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Hana Villafuerte

Hana is a talented young designer and illustrator based in the Philippines. Her work is bold and colorful with touches of surrealism. We got to know more about her background on switching from information systems to the creative world.

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and your journey to becoming an illustrator and designer?

Back in college, design wasn’t my major, it was actually information systems. I ended  up getting into a college club focused on arts, photography, prose and, poetry and that  was my introduction to art and illustration. My first job out of college was a graphic  designer, and I did some offsite illustrating as well and then I just gained a lot of interest  with illustration. I tried to learn as much as I could by myself. I was learning through  social media from different artists, taking Skillshare classes, watching YouTube videos,  and reading books, and continued practicing as much as I could.

Do you feel like you've developed that aesthetic over time or has your unique style always been the same?

I think I developed over time. Initially, I started out having very muted colors. My job  was a graphic designer for a youth-centric publication and so that kind of influenced  me to explore more with colors and texture.

Some of my most recent illustrations over the last year also developed my style  because of my own experiences. Since we’re all forced to face isolation, my work  has explored the impact of isolation on my mental health and my loved ones.

It's become my own reflection of how I and the people close to me are processing the  now. I juxtapose my works with saturated colors to highlight the collective intensity  of isolation, constant anxiety and grief. Much like it’s such a hazy dream even if a  year has already passed.

What is something that you're looking forward to once the pandemic is over?

Actually being in a creative community again. I was going to conventions and workshops and actually talking to people and hanging out with them. I have tried my best to be active with online workshops during quarantine but it's so different than seeing people in real life.

Do you have any artists in particular that have really inspired your work?

I started out by looking at surrealist works. Salvador Dalí and René Magritte have always been a heavy inspiration for me.

Do you have a vision of what type of work you want to be doing in the next few years?

I think that I still will explore being an illustrator and I'm fascinated about animation. That's what I want to learn this year as a personal goal for me.

Do you have a favorite piece you've worked on?

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Check out more of Hana's work on her site or follow along on Instagram.