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Marta Vilaseca

Web/Graphic designer + illustrator-in-progress

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Marta's influence map

Well, this has been hard to do - but so fun, as well!

Mine was a movie-loving household, so I grew up watching all kinds of films. Everyone in my family had a different music taste, from metal to classical and almost everything in between. I loved reading (my parents had a book store), and I had a much older brother who introduced me to things like videogames, RPG board games or comic book culture when I was still very young. So, no, I'm not quite sure if this map sums up all the different influences I had while growing up... I've tried to focus on the stuff that I loved the most and that has stayed with me somehow. And only things that I loved before I was 12 or 13 at most, to make it easier for me to choose!

Some of these things, I can tell that they've shaped who I am nowadays; some others also got me to pursue other interests and influences that I've had later, in my teens and adult life.

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Some extra notes about the movies/books/etc. included:

1) 80s fantasy was my world growing up. There's a before and after in my life, with this movie. I found Jareth fascinating, but it was the world and creatures of Labyrinth what truly captivated me. I guess there's a first hint here, on how I'd come to like the slightly creepy and eerie atmospheres and designs in the future.

2) I wanted this story to happen to me. Again, there's another strong hint here towards my future love for creepy things... and more specifically, vampires. Also my taste for black clothes? Who knows ;)

3) It took me a few years to realize that this was my favorite Disney movie growing up. Animals, adventure, humor, playfulness, good-heartedness and a happy ending. I still have a huge soft spot for foxes nowadays.

4) My favorite all-time book. I felt a strong connection with Matilda's soul and her love for books. Also loved Quentin Blake's illustrations, although I realize that specially now.

5) There's something special about live action puppets. Again, the fraggles felt so real to me. It was a world I hoped I could visit some day. It fascinated me how all sorts of interesting things happened to them despite living in a somewhat small space with (apparently) no room for much adventure. The creativity behind the show and the characterisation fascinated me, even if back then I didn't think of it that way.

6) I loved reading all kinds of nature books and encyclopedias, but more specifically the ones focused on animals (I remember reading this specific one at home). I loved learning their scientific names, and about their habitat and characteristics until I could basically recite the articles in full. Fun fact: while I loved reading about mammals, one of my obsessions was a book about spiders (again: creepy?)

7) The first videogame I ever played and beat. I was 5 or 6 years old, and it was the (great) start of a gaming life! Animals, puzzles and a bit surreal, 8-bit aesthetic with lots of pop culture references and a sense of humor, although I didn't understand most of it back then. As I grew up, I still loved the game (still do) and I still marvel at what they were able to accomplish with so many limitations (technicals and otherwise)

8) The first anime I ever watched, the first manga I ever read (of many). One of the first comics I choose to read myself (not inherited from my brother). The story got to me in a way others hadn't and I think it was the first time a fandom truly "got me". It was from this point on that my drawings starting having a manga influence, based on this and many other series that I liked afterwards.

9) I couldn't leave Star Wars behind. It took my love for adventure to another level, it was my serious introduction to sci-fi, a genre I still love and always will. It also introduced me to the first female character I took as a role model, princess Leia (I spent years saying I wanted to be like her when I grew up). The experience of watching Star Wars for the first time was mindblowing, because it was such a huge universe, with so many backstories, so many possibilties I wanted to explore... it was the first time I was watching something that I felt was larger than life.

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I guess possible keywords and conclusions would include fantasy, creepy (and/or creepy-but-cute), imagination, humor, creativity, adventure... the possibilities of the mind? It's a bit hard to interpret, although I guess there is some kind of pattern here.

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