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The Q&A: Juan Felipe Sierra Diaz

By Peggy Roalf   Monday January 8, 2018

Q: Originally from [where?] what are some of your favorite things about living and working in [your current locale]?

A: I’m from a small city in the Colombian Caribbean, and currently live in Bogotá. Here, I enjoy the cultural scene as well as getting inspired by the lively street life and being able to share this with my family and friends.

Q: Do you keep a sketchbook? What is the balance between art you create on paper [or other analog medium] versus in the computer?

A: Although I sketch a lot before any project, sometimes I have to work faster by developing something straight from idea to image in the computer. But I hope the day will come when there is enough time to make completely handmade work.

Q: What is the most important item in your studio?

A: The coffee maker—it helps a lot to walk through the office for a cup of coffee when I’m stuck in a project or an idea.

Q: How do you know when the art is finished?

A: When I don’t see anything more I can do for it, but sometimes I just have to trust that  it's ready and shift to another idea. Eventually I'll look backward and learn a lesson for the next time.

Q: What was your favorite book as a child?

A: I had a book about a chigüiro (a native Colombian animal, also called capibara) which had no text, only illustrations—so I had to imagine what the story was about.

Q: What is the best book you’ve recently read?

A: It’s been I long time since I’ve had time to read books, but National Geographic magazine is always a good source of inspiration for me.

Q: If you had to choose one medium to work in for an entire year, eliminating all others, what medium would you choose?

A: Pencil—something basic, one single tone and still a lot of ways to do something alive. 

Q: What elements of daily life exert the most influence on your work practice?

A: The people I see in the street or on the bus, sometimes you don’t need a word to imagine their stories. Also my own daily experiences with my family and friends.

Q: What was the [Thunderbolt] painting or drawing or film or otherwise that most affected your approach to art?

A: Disney’s Fantasia and The Lord of the Rings.

Q: What was the strangest/most interesting assignment you've taken that has an important impact on your practice, and what changed through the process?

A: Some of my first freelance assignments when I was starting out involved creating Powerpoint presentations. Although it was a bit boring, I learned that the size of the project doesn’t matter, it was important to make it good in every possible way.

Q: What would be your last supper?

A: Pizza.

Juan Felipe Sierra Díaz is a Colombian graphic designer with over 7 years experience as art director agencies such as McCann Erickson, DDB and JWT. Also, he has worked as an illustrator for numerous advertising and editorial projects in his native country.  Among the clients he has served are General Motors, LAN, L' Oréal, American Airlines, Pfizer, Henkel, Bimbo and most recently as chief art director for Marca País Colombia.

His work has received awards in shows including One Show, FIAP, Ojo de Iberoamerica and Cannes Lions. He currently works as creative director and general art director for the independent agency, Resistencia, in Bogota city, where he is in charge of developing brand communication projects, corporate identity, as well as design and illustration work for local clients.

Behance https://www.behance.net/JU4N3L0

 

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