Medusa Dollmaker Interview
Asunción Macián Ruiz’s superhero name is Medusa Dollmaker. Not all superheroes keep their identity secret! Medusa Dollmaker’s superpower is her ability to create stunning artwork. She also has the ability to mesmerize with her good-looks. (She’s not available, boys and girls. Stand down!) The detail of her art can be mesmerizing too. It is definitely not the kind of art where people think to themselves, “Hey I could do that”. I look at it and think, “Holy f*#k! How does she do that?”.
Asunción is a self-taught artist that hails from Spain. She is a full-time artist but also claims to be a part-time gorgon. I haven’t verified this and I’m sure she would look great with snakes writhing around on her head, but I don’t think it’s possible for her visage to be so awful as to turn people to stone.
I’m not sure when I first came across Medusa Dollmaker’s work, but the image I most associate with her is her David Bowie Labyrinth tee. A stunning and popular t-shirt that appears occasionally for limited periods around the interwebs. The intricate detail of her work is so stunning that I have to believe that she either sold her soul to a crossroads demon or has dozens of fairies helping her. Asunción made no mention of this in the interview though. Check it out:
About Medusa Dollmaker
Why did you choose Medusa Dollmaker as your nickname? My theory is that dollmaker refers to your craft and Medusa is to warn all of the dangers of interrupting you while at work. Am I close?
Haha well, maybe. Medusa is my favourite mythological character, and I love snakes. Dollmaker talks about my all crafts side. I hope to craft some dolls in the future.
I see you are based in Valencia, Spain. Is that where you grew up?
Yes, it is. I feel lost in some way sometimes when I leave my city!
What do you like to do in your free time?
…It’s not so amazing, but I work. LOL. Well, I think I like to take care of my plants, read and craft something with porcelain. I do Yoga as well.
Do you work full-time in art and design?
About the Artist
When did you start creating art?
I was so little when I started creating doodles! Like many artists, I’ve been into creativity since forever.
Apart from t-shirts, are you involved in other art/design projects?
Yes! I’m preparing an artbook with personal works, commissions and other mysterious stuff. I want to paint porcelain as well… maybe someday!
You have a very distinct style. How did it come about? Were you influenced by any particular artist or style?
My style has much to do with my influences. I have so many, and I try to learn from every piece of art I meet. My main influences come from Michelangelo, Klimt, Goya, Mucha, Aaron Horkey, Giger…as well as classic greek & and roman sculpture, and animation movies or comics.
Where do you usually get your inspiration for t-shirt designs?
Pop culture, tales, fantasy. Music as well, everything can inspire a design, and feelings.
Could you describe your typical design process from concept to completion?
I usually start creating the piece in the traditional way, sketching on paper. I scan and ink the design in Manga Studio 5 and colour it in PhotoShop CS5. When it’s a traditional-feel piece, I work it in traditional, from start to finish. After that, I scan the artwork and separate in a layer the color that will make it as black ink. And I start colouring it in photoshop. I use halftones when it’s required for daily tee sites.
About the Tees
How did you first hear about daily t-shirt sites like TeeFury and RIPT?
It was through my boyfriend. He’s the first of us to know about internet trends, and I started to be involved in dailies because I was interested in the daily tee sites he showed me, and I loved the tees, and that way to market art. He bought some of them and we just find those tees a very special way to showcase art and interests. He found Jimiyo’s work. We fell instantly in love with his art. In that time, he wrote a very interesting post about making a living from your art, and I learned a lot from it. I worked some years as a fashion illustrator before, so I have found part of my path designing tees.
Do you remember your first print? If so, what was it and how did you feel?
Yes! It was a Labyrinth one (see above), on Teefury and another one in Design By Humans as “Shirt of the Day” a long time ago.
Of the time-limited t-shirt sites like TeeFury, which is your favorite to work with?
I usually love several sites, It’s great to work with TeeFury for example, but I have a special thing with TeeVillain. It’s like some weird kind of evil family where you can feel so comfy.
How about the Print-on-Demand sites like TeePublic and RedBubble?
I feel so grateful for the chance they give to us artists to market our designs. My favourite sites are Design by Humans and Neato Shop for tees, and Society6 has a nice variety of product and cool offers. TeepPublic does good promotions and treats well their artists, Redbubble gives the chance from time to time to participate in contests. Each one has a thing I find useful to keep them running.
Sell your t-shirts on TeePublic!
Of the tees that you designed which is your favorite?
There are two that I’m fonder of, Vigo Babysitting Service and Medusa Imperatrix Mundi. I love as well the Red Queen one! And The Gamer. Isn’t easy to not feel attached to your own creations.
Do you wear the t-shirts that you have designed?
Yes! In fact, I have a huge collection so I try my best wearing them as much as I can.
Have you seen somebody wearing one of your tees in the real world?
My friends and family, but not yet some stranger. I don’t leave the house so much really!
About the World
Do you have any role models?
What is the most exotic location you have been to?
Ireland, Birmingham, Toulouse… I didn’t go so far from Europe, but I have planned some trips!
Where would you most like to visit? Why?
Scotland, India, Canada, places like those. I find them very interesting and inspiring.
About Other Designers
Which tee designer(s) do you admire the most?
Wop! So many people. Jimiyo, Megan Lara, Bamboota, Fuacka, Harantula, BeastPop, Karen Hallion, Jehsee… That list may last forever, I can’t choose only one.
Have you done any collaborations for t-shirts?
If so, who and what did you design? If not, who would you like to collaborate with? Yes, I did a collaboration with Harantula in “Doctor Selfie” and I loved that experience. I’m open to collaborations but I’m always busy so I have to wait.
Who would you like to see featured on the Shirt List next?
Read the Émilie Boisvert interview.
About Tee Design
What design trends have made you go WTF?
Hahaha well this didn’t happened to me yet but some designs, especially when I don’t get the reference.
Any advice for other designers/artists?
Work hard, practice and all is coming.
Photoshop or Illustrator?
Who is your favorite pop culture villain? Why?
Loki! I can’t help it. He’s awesome and dramatic. And hot.
You can also get Medusa Dollmaker’s stunning Gamer Nouveau design on a pair of shoes at TeeFury!