Nadia Hafid is an illustrator from Barcelona who caught our attention with her simple yet narrative illustrations. Hafid graduated in Fine Arts from the University of Barcelona and also has a degree in Arts Applied on the Wall from the School of Arts and Crafts (Llotja de Barcelona). We had a quick chat to the emerging illustrator about comics, her creative process and what it's like to be an artist in Barcelona.
Looking at Hafid’s work, there seems to be a clear influence of comics, as it was something that was very much present during Hafid’s childhood, especially during her adolescence. “I always liked drawing, since I was a child. Drawing has always been a passion of mine. When I was little, I was fascinated by picture books, movie posters and comic books. I really enjoyed discovering The Sandman (Gaiman), Sambre (Yslaire), Black Jack (Tezuka), among others. Comics opened a really fascinating world for me.”
Hafid has a very distinct illustrating style which she describes as “a refined and blunt style.” Having studied fine arts, we wondered if this played a part in how her style has developed since. “As you draw and you come to know new influences, your style gains more strength. It develops as you work. I have lots of influences and there is so much talent in this world and I admire many artists!” You may recognise some of Hadif’s work from magazines such as Amadeus Magazine where she has illustrated some bands. Music also seems to be one of the illustrators interests; “I love music and I love discovering new bands. I enjoy illustrating for articles and reports. I learn so many new things!”
“I think a lot about my daily life and some image that has stayed in my mind or things that visually impact me", says Hafid about how she comes up with ideas for narratives and stories to incorporate into her work. She also admits that her creative process when working on comics and illustrations are quite similar “in the sense that I imagine a narrative both in my comics and illustrations. The difference is that in the comic the story is prolonged.”
With such an exciting and vibrant creative scene in Barcelona, Hafid talks to us about what makes the city stand out to her from other places. “There are many interesting artists here. It's a very lively city. It's a city of many contrasts, where lots of artistic disciplines coexist.” She is currently working on a comic project and is hoping to share more news about it very soon. With such an exciting career ahead of her, we asked the illustrator where she see’s herself in the next few years; “I have a hard time thinking long term, but my goal is definitely to advance and work hard!”