A few years back when we first wrote about the work of Latvian digital illustrator Santa France we caught her just at the beginning of her artistic career. Since then, her approach to 3D modelling has excitingly developed into illustrating more complex objects in a futuristic blue colour palette, one we’ve come to recognise as her signature style.
Considering her development, there has been a slight shift in Santa’s work as she now concentrates on more singular objects, rather than depicting interior scenes. Santa explains that it’s a way of working that developed naturally as she was “looking for bigger challenges,” she tells us. “I became interested in creating more abstract and conceptual compositions consisting of objects that transfer an underlying theme or idea, without it being obvious right away.”
As an artist who works digitally, and who can theoretically depict any object, the options and references for Santa to interpret are seemingly endless. This openness has created an unlikely source of inspiration for Santa, and a lot of her recent work “has also been about being overwhelmed with information, so the clusters of objects make sense to me conceptually,” she explains.
In addition to being more confident with her capabilities when working with 3D software, the illustrator is not only finding herself more adept at visualising objects but at also contrasting “realistic looking, organic objects with artificial, man-made things,” she points out. By considering the objects she will render with such conceptual care, Santa’s work embraces “the visual language of computer-generated imagery,” but also allows her “to use it to my advantage more successfully,” she says. “The resulting style creates a certain uncanniness that I enjoy while still preserving some qualities of a traditional still life composition.”
These developments in her work, which are both technical and personal mean Santa’s work has rightfully caught the eye of gallerists, with two solo shows in Riga already as well as exhibiting in several group shows. We can only imagine the extra edge Santa’s work has once it’s taken off-screen and into an exhibition context and we hope she heads over to our side of the pond so we can see this too!
About the Author
Lucy (she/her) joined It’s Nice That as a staff writer in July 2016 after graduating from Chelsea College of Art. In January 2019 she was made deputy editor and in November 2021, became a senior editor predominantly working on It’s Nice That's partnerships. Feel free to get in contact with Lucy about creative projects for the site or potential partnerships.