Mercedes Crespo, better known as YemaYema, was born in Guayaquil, Ecuador. Now 27, she has been drawing since she was 15, though she wasn’t sure of her artistic direction until a few years ago, when she discovered a book from the Berlin-based Pictoplasma Project. Since then, she has loved drawing even more and continues to develop her own style, hoping it evolves into something even more distinctive. T-shirts and other items bearing her artwork can be bought from her website.

In this tutorial, Mercedes Crespo (aka YemaYema) shows how she creates her appealing cartoon characters. Though full of detail, rich in colour and complex in appearance, they are simple to draw, as she reveals here.

With just the Pencil tool plus basic shapes and a good eye for colour and composition, you can make your illustrations go a long way.

Mercedes stresses the importance of having fun and playing around with shapes. It is possible to achieve great things when you least expect it and exploring is a good way of allowing this to happen.

In our project files, you’ll find Mercedes’ original sketch and a texture file you’ll use to add depth to your composition.

Time to complete

2-3 hours


Adobe Illustrator CS4 or higher, Photoshop CS4 or higher

Project Files

Click here to download this tutorial's project files

Next Step »