How did you become an artist?
Belén Ortega (1986) is a comic book artist and illustrator with a degree in Fine Arts from the University of Granada, expanding her studies at the Human Academy of Osaka in Japan.
Ortega started her career drawing manga in Spain and short after BD (bande dessinée) in Europe. Her most known titles are; Himawari, Glènat 2011 (her first professional work which won the Best Spanish National Manga Award), “Pájaro Indiano”, the biography of the three-time world motorcycling champion “Marc Márquez, the story of a dream”, also as illustrator with many important nationals brands.
Between 2016 and 2018 she finished the series of three books "Millenium Saga" with the Franco-Belgian publisher Dupuis based on Stieg Larsson's best-seller, a new independent trilogy scripted by the acclaimed Sylvain Runberg, published in many countries.
In 2019 she begins to collaborate with American publishers such as Heavy Metal Magazine, drawing a short story for the music group MEGADETH based on their song “Hangar 18”; She starts working at MARVEL as a cover artist and short after drawing interiors ("Miles Morales: Spider-man", "Guardians of the galaxy", "Captain Marvel" ...). That same year he published his first work for Japan drawing a Spin-Off based on Osamu Tezuka's work “Bárbara”, with a script by Victor Santos, published in TEZUCOMI magazine # 15 on December 5, 2019 (in Japan).
In 2020 she undertakes a new project for the Franco-Belgian market with the publishing house EDITIONS CAURETTE repeating tandem with the scriptwriter Sylvain Runberg and Annabelle Gervais, while continuing to alternate jobs as an illustrator internationally.
Since the beginning of 2021 Ortega is working with DC Comics within the Batman universe as a cover artist and interior artist where she has recently stood out for his work in the Batman: Urban Legends series in which Robin (Tim Drake) is reveals as bisexual. Actually she is in charge of the 'Punchline' backup story from #10 to #15 on The Joker.
Where do you get inspiration?
When I was a teenager (13-14), Yoshiyuki Sadamoto and Hiroaki Samura were the strongest references as manga artists for me. Also, the anime series called Ruouni Kenshin was the decisive inspiration to me to draw a Samurai Tale in my first comic book, I really fell in love and obsessed with feudal Japan and its culture.
After that, I started to look for more different influences from La BD (La band Desinée) and American super heroes comics to keep improving my skills as illustrator and comic artist. Actually, Sean Gordon Murphy, Ben Oliver, Otto Smith, Adam Hughes, Josep Homs, Roger Ibáñez, Javier Fernández, Ralph Meyer... etc. and a bunch of more are my inspiration for drawing comics.
What’s your hardware setup?
I work with Windows 10 Pro, Intel Core i7-8700, 16GB RAM and a Wacom Cintiq 24 HD.
What do you like best about Clip Studio Paint?
Once you get familiar with the program, it's SO easy and intuitive to work with it. It has the best tools to work comfortably on both illustration and comic. I'm particularly happy with the variety of brushes you can use and mix to get unique textures and strokes.
How long does it take you to make a single illustration?
It always depends on deadlines, you know... haha. What I really enjoy about my work is the process, so I like to take it easy if the time allows it. An illustration It can take from a week to 2-3 days, and for a comic page, 3-4 days for the French Market and 2-3 for the USA market.
Would you consider Clip Studio Paint an industry tool?
For comic books? Absolutely. Almost all my mates use it!
Where can we follow your work?
*** Belén is doing a #Giveaway with us! Reach her post on Instagram, follow her, @graphixly and leave a comment. Winners of Clip Studio Paint Pro will be announced on January 11, good luck! ***