Meet the Artist - Ana Jarén

Our ongoing "Meet the Artist" series lets you learn more about your favourite illustrators working with Crosstown Prints. Our fun Q&As let the artists talk more about their artistic process and interests in their own words.
Ana Jarén
We were excited to have a chat with Spanish illustrator Ana Jarén. Ana's methodically casual illustrations have helped her cultivate a loyal following of international fans and clients. She expertly creates compositions that simultaneously flood and calm the sense using clever combinations of colors and line. Her work can be found across a multitude of media including commercials, book covers, murals and editorials. We are already in love with the "SoHo Coffee" print that she designed exclusively for us and can't wait to see what she does next!

Where are you from and where are you based?

I was born in Seville but currently I am living in Madrid.

How did you get into illustration?

I always loved drawing since I was a child and assisted to drawing lessons for many years in a small atelier in my neighbourhood. However, it was just a hobby and never considered it as a way to earn my living. It was some years later, while I was working in a fashion communication agency, when the idea of doing some t-shirts with my illustrations came to my mind. Then, with a lot of work, everything grew and it was not just t-shirts, but articles in magazines, books, illustrations for products and packaging, advertisements, … and many others.

What is your creative process?

My creative process is quite standard, I guess. I usually collect references for inspiration, then a prepare a sketch to see content and composition and, once everything seems fine, I draw and paint by hand the final illustration. I generally work with markers on paper, that is what I like the most, but sometimes I go for acrylics or watercolours, depending on the job.

SoHo Coffee Print by Ana JarenWhat impact do you hope your artwork has on people?

I think that people can recognize themselves in my illustrations. They can awake old memories and experiences that they have lived before with beloved people. Many people have told me that and I find it incredibly beautiful. I want to believe that the stories represented in my illustrations are just the beginning of a personal story that the person who is watching it can make grow in their mind.

What have been some of your favourite collaborations or projects to date?

Although it can sound like a polite answer, every project has been special because I try to give the best of me. Even when it can be seen as something small or boring, I always try to make it special by looking at it from another angle. If I had to pick one, I would say that making my first book ‘Amigas’ was really special for me. I had a story to tell through my illustrations and a great publisher gave me the chance to make it happen.

Currently, I’m working on a colouring book and the guidance from the editor is being very interesting. The interaction with such a good professional is enhancing my work, resulting in some illustrations that I’m loving already.

When you hear “New York City”, what’s the first word that comes to mind?

FOOD! I spent a couple of weeks in New York some years back and I still can taste the food in my head. Pancakes, bagels, donuts, pastrami sandwiches, burgers, waffles, meatball subs, …

It is an amazing city, with a lot of things to see and do in every corner, but still, food is the first things that comes into my mind.

SoHo Coffee print by Ana Jaren

What to know more about Ana and her work? Check out her artist profile here