We recently had the chance to speak with Eugenia Mello, designer of Goldleaf’s Southern California travel print, to get the scoop on her art. Eugenia is a Buenos Aires-born illustrator and graphic designer currently based in New York City. Her art has been recognized by the Society of Illustrators, Latin American Illustration, Creative Quarterly, and 3x3 Magazine.
Q: Could you share a bit about your background with our readers?
A: My name is Eugenia Mello. I’m from Buenos Aires, Argentina. I studied graphic design in Buenos Aires and in 2015 came to New York to get a master’s in illustration from the School of Visual Arts. After that ended, I stayed and have been working in New York as a freelance illustrator ever since.
Q: How would you describe your illustration style?
A: I don’t know if I can describe it, but I know I always try to focus on a certain feeling I want to draw, be it through movement, gestures that hint a motion in their curves or color and the juxtaposition of textures or better yet, textures and movement and color all together in an infinite dance.
Q: What is one of your favorite pieces that you’ve done?
A: One of my more recent pieces, Body Talk, unites precisely all of the above. Textures, colors, movement, feelings and all within a human figure - which I always enjoy drawing. The concept was "listening to the pain in your body" and I tried to get to the sensation of pain as color moving, flowing, through a body that feels like it’s coming apart. It was an editorial commission for a magazine from Argentina. I think sometimes, once in a while, you get the perfect text to explore all your favorites.
My second favorite at the moment was a short series for Anfibia Magazine because the text was wonderful, about the birth, growth and death of a love. It’s called Loving. It also features bodies and textured colors and trying to convey feelings with those elements.
Q: Where can our readers see it?
Q: You taught design and typography courses at the University of Buenos Aires. Do you find teaching art to be as satisfying as creating it?
A: I don’t think the satisfactions are similar, but I think teaching is enormously beneficial in learning to put into words and processes that which you might only know intuitively. Having the challenge of sharing your knowledge pushes you to bring to consciousness a lot of what we keep only in an intangible realm. That is huge, because bringing all that knowledge to the ‘front’ of the brain lets you reflect and build on it. Of course teaching is infinitely rewarding, walking the road with another human who is growing and seeing the moment when they change skins is incredible. But my most favorite most satisfying part is learning to open the channel of enjoying other’s work and process. Growing as they grow. Evolving not only through our experiences of our own growth but through the growth of others. That’s pretty magical.
Q: What do you find to be the major differences between the creative culture of Argentina and that of the United States?
A: I’m not sure, but I love both scenes. Argentina is full of amazing professionals, top first class artists who I admire profoundly. As is New York, of course. I guess, something I find inspiring from what I see being produced back home is a certain social commitment, a heavier load of political-ideological content in the illustrations. For instance, for a few years now, as the feminist movement was unraveled and grown exponentially as a force of progressive change, I see more and more female illustrators using their voices as vehicles to talk about what they care about to grow awareness and to spark change.
Q: What was your favorite part about collaborating with us on our ‘travel series’ pieces for Southern California?
A: The challenge of drawing a more complex scene than what I usually tend to. And the opportunity to paint a landscape, to try to say in colors what a beach at sunset could feel like. It was overall a really fun commission, I’m beyond grateful.
Q: What are your thoughts on cannabis?
A: 100% good good thoughts :)