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ДИЗАЙН / 31 января
Artist and author of dreamy and surreal illustrations for Variety and The New York Times and colorful covers for books and comics, tells what she finds the most valuable in illustrator's work and how her inspiration and personal artistic style shapes up
— Please tell about your teachers: who they were?
— Illustration wasn’t a career path in my country when I was studying. You were either strictly visual artist or graphic designer, so I studied a Bachelor of Fine Arts, because my interest was connected to painting, rather than packaging or typography. My teachers there were visual artists, especially painters, but when I did my Masters degree in the US it was a combination of visual artists, designers and illustrators.
— What are the main professional skills you got from your teachers?
— To conceptualize properly and push my comfort zone to achieve more innovative results.
— Tell us about most interesting projects you worked on, or which were the most challenging? Themes, texts, that you had to illustrate: what resonated most of all?
— I had the honor of illustrating the Spanish edition of One Hundred Years of Solitude by Colombian author Gabriel García Márquez for Penguin Random House in Spain. In Latin America you grow up with this novel, is widely popular, and it’s always been one of my favorite books, so when I received this commission, I was thrilled and terrified at the same time. What I loved about the project was envisioning this world of magic realism, which is a genre that I love.
Harmony, The Secrets Of The Night, The Bond, Abuse, Autism, The Reciever, Bob Dylan, Women Who Farm
— Can illustrations and design be made for a particular customer/user/viewer's personal needs and background?
— It will always depend on each project. Maybe it happens less with editorial illustration because you are aiming for a wider audience, but in advertising it can be very specific, and the target could be a very unique group, like the one for which the product is designed for.
— If you met the examples of that in your practice, can you tell about them more?
— I created the visual campaign for a food market in Chile, and of course the visual represented that imagery of fruits and vegetables, but also the lifestyle of consumers and I think that created an idea of the event for the viewer.
White Fields
— You're from Santiago, but now live and work in London. Please tell our students few names of modern artists / illustrators from Chile and Britain who impress you?
— I love the work of Paloma Valdivia in Chile. She has focused mostly on children's books, created a strong identity, and is very prolific. She was one of the first illustrators that I noticed in Chile who working actively in this field, so that was really meaningful when I decided to pursue my own path. I also like the work of Isabel Greenberg in the UK. The first time I read her graphic novel 'The Encyclopedia of Early Earth', I was fascinated, because it reminded me of Tove Jansson's work, which I love.
El Mag del Fogons, Hipótesi by Paloma Valdivia
— Do you observe any trends in illustration right now and how can you characterize them: what is on the rise now, and what is decreasing?
— I feel that I am constantly seeing different works, styles and interests, so I never think about what’s trending. However, I enjoy seeing collective ideas. For example, in less than two years you have new publications like RESIST!, Bravery Magazine, the book titled Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls, and Women Who Draw directory. All of that celebrates a new generation of women that will shape the future, and that responds to our current world, instead of a trend.
— If there are trends, where do they come from? How do they appear?
— I think that, depending on your interests, you will always find artists for that specific niche.
Human Island
— Did you have the teaching practice?
— Yes, I started when I was studying my BA: I assisted some professors in their classes, and always enjoyed that.
— If yes, what experience it gave you?
— When you teach, you must be very clear with your ideas and the way you communicate them. As an illustrator, you tend to abstract words and translate them into images. Teaching is the other way around, so it’s a nice learning experience.
— If no, do you plan teaching in the future? What would you like to share with your students (world outlook, technical nuances of drawing, organizing the client work or something else)?
— I am currently teaching, and I really enjoy it. I teach at the Wallace Museum, which is a lovely museum in London, and I am also lecturing at the University of Westminster this term. I think it's exciting to teach because it's a way to communicate your knowledge, and you also prepare others for their careers, so I think you have be really on top of the illustration industry. Having that said, my creative work is still my main career and goal, so I only allocate specific teaching hours or projects, which allows me to focus on my commissions.

By Tatiana Pavlova and Oleg Vachromeev
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