Dazed Digital

Santiago

Alejandra Basaure

December 15, 2011

The child-like psychedelia of the talented Chilean illustrator

  • Text by Satellite Voices

Guest Feature by Fer Munizaga



Alejandra Basaure is a Chilean artist whose passion for illustration comes from her chilhood, where she remembers her first notions of chalk and paint. And it’s these memories that her psychedelic work is inspired by. With illustration projects across Chile, Argentina, Mexico and France, her work is characterised by a certain child-like innocence, where fantasy and animals cohabit.

Satellite Voices: How did you get started in the world of illustration?
Alejandra Basaure: As a child, I used to spend hours drawing with chalk on the floor of my grandparent's backyard or not paying attention in classes while doodling on my notebook. When I came out from school I decided to study fashion design, although it was an interesting career I wasn't satisfied with it. After graduating from college, I lived in Buenos Aires where I studied screenprinting, which connected me with my drawings in a stronger way. One thing led to another and my illustrations started to get the attention of different people and the media. Nowadays, I dedicate most of my time to illustrations, specially watercolour, markers and digital.

SV: How would you define your work?
Alejandra Basaure: People used to tell me that I have a colourful psychedelic universe of my own. I think I'm just a grown up child doodling a little bit more seriously. I love to create unusual characters in unusual places, and hopefully let them tell their stories. I guess I can say that I make illustrations for kids and people that can find the kid in their soul. The themes are generally intended to be nice, sometimes a little bit awkward and always colourful.

SV: What are you currently working in?
Alejandra Basaure: I just finished two collaborations. In one of them I had the chance to work as animation assistant on a short-film called "Septembre" from the French director Thibault Chollet. I also participated on a French Fanzine called "Miettes" by Barbe à Pop, which consists of ancient pictures from several countries accompanied by quotes from different writers and some of my illustrations.

I'm currently working on illustrations for the children book, "Dejame Ver". An amazing biodiversity project oriented to the kids from Totontepec, an small and beautiful rural village in Oaxaca, Mexico. I'm very happy about this because the book will be given to schools and libraries in different villages along Mexico, and further joy comes from the fact that my work was not only to create original illustrations but also to help editing several awesome drawings made by Totontepec's children.

SV: What do you think of illustration in Chile?
Alejandra Basaure: I think there is a lot of good illustrators in Chile, as times passes we can find more and more exhibitions of better and better illustrators. I wish that people would take it more seriously, but I think this is starting to happen now and it's just a matter of time to we get there.

What I really like from Chile is the street art. I love the work of Telly Gacitúa, she is a very talented illustrator/painter. She is part of the Brigada Negotrópica, an art collective that paints huge murals filled with birds and animals (living or extinct). They have very interesting subjects, such as, as environmental issues, typical Latin American fauna, the students revolution, and several noticeable people from Latin American culture. A few months ago I discovered the work of Marilyn Mousse Ilustraciones I loved her punk style and the way she combines the colors, she has an amazing taste and impressive collages.

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