Interview with Illustrator Stefania Tejada

Stefania Tejada is an illustrator based in Bogotá, Colombia. Her work is mostly influenced by the connection between women and nature. She has worked with fashion designers, magazines, and musicians. We recently caught up with Stefania to discuss her work.

How did you get into illustration?

I was in art classes since I can remember. I started when I was very young, I think about six years old, but I really started to define a style when I was in college and I was taking a class called Expression I.

I started taking classes about human figure sketching and concepts which lasted about 3 months and then I moved to México.

I moved in with two girls, one was studying Digital Illustration and the other Industrial Design. We were always in our studio creating things, designing, painting, illustrating. I started working at a fashion magazine and that opened so many doors for me.

At that point I started doing digital illustration, I went from the analogue world to the digital. It was challenging, trying to create reality, human reality in the digital world.

How did you develop your artistic style?

My artistic style is driven by photography and fashion. I’ve always felt a strong connection between the expression of a woman and a camera, and I want to show that truthful moment of realness when a lens beautifully captures the authenticity of a subject in a portrait that lives on in time. I also find the concept of feminism very interesting in my work. Usually people associate the word “feminine” with something pink, girly and delicate, but it can be strong, badass and powerful.

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Many of your illustrations are portraits of women, why is that?

Because it’s who I am. It’s myself, it’s my sister, my mother, my friends, all the women in the world. I always felt really inspired by powerful strong women. After everything we have gone through, we still keep going. It’s the feminine spirit, that wild feeling, what makes me want to paint or illustrate. Because it’s what’s inside of me.

static1.squarespace-1Do you have a favorite illustration or piece you’ve created?

Last year I read “Just Kids” by Patti Smith, and there is this quote that Patti and Robert used to say to each other: “This is the one with the magic”. And I believe my Girls & Botanical 01 is the one with the magic. The one that changed everything for me.

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What do you want to communicate through your art?

Feelings, thoughts, emotions, fashion and the strong connection created between women and nature. It’s a very personal part of my persona, of what’s inside of me. I want to communicate how women have changed and how they look now to me: real, strong and honest.

You’re based out of Colombia, would you say your surroundings there are a major influence to your work?

I live in Bogotá right now. It’s been really different from living in Mexico or any other place. I love the surroundings, and nature here is magnificent. But the culture is still very focused towards “male power” and “tradition”. You see this everywhere.

In a certain way it inspires me to do more, to believe more in myself and keep standing out for myself, not letting anyone define me.

static1.squarespace-4Any artists you’d recommend to check out?

Laura Gulshani @ lauragulshani, Laura Noguera @aaaaaureliaaaaa, Luis Cesar Rocca @roccaluiscesar and Katya Zvereva @katya_zvereva_Art.

 What’s your dream creative project, or someone you’d like to collaborate with?

I have so many dream creative projects! I think some of them would be with Balenciaga, Jill Stuart, Pigalle, Colette, and Mara Hoffman.

Check out more of Stefania’s work at: http://www.stefaniatejada.com/