As an illustrator and painter, Priscilla Moreno creates whimsical, often-bespectacled characters with minimal lines, exaggerated facial features and bold, bright colors. The LA-born, Fullerton-raised artist says she has been doodling since she was a child and bases each odd character on herself. "I've always been interested in drawing the characteristics of people and [their] expressions," she says.
Her style is fun and ranges from a defined portrait of a face to a silly figure drawn with limited lines and text. The secret to her prolific business is the note cards she carries everywhere; she'll doodle an idea, then bring out the card later to work on it in a larger scale, whether in print, on totebags or pins, or as framed paintings.
There's a distinctly vintage feel to her art, recalling midcentury modern-era UPA animated cartoons and editorial comic strips. Among her inspirations are Virgil Partch, an American gag cartoonist who worked mostly throughout the '40s and '50s; Shel Silverstein, author and cartoonist known best for such children's books as Where the Sidewalk Ends and The Giving Tree; and her grandfather, another artist who, like Moreno, was self-taught.
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter(s) - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!
With solo shows at Hibbleton Gallery and Rialto Cafe, plus monthly pop-ups at Fullerton's new Wayfare, Moreno's work and name are gaining notice in the local art community. In between shows, Moreno lends her talents to creating logos, chalkboard signs for restaurants, and even skateboard wheels. She is frequently commissioned for family portraits and sells plenty of original artwork on her Etsy (www.etsy.com/shop/preemoreno) and Instagram (@preemoreno). Moreno finds the artist grind to be hard at times, but "note cards always help," she says. "It's a reminder that I'm always drawing. And I never want to stop."