The art of illustration is lived at Casa Tinta | News today

The art of illustration is lived at Casa Tinta | News today
The art of illustration is lived at Casa Tinta | News today

Diana Arias has been editorial coordinator of the books “From Inside Out” (2018), “The Strangest Alphabet” (2020), “Gravity and Other Substances” (2020), among others.

Photo: Lina González

What is Casa Tinta and what can be found there?

José Rosero and I opened Casa Tinta in 2012. This is a cultural space that offers training courses in illustration, animation, drawing and painting, as well as annual exhibitions, weekly drawing clubs and conferences. Our goal is to create a space conducive to those interested in illustration. In recent years, we have added illustrated concerts and monthly music-related activities.

For example, this month, what are you targeting?

This month there is an event that Casa Tinta has hosted for two years: La peña. It is a space to celebrate Latin American music and Andean sounds and folklore, which will feature the participation of the group Las mijas as special guests. This will be next Saturday, May 11 at Boro Room. It will be a party to tap your feet and learn a little more about what is happening with singer-songwriters and songs.

Tell us about the Isidro Ferrer exhibition.

At the end of last month, we inaugurated the exhibition Stunned Graphic, presenting the work of Isidro Ferrer, renowned Spanish designer and illustrator. Ferrer was a central figure in the Ilustropía Festival, organized by Casa Tinta, which included the participation of national and international guests. The exhibition will be open for another month and will feature his most famous posters, his experiments, a section of wooden masks designed by him and parts of his work. Book of the Other.

Tell us about Casa Tinta’s journey, the challenges you have had to face in this sector…

At Casa Tinta we decided to focus on illustration a few years ago because we considered that it was a booming and well-received field, but we also realized that it needed more spaces and support networks. During the 12 years of existence, we have dedicated ourselves to the management of cultural projects. Recently, a singer-songwriter expressed during a concert: “All of us who work in culture have the responsibility of taking care of her, she, in turn, will take care of us.” This premise has been the fundamental pillar of our work. From my experience as a cultural manager, I know that this path is full of challenges, as it is a field that often lacks professionalization and recognition in our country. But I have always maintained the conviction that, by understanding and assuming the work of care in cultural exercise, we can keep that common space alive.

Let’s talk about the great moments of Casa Tinta…

There have been several highlights for Casa Tinta. The International Illustration Congress allowed us to bring together more than 150 illustrators from around the world, marking a 10-year chapter in which we saw the project grow with us. We started the Illustration Congress when we were 21 or 22 years old, so it was like living the 20’s with this project, seeing how people grew, published and fulfilled their dreams. Another significant moment was during the pandemic, when we reinvented ourselves and launched the first Casa Tinta Editorial books. Finally, we created illustrated concerts, which have allowed us to connect music with illustration.

What brought you to this point? Tell us a little about her journey…

I studied social communication with an editorial emphasis at Javeriana and, I have always felt attracted to the arts; She was like a compulsive devourer of experiences. She spent a lot of time in the library, not so much for the books, but for the atmosphere it offered. One day, I met a visual arts teacher and he showed me two books that would change my perspective: head in the bag and Machines. These works opened my mind to the world of illustration and unleashed in me an obsession with the book-album. Over time, I felt the need to create my own project. It has been a path full of effort and sacrifice, but also satisfaction.

Do you believe that illustration saves?

The pandemic made it clear to us that art and culture are refuges for everyone. For me, illustration has been a constant lifeline, a source of inspiration and calm in my daily life. Since I was little, I have been immersed in this world, and culture, illustration, theater and music are an integral part of my life. Watching my friends, displaying their talent on stage or discovering new artists is an act of generosity that enriches us all. Art gives us the opportunity to share, to give ourselves to each other in a gesture of solidarity and mutual enrichment.

What lessons has this experience brought you in your professional life?

I think we are still learning the importance of collective work in culture. A play or choreography cannot be sustained without a joint effort. Culture teaches us that we are stronger when we work together, when we understand the value of each person in the creative network. Behind every artist, there is a team, a network of creators that support him. I love looking at photos from the past and seeing how we continue to coincide, how collaboration and joint effort continue to be the engine of our evolution.

What lessons has this experience brought you in your personal life?

In my personal life, art and culture are my daily refuge. In a world full of dark and hostile news, art and culture give me hope and allow me to breathe. They inspire me to take action in a loving, caring and generous way. Contemplating a work of art in silence or listening to the voices of women writers and journalists gives me a critical look, something that I consider essential for all of us. Art and culture are the first resources we turn to to cultivate our critical thinking and build a better world.

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