Tidal Energy of Rainbow Vomit: Cartoonist Ines Estrada [Hire This Woman]
Hire This Woman is a recurring feature on ComicsAlliance that shines a spotlight on female comics creators, whether they're relative newcomers or experienced pros who are ready to break out. In an overwhelmingly male business, we want to draw your attention to these creators --- and to raise their profile with editors and industry gatekeepers.
Inés Estrada is a cartoonist, illustrator, fashion designer, and publisher. She also organized Mexico City's first ever festival dedicated to self-published comics and zines. Last year she published her first graphic novel, Lapsos, and is currently working on multiple projects.
CA: What is your preferred form of creative output?
Inés Estrada: I enjoy the whole process, I like thinking about each project as a whole thing. I like thinking not only about the content, but also how the actual thing is going to be produced, be it a comic or whatever else.
I love making up stories, and thinking about them in a visual way. Coloring is probably what comes the easiest to me. With illustrations I really like to go all out with it, but for most of my comics I prefer to use a limited color palette. I think color sometimes makes things feel too obvious and I would like my comics to remain open for different interpretations.
CA: Do you work on paper or digitally? Why?
IE: I mostly work on paper, I really like the texture you can get from real media and it just feels easier for me to manipulate. I use the computer for minor touch ups and sometimes for color, but I don't feel very comfortable drawing in it.
CA: What’s your background/training?
IE: I am self-taught, I've been making comics and self-publishing since 2006... and I can proudly say that, since a few years ago, illustration and cartooning pay my rent!
CA: How would you describe your creative style?
IE: It's like a tidal energy of rainbow vomit.
CA: What projects have you worked on in the past? What are you currently working on?
IE: Last year my first graphic novel Lapsos was published by C'est Bon Kultur. I also did some shorter, stand alone comics last year: Sindicalismo 89 (Breakdown Press), Traducciones (Ediciones Valientes) and CS (Sacred Prism).
Currently, I'm working on a new untitled comic to debut at Autoptic, which will be like a dark sci-fi tale featuring a pregnant woman. I'm also working on a new "funny" series featuring furry people called Pachecomics, which I intend to put out weekly. Other stuff I do is writing about anime and comics for Vice Mexico and running my own webshop/brand, Gatosaurio, where you can find comics, stickers, zines and apparel by me and other cool people.
CA: Approximately how long does it take you to create a 20-page issue?
IE: If I already have the story planned, I can finish 20 pages in two weeks. Writing and planning the comic is what takes longer for me. Getting the idea to make sense is something I build up throughout various months, but once I have the story all laid out, I can thumbnail and draw the final pages really fast.
CA: What is your dream project?
IE: I love working on comics, but I would also really like to work on animation and video games at some point. I've also just started to design clothes and it's really fun.
CA: Who are some comic creators that inspire you?
IE: Right now I'm thinking about Olivier Schrauwen, Aisha Franz, Simon Hanselmann, Lala Albert, Patrick Kyle and Noel Freibert.
CA: What are some comics that have inspired you either growing up or as an adult?
IE: I grew up in Mexico City, so I was an avid reader of bootleg Woody Woodpecker and Droopy comics as a kid. Manga and anime were also very influential for me. Some of the first to blow my mind were Saint Seiya and Digimon, and later on Akira and Neon Genesis Evangelion.
CA: What’s your ideal professional environment?
IE: I really like working at home, but I guess it could also be cool to work in a studio with other cool people. I would definitely like to try that, whenever the opportunity comes up.
CA: What do you most want our readers and industry professionals to know about your work?
IE: I love working and being able to pay my rent! Hit me up with your serious proposals, business people!
CA: How can editors and readers keep up with your work and find your contact information?
If there's a woman who you think should be included in a future installment of this feature, drop us a line at comicsalliance-at-gmail-dot-com with “Hire This Woman” in the subject line.