Do we really know the wide spectrum of mythological characters that exist in our country? The artist and illustrator Alfredo Cáceres surrounds us with his graphic piece where he places on the map of the great Island of Chiloe, mythological creatures and popular beliefs described by its inhabitants who have accompanied us since childhood, such as La Pincoya, El Trauco and El Caleuche, but also adds a wide variety of characters unknown to the common people and who are as relevant as the others, in one of the most curious places in the world in terms of mythology and superstitions.
Alfredo drawing and giving life to new fantastic characters in the living room of his home.
Alfredo, tell us how you came to the topic of myths and superstitions for CHILOÉ MITOLÓGICO by Mappin...
When I was offered to make a map, I immediately thought of myths, I like mystery and stories that are born from people's superstition.
I have always liked the subject of myths, people sharing their fears through stories is something that has always happened, and it is very interesting to see how stories that were born far away adapt to new towns and geographies.
How did you come to create these fantastic characters so authentic?
First of all I researched on the internet and I knew that I wanted to do the opposite of what I saw in the images that I found. I changed those muscular and intense characters for creatures born from the shadows of nature and blended with the people, their houses and the forests.
Why the choice of Chiloé mythology ?
The idea of making a map with chilote creatures was turning around after having made the first map (Mythological map of Chile) and I decided to return to the myths with a little more color, instead of shadows now they are more mossy creatures, where the scales are confused with tiles and vice versa.
"I changed those muscular and intense characters for creatures born from the shadows of nature and blended with the people, their houses and the forests."
Original graphic piece of mythological creature La Voladera (left)
What was your favorite stage in the technical construction of the graphic piece?
Sketches are definitely my favorite stage, it's when there's less pressure for something to fit right, and the possibilities are endless.
Did you have any obstacles in the development of the map?
Yes, I took a long time on the Chiloé one because I tried to do them digitally first and then separately as watercolor prints. Ultimately, I did everything on one sheet which meant it was much faster.
On the other hand, in the first map (Mythological Map of Chile) I was presented with the problem that Chiloé is a kind of pot full of myths and further south it is difficult to find stories, so I turned to a book by Oreste Plath to find the black hand, a guy swallowed by the earth and to Kawesqar mythology for Ayayema, a spirit of chaos who controls the northwest wind.
“Sketches are my favorite stage, it is when there is less pressure for something to fit well, and the possibilities are endless.”
Symbolic and decorative figures that accompany Alfredo's inner world (left)
Alfredo holding his Chiloe Mitológico map (right)
As an illustrator of this very unique and specific theme , what other mythological beings would you like to portray or myths that intrigue you ?
At some point I thought of a myth map of Latin America, and maybe I will one day. There are many, the duende in Argentina, the Silbón in Venezuela and Colombia, the covered lady in Ecuador, maybe it's time to invent a new pair too.
If you want to obtain an edition of the Mappin de Mitos de Chiloé, click on the following image.
Photos and interview: Rafaelo Roasenda