Meet the Maker: Cara Gonzalez
Ending September with a new series for our lovely readers: Meet the Maker!
Every month, we'll feature a Common Room partner to share their thoughts on their creative process, a bit of themselves and being part of the art community.
First of the batch is Cara of @carawrrrr! You might have seen her works when viewing friends' IG stories as her GIFs have been all over the web. She sells postcards, pins, and stickers in our shop, and you'll easily spot her products as they scream at you with their popping colors!
It's not easy finding a style that's yours but then we see her work and we instantly say "That's Cara!" But more than style, what we love about her illustrations is that they will always have a way of making any day feel sunny and bright! ☀️
Your items remind me of Lisa Frank's. I used to collect her items! Did you collect them too? And any tips on finding your own style?
I LOVE Lisa Frank and I used to have a ton of her stuff!
I think the best way to find your own style is to keep drawing and creating, and to do that as often as possible. Experiment with different mediums and play around with different techniques to find out what you like, what you don’t like, and what you’re most comfortable with. I also think it’s important to keep in mind that your style might not look like everyone else’s and not everyone is going to like or appreciate it. I struggled with that in the beginning because I wanted everyone to like what I made. I would adjust the way I drew things to look like whatever people thought was cute or pretty at the time. Eventually, I started drawing for myself. I started drawing things the way I wanted them to look and focused on subjects that I found interesting, and that’s when I found the style that I use now.
Why did you apply for KZone before? And what happened when it closed? How did you cope? Do you have a full time job now?
I applied for the position of Assistant Creative Editor at K-Zone because working for a magazine was my dream job and aside from being a reader myself, I thought that my personality and style would fit well with the brand.
I had already left the company by the time the magazine closed so I wasn’t directly affected by it but I did feel very sad. I always assumed the magazine would be around even when I had kids and my kids had kids. I am now a full time freelance graphic designer.
You plan on developing cartoons and comics like what you did in your previous job?
I actually didn’t develop cartoons or comics in my previous job (as the AD for K-Zone). We hired contributors who would do most of the illustrations that were in the magazine. But I definitely would love to get into character design and animation in the future.
Tips on making GIFs! How did you get them approved online?
To make GIFs, I use Photoshop. To get the GIFs online, all you really need to do is to upload them to an online database—anyone can do this, all you have to do is open an account with the website. But if you want your GIFs to be searchable by your username, specifically on Instagram Stories, you need a verified account with GIPHY. So, I started uploading a few GIFs to the website, and a few months later, I got an e-mail inviting me to become a verified artist!
Do you have other interests aside from drawing? Where do you see your art evolve in the future?
I feel like my interests that aren’t art-related are constantly changing but generally, I’m really into traveling, reading books, and getting involved in activities that will make me sweat (like yoga and boxing) and will allow me to spend time outdoors (hiking, most board sports).
I’d like to do more motion graphics. And someday I would love to have my own physical shop or even just a section in a department store that would hold a line of products I’ve designed from cards to school supplies to apparel.
What do you want to try out next?
I’d like to learn how to make murals and I would really like to try living and working abroad.
Any tips for freelancers and creative entrepreneurs?
For freelancers: Always ask for a partial deposit and set a deadline before you start working on a project. For creative entreps: Find your market and really get to know them. For both and anyone else who needs it: Have courage and know that if you don’t at least try, you’ll never find out if it would have worked out or not.
Cara also shared with us her go-to and favorite tools! Watch a snippet of the video below and don't forget to subscribe so you don't miss out on next month's full video!
We hope Cara's works and thoughts brightened you up and that you learned a thing or two from our talented maker. ❤️
Yay to you if you've reached this far! As a reward, we had Cara whip up something exciting: a Mystery Kit of Common Room goodies curated by her!
This kit comes in limited quantities and will only be available in our webshop for the month of October! So don't miss your chance to grab one!
And for our subscribers, you can get 10% off any purchase from our Maker of the Month's favorite collection: Life's A Party!
That's all for this month! Don't forget to follow us on Instagram for the latest news! We'll also be dropping interactive stories every now and then so you get to contribute for our next month's content. See ya around!