Illustrator Joana Avillez has always had a thing for both drawing and writing. “As a kid, I was always drawing and writing and creating fake newspapers with fashion reports and stories about weird ladies and animals for my parents,” she recalled in an interview with Shinola.
Years later, she lives her ultimate dream life, combining the two things she loves most. Based in New York, she enjoys drawing and writing together as one – a method she has learned from her father, a celebrated editorial illustrator himself. “I get to do what I have truly always loved,” she says. “I can write and draw and wear the same hat. I get to actively look at the world like a very wise five-year-old.”
It’s her unique style that has caught the attention of clients as big and as grand as Penguin, Random House, Harper Collins, The Museum of Modern Art, The New York Times, and The New Yorker. But though she takes her work very seriously, her illustration style is fairly loose and intuitive.
Most of her work is made using a simple ballpoint pen, as it gives drawing the feeling of writing. But if she’s working on a more polished piece, she may lay down some lines in pencil, then add pen and watercolor. “My methods are very simple and accessible, which lets me draw anywhere and make things when I’m traveling,” she explains. “The actual drawing itself is never digital but always given a Photoshop bath before it’s finished.”
Take a look at some of her work in the gallery below: