#ArtdropSpotlight | Mady Marcelino

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#ArtdropSpotlight | Mady Marcelino

Have you ever come across an illustration so detailed that every time you looked at it, you'd see something you haven't before? Mady Marcelino's pieces tend to have that effect on people. In almost all her works, every square inch of piece is given thought and care.

You look once and you see lovely buildings in isometric view. You look again and notice that through every window, you'll not only find bookshelves and couches, you'll also find individual books and patterned pillow cases. Plus, the number of cats you'll find in her body of work is quite astonishing as well. 

Mady's signature style was developed over a long period time. She shared that she was always impressed with how messages and emotions can be conveyed through art in general but, to be able to have that kind of impact without color? That was made her fall in love with black and white. That challenge of creating art that would leave an emotional impact, with only two colors was enough fuel for her to pursue this style further. Of course, her fascination for Japanese manga influenced her illustrations too.

Today on #ArtrdropSpotlight, we go behind the scenes of the Hey Mady! brand, and learn more about who she is as a person. She's a woman we can definitely all learn from - especially those who are interested in jumping into a freelance career and build their very own brand.

Photo from Mady Marcelino.


How are you these days? Walk us through your general routine.

"I’m good! The quarantine is taking a toll on me sometimes but I’m still grateful that I’m able to get by despite the situation."

"My routine differs everyday, especially now that I am starting again as a full-time freelance creative."

"On days when I have a deadline, I’d wake up early just so I can maximize what I can do for that day but on lighter days when I don’t have one, I’d usually wake up no later than 8:00 AM and would either work on personal illustrations or catch up on a series. I’ve also been trying to make it a habit not to bring my phone whenever I have breakfast just so I can, cheesy as it sounds, take in the moment. It works because my coffee tastes a lot better when I’m not distracted by social media but also, I’m glued on the computer almost half of the day whenever I’m working on a project for a client or a personal one, that could go from 8:00AM till late at night depending on the scope of the project and it can be pretty straining at times so I try to lessen it by doing other activities in between that doesn’t involve staring into a screen, like yoga!"


Artwork in Photo. 'The Cat Returns' 20" x 26.5". See more of Mady's work here.

Would you mind sharing with us your thought process in deciding to be a full-time freelance creative? What are some of the milestone moments that led you to take the leap?

"I’ve had some doubts on whether I should go full-time creative given that we’re not in the most ideal situation at the moment but I thought of it as a “Now or Never” thing. I thought of it as, “Okay. If you’re not gonna do it now, when will you?” or “The constraints will always be there, will that always stop you?”

"Ever since, I’ve always had this goal in mind and the question 'when will I do it?' crossed my mind multiple times even when I was still working in an agency."

"It’s not an easy decision to make, I weighed in the pros and cons at first first and I think the biggest factor that I had to take into consideration to is that freelance doesn’t present the same advantage of having a steady income stream that a day job has, when you have a day job you’re sure that your income is secured for the next months but when you’re a full-time freelance creative, there will likely be months that projects won’t come in at all. I had to instill in my mind that I have to be ready when that happens and that would mean I’d have to work twice as hard - double focus to get clients and to reach the target income for the month.

I think it’s not the milestones that made me decide to be a full-time freelance creative though I see it as an opportunity to work on and achieve more milestones moments now that I am able to focus on my own brand."


What advice would you give to those who are in a similar place in life and also want to resign and pursue their craft or business full time?

"It will be different for all of us, what may have worked for me may not work for you but bottom-line is that it’s a risk that you should be ready for. I think it would be ideal to assess first or fully grasp what you’re getting into, to weigh in the advantages and disadvantages first on your part and to be ready to face such disadvantages and have a plan on how to face such disadvantages."

Mady's work set up. Photo from Mady Marcelino.

The artist's first mural project for Zig Kuretake. Photo from Mady Marcelino online.

"The vision has always been to be able to tell a story. No matter how simple it is, I want to remind the people seeing my work how human we can be and should be. I want to send that message to as many people as possible."

Every artist has a different dream for their practice. Some dream of working with the biggest brands, while others aim to exhibit with the most popular galleries. For Mady, the dream is continuity. "Of course, there are brands and artists that I want to collaborate with," she explains, "but I see no end to it." She says that even if she does land that dream collaboration, things should not stop there - and that's definitely a mindset worth emulating. Goals are important, but what you do after achieving your goals may have an even bigger impact on your life. As Mady put it, it's a never ending cycle.

Mady's love for her craft was evident throughout our conversation. The fact that she couldn't even choose only one 'favorite project to date' says a lot about how much respect she has for all the work she gets into and how much she cares for the brand that she's built. These are the kinds of people that deserve everyone's support. Mady has gone on quite a journey to get this point where she can finally spend all her time creating beautiful work. And while she has accomplished quite a lot, from all the brand work and commissions to a lovely merchandise line, she's definitely on her way to doing so much more. We're telling you right now, she's one to look out for. 

See more of Mady's work on Artdrop here. To contact her directly, check our her work on Instagram.

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