The Social Media realm has become a whole other world for discovery and interaction. Without Instagram, Twitter, or Behance we likely wouldn’t have discovered many of the artists we’ve featured. When we first came across Marianne Patricio’s Instagram, we were blown away by her pencil portraits of some of our favorite rappers like Drake, Pharrell, and J. Cole. Marianne manages to achieve not only an incredible amount of detail in her drawings, but realism too. Evidently, we’re not the only ones to take notice of Marianne’s skills as last year she got to meet J. Cole when his photographer recognized her from her Instagram profile. Her star is definitely on the rise and now she has a newfound inspiration and passion for her art. Read on as we chop it up with Marianne about what inspires her, what challenges her, and how she met James Franco.
FIRST OFF, TELL US A BIT ABOUT YOURSELF, WHERE YOU LIVE AND WHAT YOU DO.
My name is Marianne Patricio, I was born and raised in Vancouver, Canada. I studied hospitality and business management and have been working in the industry ever since, inspired by the desire to travel. I was always an artistic child growing up and art has always been my true passion. When I can I draw/sketch and travel.
HOW DID YOU DEVELOP YOUR DRAWING STYLE? DID YOU STUDY ART?
I always had the knack for detail. I never studied art, but it was always a hobby since I was a little girl. It was not until I was given all the tools and artistic mediums in high school when I realized I loved to paint and draw with a lot of detail. My portraits with a touch of colour was an idea I came up with as a signature style because I’ve always admired the look of black & white with that pop of colour that gives it that little extra.
DID ANY ARTISTS INSPIRE YOU TO GET INTO PENCIL PORTRAIT WORK?
I kept coming across art pages after signing up for Instagram last year that showcased different styles of portraits which actually inspired me to get into drawing again.
WHAT INSPIRES YOU TO START A NEW PIECE? DO YOU SEE A PICTURE OR HEAR LYRICS THAT INSPIRE YOU TO RECREATE THOSE SUBJECTS?
Basically I love to draw anyone who has ever inspired me at some point in my life whether it is through their lyrics or a specific quote. But what inspires me the most to start a new piece is when I hear lyrics that feed an emotion I’m feeling at that time. And once I start drawing my subject I listen to that song over and over. I also keep a miniature sketchbook to write down favourite quotes/lyrics that I’ve heard, and I associate my drawing with that quote.
LAST YEAR YOU MET TWO OF YOUR ‘SUBJECTS’, JAMES FRANCO AND J. COLE, WITHIN THE SAME MONTH; WHAT WAS THAT LIKE AND HOW DID THAT COME ABOUT?
Amazing! I will never get over it, haha. First was James Franco, who was filming his latest movie in Vancouver in October. I used to do modeling and the casting director had asked my agent if I was able to work one night for a scene. I decided to bring my sketchbook just in case. Long story short I had the opportunity to meet him and work with him on set, he was so hilarious! It was unbelievable. That same month, I planned to spontaneously visit San Francisco with a friend to see J. Cole on tour. I was lucky to be recognized in line by his photographer on tour with him (he came across my instagram and remembered my Cole piece) and I asked if I could show J. Cole my drawing and that was that! Was probably the greatest show I will ever see. There is nothing more priceless than the feeling I had seeing their appreciation for my art and seeing firsthand that they are everything behind all the reasons why they are my biggest inspirations. Was literally like a piece of my heart to theirs.
IF YOU COULD DO A LIVE DRAWING OF ANYONE, WHO WOULD IT BE?
Frida Kahlo. Her outlook on life intrigues me. I remember going to a Frida Exhibit back in 2012 and was just blown away by her soul that resonates in every piece of her artwork. She would’ve been a great person to meet. Definitely an inspiration.
WHAT IS YOUR BIGGEST CHALLENGE AS AN ARTIST?
I think being a perfectionist is one of my biggest challenges; it has its pros and cons. I love detail and sometimes I want to keep working on a piece. It’s not until I decide to sign it and put the pencil down when I can call it “finished”.
WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR FAVORITE PROJECT SO FAR/ONE YOU’RE MOST PROUD OF?
My first J. Cole piece that started it all. I stopped painting and drawing after high school and it felt good to find the inspiration to start it up again. I’ve improved so much just in the last year and I believe doing what I love lead me to the amazing experiences that followed. It holds a special place in my heart, because his music got me through a lot over the years.
WITH YOUR DRAWINGS EXCLUSIVELY UP ON INSTAGRAM, HOW VALUABLE HAS SOCIAL MEDIA BEEN FOR SPREADING YOUR TALENTS?
Social media has definitely helped in showcasing my work to other artists and people who share the same interests. In this day and age social media is the best way to put yourself out there. And there are so many talented people I’ve come across. It’s great. The biggest shock was when I met one of Drake’s friends who showed Drake the portrait I did of him. One night I was scrolling down my instagram and saw that he had posted it! I couldn’t believe it. It was the following month after meeting James Franco and J. Cole. So social media has really allowed me to be inspired as well as inspire others and get recognized!
ANY PLANS TO SELL PRINTS OR MERCHANDISE?
Yes, I have thought about selling prints and starting up a website soon. Something I need to look into.
LASTLY, WHAT CAN WE EXPECT TO SEE FROM YOU THIS YEAR?
Definitely painting. I used to paint more than anything in all different styles and it would be such a great feeling to start that up again after all these years. Really excited to pursue more of my passion this year and see what I come up with!
Big thanks to Marianne for taking part in the feature. Make sure to check out her Instagram to see all her work and stay tuned for more on this great artist.