Dazed Digital


Antonia Reyes Montealegre

December 2, 2011

One of Santiago's most loved illustrators and animal obsessives delves deep into the local illustration scene

  • Text by Satellite Voices

Guest Feature by Fer Munizaga

Animals and fairy tales are what make artist Antonia Reyes Montealegre remember her childhood, surrounded by books as she tells us how this is what inspires her naturalist illustrations and artwork. Inheriting her studio from her family, this artist works impeccably with freehand drawing, and she was named as one of the best national artists by the Chilean blog, The Youthquake. Her illustrations also cover murals in local restaurants, book stores and boutiques, and eventhe government has commissioned her illustrations for some above-the-ground, creative propaganda. She tells Satellite Voices about her world with an insight into the Santiago illustration scene.

Satellite Voices: Where does your artistic nature come from?
Antonia Reyes Montealegre: I come from a family where everybody is an architect, designer, decorator or visual artist, so I really had no choice!

SV: What is your work about? How would you describe it?
Antonia Reyes Montealegre: I'd say my work is tremendously detailed and expressive. Drawing it mainly by hand and watercolour rapiograf, after minimal tweaks in Photoshop.

SV: What and who inspires you to create your art?
Antonia Reyes Montealegre: I love the work of naturalists: the search, the details, the ratings… my favourite subject is animals. I liked drawing when I was a kid. I grew up surrounded by books too, so I used to hear too many fairy tale stories. You could also say that inspires me - a world that does not exist.

SV: What do you think of the work of Chilean artists and illustrators?
Antonia Reyes Montealegre: Artwork in general is having a good time here in Chile. Internationally, illustration has been reassessed as a profession and we could talk about it as a trend in graphic design in general. But that trend will eventually be consolidated in Chile when you actually can live from an office. I think it is necessary that the local print and publishing media translate this recognition into fair remuneration, according to professional activity. Only then can we speak of an effective consolidation of this activity here, in Chile. I think we can find very good illustrators in Chile. Personally, I like the work of Fabian Ciraolo, Catalina Bustos, Nicolas Oyarce and my brother Vicente, whom I especially admire.

SV: Tell us about your current projects?
Antonia Reyes Montealegre: I have always worked freelance, illustrating and graphic design. And now I am working on a more stable way with Ahá Estudio, as part of their Mamba production. Parallel to that, I am planning to do a more consistent personal website, and in my personal life... a lot! I’m preparing a long trip to Thailand and Indonesia, which will start in March next year.

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