A Shapely Female Figure in Dreamlike Environments Stars in This Artist's Instagram Feed

A contemporary Spanish comic finds a muse.


María Medem developed a knack for making up stories at an early age. She grew up in Spain wanting to be a writer, but ended up studying fine art at the University of Seville. There, she learned classical drawing techniques and how to paint with oil (she didn’t care for either). In her final year she discovered contemporary comics, a medium in which her interest in narrative and fine art education could unite. Soon, a publishing house in Amsterdam offered to turn her work into a book, and the commissions began trickling in. Today, she draws full-time and has released two more volumes, including Echos, out last month. Words rarely feature in her surreal illustrations, which she creates by hand in black-and-white. Medem’s stories are pared-down, dreamlike environments reminiscent of Japanese woodblock prints. A recurring vehicle for those sensations is a shapely female figure with a mop of stringy black hair. In monochrome ensembles, she traverses deserts against ombre skies, meditates atop barren cliffs, and often sheds a tear, as if moved by the fragile beauty of it all. Is the character Medem? Not quite. “I watch movies a lot,” she says. “Comics are like making your own movie, where you’re in charge of everything.” —54,400 followers

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