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Manuela Montero, la diseñadora multifacética - Mappin

Manuela Montero, the multifaceted designer

Manuela, tell us a little about yourself and what you do...

I was born in Santiago, in 1984. I studied graphic design at the Diego Portales University, and then I have taken several specialization courses in illustration and representation techniques. I currently work as an independent designer and illustrator, developing visual communication projects in various areas, including editorial design, branding and illustration for books and magazines, among others. I regularly collaborate with agencies, publishers, companies, foundations and professionals in the arts and communications.

Along with my independent work, I have also worked as a university professor since 2010. I currently work as a tenured professor in three higher education institutions.

What do you like the most about being a designer / illustrator / teacher?

I think what I like the most about being a designer and illustrator is the versatility of what you can do, the different fields that I can intervene with my work. One day I may be designing children's books for a publisher and the other illustrating animals for an environmental foundation or designing a logo for a business . It's also fun being able to work with professionals from other areas, you learn a lot.

manuela montero

What do you think are your main inspirations to work?

My inspiration comes from a mixture of things, from the cartoons I watched on TV when I was a girl and the paintings that hung in my parents' house, through the art and design references I met at university, to what I see today on the internet on sites like Pinterest. However, I think something that influences my work are old illustrated books, both children's stories and illustrated encyclopedias and scientific picture books. I have always been fascinated by incorporating the old with the new.
manuela montero

...and your biggest fears or challenges?

It seems to me that my biggest challenge has been balancing my professional, academic and personal life. I have always been independent, to be able to work from home and raise my children. Now that they're older and have a schedule, I have a little more time, but my days have always been kind of messy, which can be fun but exhausting at the same time.
manuela montero

A song or album that you recommend to work on?

and a song of life?

Eleanor Rigby - The Beatles

People who inspire or admire you?

I admire many designers and illustrators, but in particular some who have marked my personal imagination, such as Quentin Blake and Beatrix Potter in children's illustration, and the work of naturalistic illustrations in Claudio Gay's Atlas de Chile.
manuela montero

...and a book that you would recommend?

My favorite novel is "Perfume" by Patrick Suskind.

Finally, what motivated you to accept Mappin's invitation to make a map of the Native Flora of Chile?

The Mappin invitation seemed like a very good idea to me from the beginning, and being given creative freedom around the theme was very motivating, since I have worked making maps for data visualization, but they are generally more rigid. I have always liked the theme of heritage rescue, and it was an excellent opportunity to study and represent our natural heritage through native flora species.
Photographs by Rafa Roasenda .
If you want to see or buy one of the editions of Manuela Montero's map, just click on her photo.
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