For this article in the international artist series, we turn to Colombia, featuring seven artists who create fantastic work, from illustration to graphic design and more! I asked each artist how their country and culture inspired their work, and they delivered fantastic answers. Enjoy!
Pellisco is a designer and art director based in Bucaramanga, Colombia. His work is inspiring and masterful, ranging from typographic works to illustrated pieces and more. Check out a small selection below or dive into his portfolio for more.
"My country has influenced me with its colors and forms. This has significantly contributed to my work and has had more impact overseas. It's been a little difficult to work in my country and compete as an artist with critics and low-wages. This can negatively affect the work.
"It hasn't beat me, and for this reason I started to work overseas more. Currently I have no clients in Colombia; the majority of customers are from abroad.
"Culture is a significant factor. I try to take advantage of all of the resources that I have on hand. As mentioned before, the color palettes and biodiversity are a source of inspiration. Forms and textures can be exploited in a number of projects.
"I always try to combine landscapes and environments into my illustrative and lettering work with photography. This generates a mixed technique so my work isn't a single style. Since I started freelancing two years ago, I've tried to be consistent. Something I consider to be very important is to 'follow my own dreams and not those of others'."
David Avend is an illustrator based in Medellín, Colombia, whose charming texture work tells fantastic and fun stories. You can check out a few pieces below or more in his portfolio.
"Colombia has pretty, amazing, and sexy girls. Most of my characters are women, and basically all my new portfolio will have only female characters. So that output helps me a lot for my work, I think. Yes, I like to contemplate girls. Yes, I like to draw girls a lot.
Usbek & Rica
"Colombia has freaking amazing places. It's very helpful to relax and draw outside or do nothing. Doing nothing is good for work too.
"Colombia is a great country, but the Colombian people suck because they don't even look to the sky to watch the clouds or something like that.
"I really encourage you to going deep to your imagination and pay attention to important and magical things, like clouds."
Victor Vergara is an art director based in Medellín, Colombia. His work expressive work is largely character-driven and quite fun. You can check out a small selection of pieces below or see more work in his portfolio.
"Colombia is renowned for its rich fauna and flora. Of course these aspects of my country has influenced my work. One of my greatest sources of inspiration is the beauty, grandeur, and wonder of nature.
What's Inside the Forest?
"This variety of species and culture is something I reference in my work by incorporating colors, shapes, symbols, and animals.
Las Chicas de la Naturaleza
"My country has great cultural diversity because there are many different ethnic groups and regions. One can move easily from colonial landscapes to very modern and innovative scenarios.
"This cultural versatility, for me, is inspiring. It motivates me to investigate, observe, and strengthen my sense of wonder and creativity.
Vladimir Enciso is an art director based in Bogotá, Colombia. His well-designed work ranges from illustration to graphic design. You can check out a small selection of pieces below or see more in his portfolio.
"This country is a rich country. We have a lot of rivers, two seas, beautiful mountains, the Amazon jungle, a lot of birds, and you have access to all of it. I love it; my work is very influenced by nature and in Colombia the nature is very accessible.
SilkScreen Printing Project
"I think that the culture of my country influences my work a lot because Colombian culture is very folksy. Colombia has many cultures depending on what city you're in. Colombia isn't a big country, so you can get to know each culture.
"I have friends in many Colombian cities, and I love to visit them so I can get deep into their culture to keep my influence fresh and improve my work. The people in Colombia are warm and kind. You get really good vibes and it makes you feel comfortable to get new ideas and creative points of view."
Carlos Higuera is an illustrator and graphic designer based in Bogotá, Colombia. His fun-filled work is largely aimed at children's media. You can check out a small selection of it below or see more in his portfolio.
La Ciudad Donde Vivo
"In my opinion one of the main, distinctive aspects of my country is the diversity. Not just ethnic and cultural diversity, but also in flora and fauna.
"This diversity is something that defines us. Colombians have this thing, like a spice, that we have by nature that make us all different in so many ways. We are a mix, a very colorful one, and our landscapes are proof of it.
"These amazing colors have inspired me since the beginning of my creative career. My work is colorful and I think that this is part of my visual identity. Despite all the influences, the roots are still there and I feel proud of it."
Camilo Monzón Navas
Camilo Monzón Navas is an art director in Bogotá, Colombia. His and his team's work is wonderfully imaginative and professional. You can check it out in a small selection of pieces below or in his portfolio.
Dulcolax / Constipation Relief
"Colombia in every way. It is a passionate and lovely country.
Chocolisto - Feed Your Child's Future
"All that stuff is reflected in every work of mine, I think. Each campaign brief and each idea always has that magic.
Jeans Arturo Calle
"My intention is to make my country proud with my work."
Santiago Moreno is a designer based in Bogotá, Colombia. His work is engaging, clean, and modern. You can check out more of it below or in his portfolio.
Green Terraces Infographic
"Being born and raised in Colombia has made me make huge amounts of effort to keep my work on the top of quality. We as a country, in our industry, are constantly bombarded with international references and it is a challenge I like to take to keep it local, yet modern and competitive worldwide. I feel great when I am able to accomplish that on some of my projects.
Vim SM | Free Typeface
"I also like to create stuff that's completely based on personal experience, which most of the time could be only possible from what I encounter here every day.
Ints | Iconic Service Description
"In the past several years, we've been witnessing an evolving, and sometimes silent, war that has left behind a large number of victims. My main job today consists of helping, through design, to translate the voices of these victims in a way they reach the people that aren't that familiar with this conflict and contribute to what we define as historical memory."
Many thanks to the artists above who took time out of their busy schedule and waded through a language barrier to share their experiences and influences. You can check out more of their work at the links below: