The Symbolic Comics of Nadia Hafid

Illustrator Nadia Hafid was thirteen when she discovered the world of comic books — a discovery which was nothing short of a revelation. “Finding it conditioned me in the way that I understand drawing nowadays,” she remarked once in an interview with wertn.

She remembers being knocked off her feet by comic books like The Sandman by Neil Gaiman or Black Jack by Osamu Tezuka, and spending hours in the comic section at her local library, obsessively searching for new authors. “I felt attracted intuitively by those covers with dark and reddish colors,” says Hafid.

But it took some time for her to find her own artistic voice within the blossoming comics scene. Having graduated in Fine Arts from the University of Barcelona, Hafid also has a degree in Arts Applied on the Wall from the School of Arts and Crafts (Llotja de Barcelona).

Now working full time as a freelance illustrator, she combines illustration with her comic projects. “In my illustrations, my characters are part of the representation of very abstract ideas,” says Hafid. “Anyways, when I draw my comics I think there is something about me, especially as the stories are usually based on my own experiences or thoughts. In any case, I think there is some distance between me as a person and my works due to my symbolic and geometric style.”

And though the finished work is strictly digital, her starting point is always analog. “I always draw by hand!” she stresses. “I always begin with freehand sketch. Then, I polish it with rulers and circle templates. Sometimes I use the light board to polish the drawing even more. Finally I scan it the illustration, and clean the drawing with Photoshop very well before adding the color with it.”

Show her some love on Instagram.