Stickering is a method of painting I developed myself that uses markers or brushes on layers of adhesive vinyl and employs the impermeable characteristics of the medium, often by removing paint with a scraping tool, the purpose being to create hand-made laminated stickers.

In May 2015, I found thousands of squared adhesive vinyl in my house, leftovers from a print job from my grandpa. I had recently bought a sky blue POSCA paint marker after I had heard the claim that they could 'paint on anything'. I really don't remember how I put two and two together, but, when it happened, I discovered Stickering.

I soon began scraping not only to erase and correct, but also to make lines and scratches, which added a distinct woodcut look that enriched my visual language. Up to that point I didn't sketch beforehand, which was unimaginable coming from someone who was always afraid of making mistakes: I was the type of person who got sketchbooks and never drew on them for fear of filling them with bad drawings. Now, being able to just scrape mistakes off, I felt more confident and didn't even mess up most of the time. It was like going back to being a little kid that just loves to draw, not caring about the outcome.

My marker collection grew and my desire to experiment with the technique did too, so my stickers went from being clear with a thin contour to having covered areas of paint, mixed colors and defined outlines. I tried watercolors for a phase and my stickers got more pictorial and messy and, though it went to a dead end, I still learned a lot. The most emblematic stickers I made up to this point are recovered in the Stickers Archive.

Stickering was becoming too complex for the tiny 10x10 cm squares, so I diverted to larger formats. As I got more adventurous and wanted to make projects and series, I required a cleaner workflow and finish, so I developed the double layering method, which allowed me to work background and outline separately. With that change came other methods involving digital sketching, tracing and color swatches. I tried acrylics with great success and achieved really clean, full sized illustrations. My visual language settled down and my character design improved.

Years later I keep perfecting my technique with every sticker I make. Now and then I still draw small stickers because the new tools make it more comfortable to do so. I continue the experimentation, reinforcing what I know and taking in what I learn from others, especially from my students. 

Let’s keep Stickering!


Lima, December 3rd, 2019