Featured Artist: Hector Mansilla
Hector Mansilla is a freelance artist based in Ciudad Victoria, Mexico where he lives with his 5 rescued dogs. Hector creates works inspired by his passion for music, comics, video games, and sci-fi (there was also a mention of chicken wings).
Read on to find out what inspires him, his favorite piece of advice, and more.
"In the past when having panic episodes where I wasn't making much money off my illustration, rather than look for alternatives, I've doubled down and worked harder."
What did you want to be when you grew up?
The earliest I can remember is a comic artist (for Marvel!), but that’s from when I was about 6. I’m sure there was something else before that, probably something stupid like a superhero or a doctor.
What are your creative weapons of choice?
Off the battlefield pencil and paper. On the battlefield, an Uchigatana +5 and a scroll of Power Word Kill (yeah, I’m a nerd).
Describe your work in 7 words or less.
Not so impressive, but kinda pretty.
What role do you feel artists have in society?
We’re the peeps that make life a bit prettier and more colorful. We’ll also be the first to go once the inevitable zombie apocalypse comes, no real life skills and all that.
Name one thing you cannot live without.
Coca-Cola! ( I don’t drink coffee)
If you were to eliminate one thing from your schedule, what would it be?
Sleep! I could get so much done! So many video games to play. I guess some designs and stuff too, why not.
"It's the little acts of kindness between strangers, whether I'm the recipient or merely a witness. I can get bogged down by negativity, specifically on a bigger, more abstract scale, and something as simple as someone holding a door for me or being understanding to a cashier that made a small mistake can help ground things and be a reminder that there's yet goodness in the world."
Please share the story behind your favorite artwork on Redbubble.
It’s hard to pick a number one, but I will go with one of my favorites, “Always“. Not only is it among my faves aesthetically (even if it doesn’t sell all that well), but it helped me get out of my worst, longest creative rut since I began my journey into digital illustration. It was 4 months of very scarce drawing that led mostly to unfinished sketches, hell, in one of those months I produced literally zero new works, which would be fine if this wasn’t the way I make a living. Then I started thinking of the advice I give to always keep drawing, always keep trying, and it clicked, after 4 months, and this piece came to be. Then a whole bunch after that and hopefully a whole lot more after that.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given as an artist?
I kinda took this route by myself before getting it, but Amanda Palmer said “Don’t have a Plan B, something you can fall back onto, that way you’ll be forced to make it”, or something along those lines. In the past when having panic episodes where I wasn’t making much money off my illustration, rather than look for alternatives I’ve doubled down and worked harder.
Please share something you’d recommend everyone read or listen to?
If you’re into sci-fi you should read the comic Prophet by Brandon Graham (and others). I’m a big sci-fi fan and this is my favorite sci-fi world/story across all and every medium (movies, books, comics, series, and video games). It’s nearly impossible to go more than 3 pages without being in awe of a new idea that’s introduced, and it all makes sense within this huge, expansive, deep universe that’s been crafted.
Describe a real-life situation that inspired you?
It’s the little acts of kindness between strangers, whether I’m the recipient or merely a witness. I can get bogged down by negativity, specifically on a bigger, more abstract scale, and something as simple as someone holding a door for me or being understanding to a cashier that made a small mistake can help ground things and be a reminder that there’s yet goodness in the world. I actually have a specific story regarding this, but it’s a bit personal and it remains untold as of now, but trust me when I tell you that a little thing can make a big impact in someone’s life. Since that happened, about 4 years ago, I’ve been trying more actively to become a better, kinder, more patient person; and I don’t always succeed, but even if I fail 9 out of every 10 times that’s still 1 time where I got it right, and if there’s even the slightest chance that one time can help someone, in even a fraction of how that other stranger helped me, well then I have to keep trying.
What type of art do you most identify with?
It’s always been music for me, that’s been my constant, my one thing I got for many, many years. And I do play guitar and make my own music, but for whatever reason, I’ve always enjoyed more the passive act of listening to other people’s music, whereas with illustration I do prefer making my own stuff.
What advice would you love to have told yourself five or ten years ago?
“Never stop drawing.” Though I would go further back, around 20 years ago. I’ve been drawing on and off at least since I was 4, I should have cut down on those off months/years.
Is there anything else you’d like to share with us?
Adaptation is my favorite movie, it’s so amazing and y’all should stop hating on Nick Cage, cause that alone should give him a pass.