CICADA: Thanks for chatting with us! Tell us a bit about yourself and your work.
Inés Estrada: Hey! I'm Inés Estrada, I'm from Mexico City, where I grew up and lived until I was 25. I started making stickers with my drawings when I was in high school and never stopped. Drawing can sometimes feel like a very isolating activity, so whenever I can I love to travel and do stuff outside. I currently live with my partner in San Antonio, Texas.
CIC: Your comic about monster identities features a couple of really striking characters. Where do you get inspiration for your character designs?
IE: Thank you! I really like drawing furry characters, they come easier to me than drawing people. I've noticed a lot of artists start with the eyes but I usually draw the bangs or the ears first because they're the most fun for me. My process is very impulsive and intuitive. I mostly just go at it without much thought.
CIC: What were some of the first comics you remember reading? Do you think they still influence your work?
IE: The first comics I read were cheap bootlegs of Woody Woodpecker, Tom and Jerry, and Droopy that were made in Mexico. These were badly drawn and always ended with them eating tacos. They definitely inspired me to not take comics too seriously and just start drawing them however I could.
CIC: You run an online shop called Gatosaurio (gatosaurio.com). Can you talk a bit about the relationship between your shop and your personal work? Do you have any advice for young artists who are considering turning their work into a small business?
IE: I don't see much of a distinction between my personal work and the products I make. Sometime I do make designs specifically to be made into a product but other times I just look at the drawings I've made and think like, "oh, this would be a good print," or sticker, or whatever. I always tell aspiring artists to start with stickers: they're cheap to make and a great way to spread your work. Just make a selection of your favorite drawings, sketches, photos of sculptures or whatever you have; get some sticker paper for your printer or go to a local copy shop, print out a sheet, and cut them out with scissors. Then go around your school and sell them or put them up on your social media. It's easy! Don't be shy and try it out!
CIC: Do you have any exciting projects on the horizon?
IE: I'm very excited to say that my graphic novel Alienation will be published by Fantagraphics in 2019! That's gonna be cool.