at Barerra caught our attention 2 years ago when we needed a vibrant poster created for one of our events. Her name was Cat Barerra. Since then we’ve followed Barerra’s work as she’s created for some of Austins top businesses and venues with her signature style. As a young girl raised by Mexican immigrants, Barrera was heavily influenced by the two worlds she travelled between. She was also influenced by 90’s cartoons, anime and eventually begun painting and illustrating as a creative and emotional outlet. Now years later, Baerra is delving into digital illustration and animation as her next venture. We can’t wait to see where she evolves to next.
How did you get started?
I was really into anime when I was a kid. I loved the vibrant colors and the character styles, it became something I wanted to replicate so I started to sketch in that style. I would sketch on napkins, in books, on my homework, tables, clothes, body parts, and so on. It was a habit I couldn’t kick so I just let it consume my life.
What is(are) your medium(s)?
I used to paint watercolor and acrylic but over time it proved difficult to carry around art supplies and art pieces everywhere I went. Now I focus primarily on digital illustration and animation.
Where do you draw inspiration?
I’m heavily inspired by music, there’s something so spiritual about the way music makes me feel and it brings all these crazy images to my head, I feel like every piece I make is dedicated to a certain song. I also draw a lot of inspiration from traveling. Most of my family still resides in Mexico so I’ve been fortunate enough to visit and that’s often reflected in my art.
Describe a bit about your creative process.
It always starts with a song or playlist. There’s a little movie or image that appears in my head that fits into the mood of whatever song I’m listening to. It’s usually just an emotion I’m projecting and I’ll start doodling until I get this complete idea. I’ll take a picture of it and upload it in Adobe Illustrator and use the pen tool to draw over the sketch until it’s completed. A lot of times I’ll listen to the same song on repeat until the piece is completed to really capture the full effect of the song.
Any artists/creators/ etc who have influenced your style?
Sohale Kevin Darouian is a huge influence. He’s best known for making artwork for the band STRFKR. I really love the prominent cheek blush on the characters and use of muted colors that still manage to stand out.
Also, Natalie, the Canadian artist who designs merch for the company “Sick Girls”. I have like 3 of their shirts, a patch, and the eyeball socks haha I love it, it’s such a grungy and rad style.
Where do you live and how has it contributed to your style?
Austin, Texas. I moved here from east Texas for the music knowing I wanted to work and create with musicians. Shout Out to the Mohawk Austin who took a chance on me to create some of their posters. I’ve been able to hear so many new sounds and meet so many great musicians who inspire me. It’s also been a great city to “Let my freak flag fly” I don’t feel awkward showing my art like when I was younger. everyone appreciates art and music here and I think that’s a beautiful thing. I’m glad to be a part of it. It’s also pretty dope to see my designs in venues and on merch, it’s trippy in the best way.
Why do you love what you do?
It’s therapeutic and rewarding. It’s a means of survival, I feel like if I ever stopped doodling or creating I would implode. I just have all these intense emotions and ideas I’m feeling all the time and creating is the healthiest way to express it. I literally go on binges of creativity, and sometimes people pay me for it which is cool.
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