Tuesday 13 February 2018


Hi everyone!

I have a new website and I'm moving everything - including this blog - to Squarespace! This blog will remain open for you to see my old designs including my very first drawings (They're a little embarrassing, but hey! we all have to start somewhere). My website address is gina-maldonado.com and you can read my blog here!

Saturday 9 December 2017

Kindness advent week 1 roundup

This week I'm very happy because mi Kindness Christmas advent has been featured on Print and Pattern (click on the image to go to the blog). This is without a doubt my favourite illustration challenge of the year and even though I'm quite busy at the moment with work, I'm sharing an image and a suggested act of kindness every day on my instagram. Follow along and don't forget to share the kindness with everyone :)

Saturday 2 December 2017

Christmas Advent - Acts of kindness

It's December again! Can you believe how fast this year has passed? I hope you've had a wonderful year so far. Starting on the 1st of December I will be sharing with you my Illustrated Christmas Advent on all my social media channels Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest. This is going to be my fifth year designing it and this year, besides creating an illustration I want to invite you to do a small random act of kindness every day. 

A few months back I started volunteering with a charity called Cause Corps hosting a workshop to make sock toys for children. They organise many activities such as making beanies for premature babies and writing postcards for sick children and the aim of the charity is to encourage people to do good daily. Inspired by this, I want to encourage you to do some small act of kindness wherever you are everyday. For me Christmas is all about giving and I think that being kind is a wonderful gift because we spread love and happiness to the world and this year especially we need more of that.

Feel free to share this advent with everybody!

December 1

December 2

Tuesday 28 November 2017

Artist and Illustrator gift guide 2017

Hey guys! This year I've decided to put together a gift guide for the artists in your life. With so many choices out there it's difficult to know what artists would really, REALLY, love and appreciate to receive and so to select the items on this list I asked all my artist friends both on social media and private groups for what they'd really LOVE to get.

I've tried to include something for every kind of artist (watercolour, mix media, gouache, professional, enthusiast, etc) and budget and some fun pieces that would be useful for the desk. 

The links below will take you to online shops but I encourage you to support your local crafts and art supplies shop. 

Please feel free to share this list to anyone who's shopping for you this Christmas!

1. A4 Sketchbook £12 - Giving sketchbooks is always a good idea, whether regular A4 size
2. A6 Notebooks set (Pack of 5) £5.99 or small portable ones!
3. Windor & Newton compact watercolour and water brush pen set £20 This small watercolour set is perfect for travelling or sketching outdoors.
4. UPPERCASE magazine gift subscription £47.22 aprox. Surface pattern designers love this magazine because it's full of inspiration, resources and more.
5. Daler Rowney Sable round brushes from £6.5 each I use these brushes a lot to paint floral motifs with watercolours.
6. Holbein gouache set x 12 £43.79 These Japanese paints are great for brush lettering, making greeting cards and illustrations.
8. Copic ciao markers x 6 £19 These markers are great for lettering, journaling and sketching.
9. Metallic watercolours set £8.98 I love these watercolours, especially for adding shiny details to handmade cards or for calligraphy.
10. Strathmore watercolour art journal 8.5 x 11 £18.40 A great journal to practice watercolour techniques.
11. Show your work!: 10 ways to share your creativity and get discovered (Paperback) £7.5 This book has spot-on tips to create a strategy to share your art with the world.
12. Gold glitter pencil case £7.5 A stylish case to carry and organise pens, pencils, brushes, etc
13. Golden embossed writing set £8 If you'd like to give a more personal gift, why note write a letter to your loved ones?
14. Kaweco fountain pen £20 You could use this lightweight pen to write a message on your writing set. 
15. Art and pen pot £16.00 To keep the desk organised
16. Calligraphy set £13.95 Calligraphy enthusiasts will love this set.
17. Porcelain heart plate £6.00 To organise the small trinkets on the desk.
18. Winsor & Newton White Drawing Ink 14 ml £3.50 I use this ink to add details to my watercolour paintings (like this)
19. Golden scissors £8.00 It's always useful to have extra scissors, especially if they are this pretty!
20. Pigma micron pen 005 £2.95 By far the most useful pen for adding tiny details.

Thursday 19 October 2017

Giving watercolours a chance

Ever since I decided to become an illustrator I wanted to be able to paint with my very own hands using real materials. I'm not saying that colouring digitally is easy, in fact it can be a lot of work but it has some advantages over painting manually such as unlimited colour palettes, Ctrl+Z, Ctrl+C, Ctrl+V, etc. 

After a few years working mostly on digital illustrations I decided that it was time to let go of my fears and inhibitions about painting and that I should try again ( I tried before but I never did more than a couple of paintings and then gave up, so I never improved). My chance came when I received an open brief from my agents requesting greeting cards for a variety of occasions. I decided that I was going to paint and more importantly, that I was going to stick to it until I felt proud of my paintings. 

It was a physical and mental challenge and most of the paintings were not commercially viable, but I did manage to produce a few nice paintings and the most exciting part was that I got to license some of them! That was a big boost to my confidence and I'm happy to report that I'm still painting, both for myself and for clients!

I also decided to have a sketchbook that I use only for paintings and I have been using it to create random illustrations and experimenting. On top of that I became quite addicted to creating time-lapse videos that you can watch on my Instagram

That's it for now. I hope you feel inspired to do whatever it is that you always wanted to do but were too scared of doing!

Tuesday 27 June 2017

Korean stationery haul video

Hey guys, it's been a while since I last wrote here. Last weekend I was in Seoul and got to buy lots of cute stationery items from my favourite shop there - Artbox - . As a stationery lover I'm very pleased with all the cute stuff I found that I haven't seen anywhere else. I hope you like the video and as always if you have suggestions for other videos, let me know in the comments :)

Here's a sketch I did while visiting Changdeokgung Palace (창덕궁) and if you're interested in seeing more pictures and reading about my favourite things to do in Seoul you can read it HERE in my travel blog :)

Tuesday 25 April 2017

Magical swan

Last weekend I shared this illustration on my social media accounts and got quite a few nice comments - I think people interested in children's book illustrations are a rather nice bunch. I started this illustration without a clear idea of where it was going, only with a swan and a shade of blue (because I was doing this for colour collective) as the base. In those cases I just follow my gut i.e I draw flowers and leaves and then add lots of coloured textures one on top of the other until I find a colour combination that I really like. 
I wish I could say that this was a quick illustration but it took me a rather long time to finish - how other illustrators do intricate designs as a warm up is beyond my understanding.
If you want to catch more of my sketches and work in progress follow me on instagram, facebook and/or twitter.

Saturday 1 April 2017

Vlog - A week in the life of a freelance illustrator

It's been a while since I did a video so I though it'd be fun to put together a video showing you what I do in a week. It's a collection of small things I did during the week because I think it'd be boring to show you all the times I'm sitting at my desk drawing (which is most of the time, tbh). I hope you enjoy it!

I'm thinking about doing more videos soon but the next one will have to wait a little bit because today I'm off to the Bologna Book Fair. I'll be showing snippets of what's going on there on my Instagram. 

Sunday 1 January 2017

Happy New Year!

Happy new year everyone! I hope you can full-fill al your dreams and hopes on this new year. 

Sunday 25 December 2016