Latin American Ilustracion: Javiera Reszczynski

By David Schonauer   Wednesday August 3, 2016

Moments of crisis can give give rise to a new birth.

Chilean illustrator Javiera Reszczynski  describes such transformation as “renacimiento forzoso,” or “forced renaissance.” That term is also the title of one of her memorable personal projects, a winner of the Latin American Ilustracion 4  competition. “I felt inspired by the idea of violent changes around me, in all levels,” she says.

The work hints at Reszczynski’s background and her own personal transformations. She did not study illustration or the visual arts growing up in Santiago de Chile, but rather philosophy. But, she notes, she had been drawing since the day she “could hold a pencil.”

After receiving her masters degree in 2008, Reszczynski won a grant and moved to Chicago, Illinois, to study digital cinema at De Paul University. “At the same time I drew and created images,” she says. “I made friends from the art world who always encouraged me to draw and paint. I sold some pieces, but it wasn't until I came back to Chile 2013, for family reasons, that I realized I could have a career in illustration.”

Upon her return to Chile, Reszczynski began teaching a filmmaking course in Santiago. Her supervisor then asked her to also teach a Photoshop class. “I had to study really hard to prepare my classes,” she says. “I started experimenting doing digital pieces and photo collage and got really excited about it. I got a tablet and started intervening photos with drawings, doing different experimental graphic pieces.Then I began presenting my work in different cultural venues and did a couple of solo exhibitions.”

Late in 2013, her drawings caught the attention of the editor in chief of the Chilean newspaper Las Últimas Noticias, and she was invited to contribute illustrations to the publication.

“Those jobs gave me the chance to practice and do personal work during most afternoons,” she says. “It was in that context, during those afternoons, that I created "Renacimiento forzoso" and a series called ‘Players,’ which had to do with making decisions and dealing with the unknown — that uncontrollable portion of life that will always be a mystery, at least for me. I feel that most life-changing decisions can´t be undone. That makes them exciting to think about, imagine and draw.”

Reszczynski continues to work with the newspaper while also teaching illustration and is working on a book. “I’ve been drawing with ink and mixed media — watercolor, gouache, digital — and love it. Still, my favorite medium is ink and brush,” she says.

She says she is thankful for her background in philosophy and filmmaking. “I still get most of my ideas on reflecting about life, love, hate, and human behavior and films, books and stories I love,” she says.


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