Marisol Ortega


Tacoma, WA

Marisol Ortega is a first-generation Mexican-American designer, illustrator and letterer, living and working in the PNW. She is best known for her vibrant flora and fauna illustrations that play with texture, linework, bold color palettes and organic shapes — reflecting an exploration of her cultures. She pulls inspiration from Michoacán, Mexico.

"Look who’s laughing now, ma!"

What did you get in trouble for as a kid? Anything adults told you to avoid that’s actually a big part of your life now?

Drawing, haha. My parents didn't want me to go to school for art because they didn't see any value in it but look who's laughing now, ma!

Listen to music while you work? Anything special in your work space that unleashes your creative juices?

Ok, this is really dumb but I watch the entire Twilight Saga to really get in the zone. I know what happens so it's mostly like white noise both visually and auditory. Team Edward, duh.

Any activities, exercises or strategies to pull yourself out of the occasional artistic rut?

I garden a lot. Stepping away from the computer really helps me.

Morning bird or night owl?

A night owl but after kids it's a little harder to be the night owl when my wake-up call is at like 7am.

Where do you work? What’s your workspace like? Any objects you’ve had a long time?

My basement office space is filled with things that I find interesting and other artists’ work. I find if I stare at my own artwork, I just keep making the same thing, so I try to mix it up. Some of my oldest knickknacks are these tiny clay mugs from Mexico that I got when I was like 12? They remind me of playing at my grandma's house, and how colorful, full of plants and textiles my grandma's house was.