The Hispanic/Latinx community finds strength in their similarities as well as their differences. In honor of Hispanic/Latinx heritage month, we’re sharing stories of community members who have used their voice to advocate for visibility, change, and representation of every identity.
For illustrator Camila Rosa, creativity has always been inextricably linked to her Brazilian heritage, and her political mindset. She talked to Squarespace about finding her path as an artist, navigating a career in freelance, and her commitment to purposeful representation through illustration.
SQUARESPACE: 2020 marks ten years since you began working as an artist. What inspired you to pursue a career in illustration and visual art?
CR: Wow, that was fast! I was inspired to follow this career through my journey in the street art collective I still belong to with some friends. I was very inspired by my friends and by the collective work we were doing at that time.
When I realized it was possible to make a living from art and illustration I decided to take a shot at a new career. Today I'm so happy about this decision. It changed my life forever!
SQSP: Your illustrations are known for being thought-provoking and impactful. What do you hope viewers think or feel when they see your work?
CR: I love to hear that! I always hope people feel the same way I felt while creating that illustration. My most inspirational creations came from these moments when I was too angry or too involved with something and I felt that I needed to speak about it. Also, I love it when people feel represented by my illustrations. The most precious moment is when I receive a message from someone telling me how that illustration touched them.
SQSP: How does your heritage and your identity influence your work, if at all?
CR: Being an Illustrator from Latin America definitely influences me a lot. I lived in NYC in 2016 and 2017, and only there did I realize that Latin America has a huge influence on my work. The strength and hope of Latin-American people definitely is something that inspires me a lot. Brazil is a country in construction and we have a lot of structural problems. I always try to use my work as a reminder of what kind of country I want for the future.
SQSP: When you’re creatively blocked or starting a new project, where do you turn for inspiration?
CR: When I'm blocked I like to go to other sources of inspiration, like movies, music, or just take a walk on the streets (unfortunately not possible at the moment due to the pandemic). And when I'm starting a new project, I like to create a mood board with some inspirational images related to the theme of the project.
SQSP: As a political artist, how does your work create a sense of community — with other artists, and with the people your work represents?
CR: Since my work has a political perspective, I believe other artists and the people represented identify themselves with my work. So, people usually put me together along with other political artists and I think that's amazing because I believe we're stronger when we speak up collectively about any subject.
SQSP: What role has your online presence played in the growth of your freelance business?
CR: I'd say it was essential! My career as an Illustrator is mostly because I used social media to promote my work. It’s very important to have a website and at least one social media channel being updated frequently.