I found out about the very talented Marcela Bolivar from a past contributor, Tarja Shafranskaya. As we both enjoy the dark and macabre it was only natural that we’d both love Marcela’s work. It’s dark and what you would expect nightmares to be made of. Yet it’s still stunning and gorgeous.  For the most part the character's eyes are obscured from view; the physical pain they are enduring is merely the outside manifestation of their inner pain. It’s a dark and twisted world and I think most have felt what they see in Marcela’s work.  


1. Where are you from?

I'm from Colombia.


2. How did you get into Photo Illustration?

After my first 1 megapixel camera back in 2002 I started to use Photoshop to fix all my low quality photos. Then my compositions and ideas became more complex and my manipulation process more careful and thorough. The images I created were then emerging from photographs but its final product was delivered in a personal and pictorial expression.


3. What is Photo Illustration? What is involved in an image from start to finish?

I like to call photo illustration the assemblage and manipulation of different photos that serve an idea and are conveyed in a particular aesthetic.

I normally first sketch away from the computer and then make a list of the photos I need. The assemblage of the pictures takes place in Photoshop, where I carefully arrange the colors, textures and shapes.


4. How would you describe your work?

Mysterious, feverish, sumptuous, dark.


5. What inspires you and your work?

I'm inspired by dreams and my waking of consciousness through them; I love savage, abandoned landscapes and plants; I'm also inspired by transformation, death, alchemy and the redefinition of what's sacred through symbolism.


6. What programs do you recommend for photo illustrators just starting out?



7. How much have you grown as an artist from when you first started, to now?

I have found my own way to express myself and pay more attention of what is meaningful and important in my own world.


8. What are you working on now?

Several book illustration, CD covers, and personal things.


9. Is it easier for artists to get their work noticed now, or because of social media and the Internet, has the market become saturated and even more challenging for people to see your work?

It is easier without a doubt, but is also more difficult to stand out. What is important now is to have your own style and find your own niche. That's what is needed to be constant and productive.


10. What can we expect from you in the future? Do you have any exhibits coming up?

Yes, some local exhibitions are planned for the next semester.


11. Oreo or Fudgee-o cookies?

No idea what Fudgee-o was until I googled it. I'm all for it!


Check out Marcela's website and quickly follow her on Instagram to keep up to date with all her work. She’s done a few CD covers and her work has been used on the cover of novels. She’s clearly a standout in the Photo illustration art world and I’m sure we will see much more of her work in the not-too-distant future.

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