of my life. My Mother was also very supportive of my talent.

She enrolled me in a magnet high school for illustration. For college, I attended Ringling College of Art where I also majored in illustration.

Has it been a smooth road?
It hasn’t always been a smooth road. Attending a private college always presents its challenges financially.

Pursuing a career in a visual entertainment trade isn’t exactly easy either.

As a growing artist, you have a lot to live up to. You are constantly surrounded in an industry by people who are leagues above you. All you can do is learn that there is not shortcuts to mastering a trade and clock as much time into getting experience as possible. It’s something you improve most by simply trial and error.

You have to learn your strengths and weaknesses. Build your own visual library and commit many rules and tricks to memory and hope they become habits.

I struggled a lot in college with painting and color. It just doesn’t come as fluent to me as some of my peers. So I focused heavily on making my line art and drawing the best it can be.

How would you describe the type of kid you were growing up?
I was a quiet kid but always made friends with everyone. Never had any problems growing up really.

I have pretty much breathed comics, art, and video games since I can remember haha!

Do you look back particularly fondly on any memories from childhood?
Going to Disney World and meeting the Ninja Turtles at MGM studios. It must have been a great unconscious inspiration to me artistically now that I think about it.

What are your plans for the future?
My own creative work for sure. I have two story ideas just needing to be drawn. Mainly for my creative health and artistic fulfillment, I should be attending them after this next round of freelance work.

Contact Info:

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Image Credit:
All artwork created by me. References used are celebrities.

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