At Flocksy, our team is what makes us incredible, and we’d like to take this opportunity to introduce them to you through this new, ongoing series- Flocksy’s Featured Team Member.
Today, we’ll be getting to know one of our amazing custom illustrators, Sofia Sanchez.
If you’re looking for brand illustrations for your growing business, Sofia is one of the best at Flocksy. Let’s get to know how she started with us, her favorite aspects of working here, and more.
Sofia Sanchez- Custom Illustrations
Getting Started with Flocksy
Sofia is one of Flocksy’s amazing illustrators and can work on various assets your brand might need, including portraits, book covers, comic vignettes, mascots, and more. Sofia mentions that one of the primary differences between illustrations and graphic design is “we are not just doing what we feel looks beautiful and will transmit a feeling. We can also achieve that, but we must consider what will achieve the [client’s] needs.”
Sofia previously worked at an animation studio as a storyboard and background artist. She was looking for a change of scenery to allow her more free time and create a better work-life balance.
“[Flocksy] provided a better space to achieve my goals. They offer the stability I was looking for and are very respectful of our free time. I love working at Flocksy.”
Her Beginnings in Illustration
Sofia has loved to draw since she was a little girl. While her sister may have started as the family artist, it quickly became evident that Sofia was the true “La Chica de Los Plumones” or marker girl. She was always a favorite when it came to group projects for her creative talents, and even though she may have tried pursuing something else, illustration and art called her back.
“I was scared my hobby would become something I hated because of the pressure. So, I tried studying Engineering. I realized I was doing it to make my father and grandpa happy. In the end, I convinced my grandpa it was a serious career.”
Sofia is thrilled that she gets to do what she loves for her career, and nothing touches her like receiving positive feedback from our amazing clients. One kind comment can make her entire day.
Working Her Magic on a Spot the Difference Illustration
One of Sofia’s favorite projects was the Magical Forest at Sunset project. As a spot-the-difference illustration, it was a unique challenge. She said that the kindness and freedom the client gave her on the project allowed her to create something great.
She said, “I enjoy working with her, and with her guidance and the freedom she provided, I really love the final outcome. I think what we achieved was very interesting, and when I see it again, it evokes the magical feel [the client] was trying to achieve.”
Illustrating the Escape
Sofia also really enjoyed working on another unique project, background art for an escape room! The client’s openness to suggestions was so valuable. As a result, Sofia could use Photoshop instead of Illustrator to create a dynamic piece that showcased very effectual lighting and textures.
“As I said before joining Flocksy, I was a background illustrator. This background project provided freedom, and Mary was willing to listen to my suggestions. This is my greatest background to date.”
The Challenge of Horses
As many an illustrator will tell you, horses are very challenging to draw. Their intricate musculature and proportions are unique to their species. In fact, it’s a bit of an inside joke in the industry that horses are a no-go. Sofia, however, loves them and knocked this project out of the park.
“Horses are very hard, but this horse was very fun. And I liked this project because [the client] is always looking for variety. She’s looking for diversity in the styles to keep it interesting. She embraced my art style.”
The challenge of drawing this particular animal and the client’s unique color palette also made this project a favorite of Sofia’s because it tested her skills and kept her on her toes.
Sofia finds inspiration all around her, but one of the most interesting places she says she pulled inspiration from are the client project briefs. By connecting with the brand’s message and story, she’s able to see the personality and heart behind a company. She also mentioned that Pinterest is invaluable.
“I use Pinterest when I need a different color palette. If I need a different art style that comes closest to the brand guidelines.”
She also takes inspiration from real life and has her own library she’s created of poses and scenes from everyday experiences.
“I have this great client that gives you freedom but also is clear. She asked me for a lot of poses for different characters, and she loved how I captured natural poses. I use a lot of references from real life. I heard once from another more accomplished storyboard artist that the best advice he got was to draw everyday life. To go to a park, to go to a coffee shop, and just draw people, so you can have references of real-life poses. I also use my own library as inspiration.”
A Blank Slate or A Plethora of References?
When it comes to having complete free reign or being provided with several reference materials, Sofia says it all comes down to the client’s unique needs. Having creative freedom, she mentioned, allows you to challenge yourself and grow. However, Sofia also believes that references are invaluable when you have specific needs or tastes or if the client has particular brand guidelines.
Sofia’s Role Models & Resources
It’s not an exaggeration to say that Sofia’s heart runs through everything she does. Between her long-time love of drawing and connection to her family, one of her role models is her boyfriend.
“This might be cheesy. I met my boyfriend in college, and we started at the same time. He’s also a very accomplished artist and helps me when I don’t know how to get the right perspective. When you have the camera on top or when you have the camera on the bottom. He has this amazing understanding of depth, perspective, and movement. He’s a big inspiration and a teacher for me.”
She also recommended checking out the work of Dave Pimentel, the storyboard artist for Moana, who shares her Mexican ancestry.
“I love how he captures natural poses. He’s always drawing quick sketches, but he can embody the essence of a person, their personality, in just one quick sketch.”
Sofia also mentioned the great work of Sophie MacPike, an illustrator from Australia.
“She does digital work, and also she does a lot of watercolor painting. Her style is very unique.”
Working to Comedy
Sofia admits that working from home, like many of us started doing during the pandemic, can get a little lonely. She realized that finding laughter throughout her day was crucial to keeping her spirits up and not feeling so isolated.
“Work can be stressful, but just having something or someone to make you laugh is huge. I have my dog here, and I live with my boyfriend, so I have him with me. I enjoy having fun with them while we work, and we listen to a podcast named Leyendas Legendarias or watch a comedy show. I’m currently watching Modern Family. It’s hilarious.”
Her Favorite Things About Flocksy
Sofia’s favorite things about Flocksy showcase what makes the company different. She stressed that the communication between the staff and clients was far and above the best she’s worked with. The community that communication creates makes her feel like she has someone, or several people, who have her back on each project.
She also mentioned that Flocksy recognizes her hard work by saying, “I also like that you feel seen- like I’m not just one more employee. They want to listen to what you have to say, to your feedback and suggestions. They trust your skills and value what you do.”
Building relationships with the clients was another significant benefit. It creates a sense of trust between her and the people she’s working with, which gives her room to be creative. When they keep requesting her on projects, she knows she’s honoring her commitment to quality and delivering great results.
Sofia was a cornucopia of resources when asked, and her suggestions were great. Sofia recommended checking out Adobe Colors. The free program is great for color palettes and visualizing how colors will look together. She also sang the praises of Pinterest again and about creating a library of reference poses and the like.
She also recommended reading three resource books. The first was Directing the Story by Francis Glebas.
“There is one that’s more related to Storyboard artists, but it’s very helpful. He used to work at Disney. He started in Aladdin and talks a lot of perspectives on how the shots make you feel, the directions of the camera, the poses, the body language, and how it’s useful to transmit a story. So even if you’re not a storyboard artist, it’s something we really need to know as illustrators if you’re trying to achieve a story for our client.”
Sofia also suggested Perspectives by Mateu-Mestre. It discusses how the correct use of different perspectives can change an illustration’s feel, making it more dynamic, complex, and real. The technical manual gives constructive ways to employ his suggestions, including options for lighting and mood.
Outside of Flocksy
Sofia is a homebody who loves spending time with her family and friends. She loves even simple times when you don’t do anything but talk about how your day’s going. Sofia is also very into fitness and loves her Fit Pass. She says the variety keeps things interesting.
“Like just being in the gym with weights or on the treadmill is so boring. So I love that. It’s my new hobby.”
When she’s not at work, Sofia enjoys her free time, staying fit, walking her dog, and enjoying the latest in movies and TV, especially animated features.
We love having Sofia on the team here at Flocksy, and we know you’ll love having her on your team for all your future illustration projects. You can check out her full portfolio of work here.