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Meet Constanza Aravena

Today we’d like to introduce you to Constanza Aravena.

So, before we jump into specific questions, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I’m from Santiago, Chile, and I’m a graphic designer. I worked as an art director and graphic designer for fashion advertising for a long time, but in 2016, my husband got the opportunity to come to L.A and work here, so, after thinking about it for a while, we took the chance and we did it. This was three and a half years ago, and for most of my first year in the US I felt really lost, so I decided that it was time to start producing art on a regular basis, and at least try to live from art and collage illustrations, something that I have done mostly as a complement to my work as a designer and as a hobby. That decision has brought a lot of joy in my life, I have shown my work in London, Spain, and Chile and I have worked with many talented people around the world, like Musicians, creatives, entrepreneurs, etc.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
It hasn’t really, but I’m really grateful for these years because my immigration experience has been very privileged and we have always been well received and integrated. I’ve met people from around the world, and everyone has a lot of ideas and creativity, so its good to be here. Having said that, yes, there have been some cultural differences that I’ve found challenging. I don’t drive so I think there is a part of L.A culture that I simply don’t get, and of course, speaking in English all the time makes me kind of tired, but I try to take it as a good learning experience.

Please tell us more about your art.
I am a collage artist and I produce digital collage art for different platforms. My work is mainly oriented to advertising, magazine illustrations & album covers, and I have collaborated with record labels, musicians, creative directors, etc. I try to strike a balance between commissioned and personal work, so I never get bored of doing it. Looking back now, I am very proud that I started and continued posting my art online on a regular basis, even when I wasn’t sure my work was very good, and even when not many people liked it or asked me for commissions.

I think I have a special love for this technique because I started making collages because of the need to have content on a blank page when I was a magazine designer, so it was born mostly of necessity. Doing a collage was a way to have a beautiful illustration without having the skills to do that, so I think that me still doing this years later is a victory that speaks better of my stubbornness than of my artistic abilities. I found something that comes from graphic design, and uses graphic design tools, but also allows a different level of expression, and experimentation.

If you had to go back in time and start over, would you have done anything differently?
I would start sooner to submit my art to magazines, open calls, art websites, etc. I have a really bad Impostor syndrome sometimes and learning to hear “No” without feeling a talentless fraud is something I have to work daily, but I think I am on my way to really have a thick skin and eventually, I won’t care about rejection anymore, because artists are always super confident about themselves, right?

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