Willian Santiago Will Always Be Remembered with a Smile

A tribute to illustrator and Domestika teacher Willian Santiago from the team who collaborated with him on his course

We always smile whenever we see photos from Willian Santiago's Domestika course. They stir up powerful memories.

To create his course, Willian set off from Londrina in Brazil and took a plane for the first time, crossing the Atlantic and landing in Madrid, bursting with excitement. He wanted to share everything he knew about illustration generously and gently.

Willian Santiago Will Always Be Remembered with a Smile 1
Willian Santiago on set while shooting his Domestika course.

Willian arrived at the studio already made up. He wanted to see how he looked in the video and felt beautiful when he saw himself on the small screen. A free spirit, he would parade up and down the corridors of Domestika radiating joy in his colorful sneakers, listening to music between shooting his lessons and sharing fun ideas for the cover images. Willian was a lot of fun!

Natércia Lameiro, the course's co-filmmaker, remembers that Willian hid a huge chocolate bar under the table that was part of the set, and would break off squares between takes, “Of course, we ate a lot of chocolate with him!”.

Natércia, the course producer Bel Mercês, and I were really excited about filming Willian's presentation so we could discover his story and how he became a well-known illustrator: from selling ice cream to dressing up as a clown at a children's party.

Willian Santiago Will Always Be Remembered with a Smile 3
Members of the film crew pose with Willian Santiago in the Domestika studio.

When we met, Willian really believed in what he was doing and was proud of his art. His illustrations are beautiful, intense, joyful, and very Brazilian, just like he was. Following the shoot, Willian was our friend: he told us about his life, about his partner, about his family, even his doll collection!

The course was a great success, with thousands of students enrolling who gave it 100% positive feedback! As to be expected!

During the first week of March 2020, when we were filming with Willian, the Covid pandemic was already spreading in Italy and was about to reach Madrid. However, we had no idea how much this virus would end up impacting our lives and, even less so, that Willian, who was so young and full of so many dreams and so much energy, would become one of the millions of victims.

Willian Santiago Will Always Be Remembered with a Smile 5
Willian Santiago had a friendly relationship with the entire Domestika team.

Today the entire team that participated in producing Willian's course and content pays tribute to him. Whether they do so wearing all of the colors present in his illustrations, or simply remembering, as Bel Mercês says, that his work and spirit will continue to light up the lives of many people.

There is no doubt that this is a great loss for the world of illustration, for all of us.

This article was written by Fernanda Ortega (@fernanda_ortega), filmmaker of Willian Santiago's Domestika course.

You may also like:

Farewell to Willian Santiago, Illustrator of Vibrant Colors and Infinite Talent
Flat Illustration with Photoshop, a course by Willian Santiago
What Is Color Theory?


Log in or sign up to comment

Get Domestika's news delivered to your inbox