Leo Espinosa
November 2009
Back from Macondo
My body got back from Colombia about a week ago. My spirit, however, seems to still be flying somewhere like yellow garcia-marquezesque butterflies.
One can call procrastinating what I've being doing during these "re-entry" days, uploading pics and videos from the trip and creating images like the one above, but to be honest, there was so much I saw and experienced that I needed some quiet time to digest it all.
Colombia is booming creatively like many other developing countries that have found in the web a great platform to connect, absorb and broadcast their work. Video artists, musicians, designers, illustrators, and plastic artists to name a few, are working on superb and out of the ordinary projects, some of which I had the chance to see.

Note: The diplomatic chest ribbon didn't exactly come from El Presidente but from a fun, fun restaurant one evening of music and rum!

The main reason of my visit was to give a couple of lectures and lead a workshop on Design and Illustration at the Universidad Autonoma in the caribbean city of Barranquilla.
The students, faculty and the other speakers (including animators, new media brains and street artists) made the event incredibly interesting, challenging and inspiring.
Pictured above some of the attendants to the workshop, the speakers at lunch and a colorful poster from the students' show.

It was a lot of work but since clocks move so very slowly in Latin America, there was plenty of time to go to exhibits, enjoy long lunches, play with old friends and meet new ones. Clockwise from the top, Puro Morbo from the Visual Gore exhibit by Manifesto79; A studio session feeling quite rusty on drums after so many years; A logo I did for ZS Recording Studio (turned into a cool lamp); And a beautiful and thoughtful present from a new illustrator friend, Diana Moreno.

The diet included good coffee of course, sketching sessions with other illustrators (Jim Plukart and López served a feast) and yummy breads and treats that not only calmed the appetite but provided creative material.
To top it off, the day I arrived in Colombia two great things happened:
One, the Design Annual 50 of Communication Arts came out featuring the CD packaging for Pombo Musical, which I illustrated and designed last year in Bogotá, together with the talented Lucho Correa, And two, the same project won the Latin Grammy for Best Childrens' album of 2009! Weeeeheeeee!

Now, as I slowly come down from the clouds of such a great trip and set myself in real time, I'm already itching to start so many projects I already have lined up for next year, including a show in Buenos Aires in May and my first attempt with Furniture Design for Kids. Hopefully all as fulfilling and meaningful as the ones I got the chance to do this year.

La Guaka
La Guaka is the second project I've worked on this year, initiated by young artists and designers from Colombia who are committed to help out poor children through art. Many fantastic illustrators and friends, including fellow Drawgeroid Catalina Estrada, Dr. Alderete, Tatiana Arocha, Marcela Restrepo, Laura Osorno and Jim Plukart, as well as designers and photographers have donated their work to this great project. I'm honored to be a part of it, mostly knowing that my work could make a difference for the little ones of my beloved country.

One of the pieces I donated, titled The Poet, evolved from the sketches I had for another project that sadly I wasn't able to finish.
La Guaka was created by Juan Marín and works in collaboration with the Museum of Modern Art of Medellín to collect funds and do art programs with children from poor areas of the city.

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