New to the block: Ana Curbelo is an award winning illustrator and artist

We are pleased to introduce Ana Curbelo. She is an award winning illustrator and artist who has worked internationally with clients such as Microsoft, BBC, and Vice creating characters with a very distinct personal style. Her most notable works are her illustrations for The Tampon Book, which helped change German law, won several awards, and attracted worldwide press interest. It won a White Pencil in Impact at D&AD and a Grand Prix at Cannes Lions.

Curbelo grew up in the Canary Islands and studied graphic communication at Loughborough University. She now works from her studio in Stoke Newington, London. Her work approach is minimalistic with underlying humour. She enjoys exploring attitudes and expectations regarding the female condition. When she’s not working on commissions, she likes to paint large oil paintings, experiment with woodwork, and design and cast silver jewellery.

Learn a little more about Ana Curbelo…

When did you start illustrating?

I started drawing from a young age, but only started illustrating consistently in 2016 when I started my instagram account and developed my style.

Who has been the most supportive in your illustration career, perhaps your teacher, family, friends?

My family and friends have always been really supportive of my art. My good friend Marylou Faure also particularly helped me navigate the illustration world when I first started getting commissions, helping me understand what to charge and what to watch out with contracts, which I'm really grateful for.

Did you always think art was something that was going to be a major part of your life?

When my art teacher at school told me that creating the art of an album cover was a job I realised that art was something I could always do and not just as a hobby. I’ve always enjoyed being creative in any shape or form, so even if I wasn’t an illustrator I would still be making art in some other medium, so the short answer is yes.

What is your favourite subject matter to illustrate?

Mostly my own experiences and feelings, current affairs, and subjects that have a social impact. 

How would you describe your style?

Uncompromising, conceptual, and straight to the point, sometimes surreal. 

What is your favourite collaboration to date?

My favourite collaboration to date is The Tampon Book project, a campaign aimed to end the ridiculous ‘luxury tax’ on tampons by outsmarting the law - selling tampons hidden inside a book. The project suited my style perfectly, it was for a cause I strongly believed in, and it made a difference as it helped change the law, which isn’t something that happens on every project!

What interested you about being represented by Illo Agency?

It’s important to me to work with an agency with who I share the same progressive values, and Illo does just that. 

Do you have a favourite author, film director, or designer?

Kathë Kollwitz’s woodcut prints, Fredrick Wisemans documentaries, and Aubrey Beardsleys illustrations.

Are you working on any personal projects you can share with us?

I’m working on a series of figurative illustrations, and products for my online shop at the moment.

Do you listen to podcasts? If so, do you have a favourite?

Yes quite often. I listen to a range of current affairs podcasts but one of my favourites is ‘No such thing as a Fish’ as I love learning their facts and they always make me laugh. My other favourite podcast is ‘The Great Women Artists’ by Katy Hessell where I am able to balance out my art history knowledge with a range of artists that have been overlooked throughout history, as well as feeling inspired. 

If you have any questions or a specific project in mind, please do get in touch: [email protected] 

At illo agency, we pride ourselves in representing a collation of global illustrators, distinctly diverse in creativity and uniquely celebrated by like-minded clients across a range of commercial markets.