Vero Escalante is a visual artist and illustrator from Buenos Aires, Argentina. Drawing inspiration from music, plants and their shapes, she creates a dreamy atmospheric, visually compelling world within the frame. Her animated work is vibrant and character driven, producing works for high end brands such as an animated short film for The Ritz Carlton.
Other brands that she has created work for are The Disney Channel, Netflix, Google, Mini Cooper, Cartoon Network, The Coca Cola Company, Adidas, Fox, MTV and many more.
In our interview with Vero, we discuss her background and what inspires her most as an artist.
Hi Vero, can you tell us a little about the environment you have grown up in? How has it influenced your work?
VERO: I was born in Salta, a city to the very north of Argentina, surrounded by mountains, cannons and rivers. I then came to Buenos Aires to study fashion design and shortly after I started working as an illustrator. I’m inspired by the shapes and colors you can find in nature and their diversity; quiet moments and landscape immensity.
When did you decide to be an artist?
VERO: When I was 12, I studied paint and drawing. Then in my teens, I got interested in fashion and illustration. It’s not that I can tell an exact moment, but I always liked it and when I realized, I was already working in the industry.
Do you come from a family of artists?
VERO: No, actually, my family’s background is in academics and chess players. I used to play and compete in tournaments when I was young.
We enjoyed the work that you have been doing for The Ritz Carlton, can you let us know a little about this process? Are you given a concept to create from?
VERO: For this project, I was contacted by the agency Gizmo, they sent over the script and I started researching images of the hotel rooms, the front and different park views. Once the palette was defined, I started working on characters and all details. It was hard work, very detail oriented, but the outcome was very satisfactory, for both me and the client. They always liked the images I sent them and their feedback was great. We were on the same page and that is the perfect situation.
Which other brands are you interested in creating for?
VERO: I’d like to work for more fashion brands, doing rapports or art direction. One of my last projects is for a very famous sports brand.
What has been your most exciting project to date?
VERO: The projects I like the most are the personal ones, like setting up a series of works for a solo show, or doing art direction for a photo shoot. Having time to experiment, to connect with the vision of what I want to achieve and the making it tangible and real.
What is your ideal atmosphere to create in?
VERO: My inspiration is music, plants and their shapes. I have them on my desk, next to my stones and flowers to keep me inspired. My house is full of inspiring memories, details and plants. Every corner I look is an inspiration. But then sometimes I go for a walk, with music on to get inspired by the city.
Have you visited a place on your journey…anywhere in the world that you have drawn great inspiration from?
VERO: I get a lot of inspiration from south american fauna; tropical places like Rio de Janeiro, in Brasil and Oscar Niemayer’s Architecture.
It must be stunning. Could you walk us a little through your creative process, from the initial idea to the end result?
VERO: First thing I do is describe the atmosphere I want to capture, mostly by writing it down. Then, do some sketches by hand. If it’s for a personal project, I pick a few and start giving them more details. If it is for a client, I send them over so they can choose the ones they like the most and send me feedback. The first color base is donde in Illustrator, and when the palette is defined, I get into the details ad adjust the composition in Photoshop, where I create the textures and lights and shadows.
What software do you use to create your animations?
VERO: I use a mix of hand-drawn or starting sketches and digital techniques for finishing off details.
Can you share with us a work of yours that you value the most?
VERO: There is this one project, I was hired to do a cover or an art show. They wanted to transmit the idea of being in touch with nature and the possibility of making art with recycled materials. What I did, was to create a magical, imaginary world, where vegetation was exuberant and where there is this person about to make a healthy choice, being conscious about the environment. The stone we see represents that idea in the raw stage. I wanted to show that specific moment where, you realize the decision you are about to make is the most conscious decision possible. It’s a project I did in 2014 and I’m very happy with the results.
We noticed that you like to illustrate rabbits. Does the rabbit hold a spiritual significance to you?
VERO: I love Rabbits! I had a pet rabbit for many years, up until recently, and she inspired me to do most of my work. Now, rabbits have a spiritual meaning to me. They are quick thinkers, trust their gut, but also very sweet and thoughtful. They love being part of the family.
She is with you in spirit. Are there any artists, be it painters, musicians or writers who inspire your work?
VERO: I love and get influenced a lot by Matisse and floral artist Azuma Makoto. I also like the work of designers like Issey Miyake, Carol Lim & Humberto Leon. As well as contemporary artist like Jonas Wood and David Hockney.
What are your dreams and hopes for the future?
VERO: I’d like my images to talk about ecological topics. Also, about the encounter of the Urban and Natural world; social networks and Real Friendships. You can visit this project at @botanicalblog. I’m also working on a project about women empowerment and the exchange of ideas as key element. Experiences, conclusions, resolutions, Ideas, union, dialog, affinities and all topics, really.
Lovely speaking with you Vero. Thank you.