Illustration

Domestika Diary: Catalina Estrada

The Colombian graphic designer shares her creative routine and the landscapes that have inspired her to create her award-winning prints.

Catalina Estrada has only been in Colombia a few months. Having lived for years in Barcelona, she became stranded in her home country while visiting her mother. Not that she’s complaining, since the varied landscapes, lush colors, and natural beauty of Colombia are where she draws much of the inspiration behind her internationally award-winning prints.

The stylish graphic designer and illustrator says that beauty and optimism are the trademarks of her work, thanks to her experience growing up surrounded by these striking landscapes.

In this Domestika Diary, recorded in her home in Colombia, she shares how her surroundings have impacted and enriched her creative work.

Her creative routine begins with a walk along the trails that wind their way through Medellín’s forests. The textures and patterns she observes in nature are a constant source of new ideas for her work.

Local flora and fauna have appeared in her designs for brands like Paul Smith, Coca-Cola, Microsoft, Camper, Nike, Levis, and Smart (Mercedes Benz). She has also worked with organizations like UNICEF and Amnesty International, and with the governments of Barcelona, London, and India.

At home she enjoys the company of her children and her mother, who she credits with helping her maintain a fun and balanced day-to-day. In addition to that, she finds fulfillment in applying her talents to social projects. During her time in Colombia, Estrada has been creating patterns for projects that support Medellín’s local communities and the indigienous communities of the Amazon.

“It’s great to be able, through color and beauty, to add dignity to the situation (of marginalized communities),” she says. Her passion for harnessing the power of graphic design to import positive change is reflected in her online Domestika course “Illustration for Patterns with Soul”, which focuses on how to create a graphic language for projects with a meaningful social impact.

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